Triera – What We Think
Triera, a one-man project from Russian developer Egor Rezenov, is as pure a platformer as platformers get: no puzzles, very little combat, just a lot of vertical jumping. But what could be a frustrating hell of missed landings and miserable deaths turns out to be a beautiful thing indeed, thanks largely to its utterly gorgeous aesthetic.
The game itself could hardly be simpler: As one of the last good robots on a humongous spaceship beset by bad ones, it’s your duty to fix things, but what that boils down to is a seemingly endless vertical assent through six levels. You’ll need to dodge enemies and make a lot of jumps. If you fall too far, that damages you, as well, so the stakes are high; you need to hit your jumps carefully – and no dilly-dallying, either – the longer you wait, the more enemies show up.
Jump Twice and Gather Coins
As simple as Triera’s premise may be, there are a few things available to make your job marginally easier. You have a double-jump, which if utilized fast enough might save you from an ignominous death. The game saves your progress, allowing you to unlock levels, so if you die you don’t need to start over from the very beginning.
You can also gather coins (catching them provides you with a satisfying clanging sound seemingly borrowed from Super Mario Bros.) and use them between levels to unlock various character attributes (i.e. additional speed or jump height), randomly appearing bonuses and even additional player characters with different abilities (one runs faster but has weaker jumps; another comes with a triple-jump).
The Beauty of Falling
What really gives Triera its appeal, though, is that it’s beautiful. The blocky environments and characters are like a cross between Brutalist architecture and Communist propaganda posters, and the animated backgrounds are lush, gorgeous and surprisingly soft, reminiscent of Ferry Halim’s web-based Orisinal games.
The music, too, is symphonic and enticing; consisting of royalty-free compositions from Kevin MacLeod and Mark Petrie, it’s less chiptune than Danny Elfman, and adds to the game’s surprisingly naturalistic atmosphere.
You’ll spend a lot of time falling and dying in Triera, but you’ll be so enraptured by the game’s beauty you’ll forget to swear at the screen.
Watch the trailer for Triera below: