I love a challenging game.
Nothing makes me want to work harder and perfectly master a game than making it difficult. Games like Super Meat Boy, Trials and more are so much fun for me because it’s not something I can breeze through, I have to work at it. Triangle Man can join the ranks with them.
Triangle Man is made by Convict Interactive, a small development team from Wollongong, about an hour or so south of Sydney. I originally got the chance to try out the game at the EB Expo and I was not disappointed. After getting a copy of the game and spending a fair few hours with it, I’d easily recommend it to anyone.
Triangle Man is a platformer, pure and simple, with more puzzle-like elements to it all, but with enough diversity in the levels and some super fiendishly difficult levels to make you want to come back for more. Each level starts with Triangle Man collecting musical notes to unlock and open the level end. Simple? Sure. But when you get to harder levels with more stuff thrown at you, that’s where the game shines. I remember playing the game the first time and commenting that it reminded me of Super Meat Boy. I was told a lot of people say that, but the difference between the two is Super Meat Boy is about finding the perfect path and getting the best time, whereas Triangle Man is about honing and perfecting your skills so you get the best score and least amount of deaths. It’s very true and you’ll probably come to realise why my original comparison was so wrong.
The game contains a hefty amount of levels, so you’ll be here for a while, coming back to older levels to get better results. There are a variety of worlds that contain these levels and each is themed, such as a jungle world, or caves, and more. There is one final level in each world that is locked, needing to be open by completing other levels. I thought it was great that you didn’t need to finish all the levels in one world to progress to the next. Levels have obstacles such as enemies (like big, red, rolling balls with angry faces), water, spikes, lava and more to challenge and test you. You’ll get frustrated for sure, I certainly did, but these levels are just a warm up, nothing prepares you for the game’s hook.
Eventually, you’ll end up taking control of not just one, but two or more Triangle men in a single level! I wasn’t expecting this at all and when I first encountered these levels, my mind completely imploded. “How could I deal with more than one? My brain will not be able to cope!” It’s incredibly daunting, but with the description of the game being a “punishing 2D platformer” I guess I had to know what I was in for. The difficulty can ramp up quite quickly in some parts, with a bit of a learning curve, but it’s still very fun.
When you control more than one Triangle Man, they move in sync with each other. So if you hit left, both move left, you hit jump and both jump. Levels use this particularly well even if it did frustrate the hell out of me and make me rage quit more than a few times. I found it a bit hard to keep track of what I was doing when there was enemies and platforms and notes to deal with, but that’s probably more of a complaint about me not being able to keep up more than anything. There can be a lot to process and it becomes increasingly difficult, which I guess is part of the challenge, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t as frantic as it was. For example, one level there were 3 Triangle Men, in 3 different sectors with their own challenges to face. The first few tries at it, I failed miserably, forgetting there was other ones to deal with. After more tries than I wish to admit, I eventually solved and finished the level. Like I said, the challenge lies within this mechanic, but as previously mentioned beforehand, sometimes I felt there was a bit too much clutter in some parts. Fortunately as mentioned before, you don’t need to finish each and every level to progress, so no need to fret if a level is too hard! Maybe I just need to multitask better!
The music is also very catchy and upbeat, with tunes being stuck in my head for days. It also helps to keep you from going completely berserk when you’ve got something so catchy playing in the background!
I’d love to end up seeing a level editor of some sort and being able to share it in a hub of some sort, like (I promised myself I wouldn’t compare it to this!) Super Meat Boy. After tackling the levels I had on hand, my mind raced with the possibilities, using the multiple Triangle Men mechanic more and seeing what other people would put in and create!
I know this is a bit of a short review, but the game is only in alpha at the moment, with more stuff being added by the developers, so it wouldn’t be fair to pass final judgements. But from what I’ve played, it’s worth every penny you pay for. Definitely check this out if you like a challenge.