Metascore
62

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Nov 16, 2011
    70
    Trauma is a very interesting product: unconventional gaming fans should take a look.
  2. Nov 7, 2011
    48
    There is a seed of wisdom hidden somewhere deep in Trauma, but it cannot break through the thick cement crust of a poorly executed concept.
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    70
    I enjoyed myself without question, but I think something like this with just tad more concreteness to it could be a real hit.
  4. Sep 8, 2011
    70
    Thoughtful, mysterious and haunting, Trauma is best approached as a curio. Its execution is arguably stronger than its ideas, and the narrative trajectory of the game has no surprises in it, outside of the surreal tone. But as an artwork exploring the mind of a trauma victim, its singular voice and approach stick in the mind.
  5. Aug 22, 2011
    50
    It is much, much easier for me to recommend the game as a free browser-based Flash game than as a commercial product.
  6. Aug 10, 2011
    70
    But alas... Trauma was a game I wanted to love, but found more curious than transcendent. Still, any game that requires this much psychological analysis is a welcome departure from the norm.
  7. Aug 10, 2011
    70
    I can say that if you're tired of the preoccupation with the omnipresent emotion of "fun" most games seemingly need to contain, and like the idea of an experience which garners actual thought, you would do well to give Trauma a look; just remember that what you'll find will depend entirely on what you're looking for.
  8. Aug 9, 2011
    70
    An interesting visual story that manages to tell a narrative in such a way that it blurs the line between art and game into something unlike anything else out there.
  9. Aug 9, 2011
    40
    Trauma is an overpriced collection of panoramic photos with grossly shallow gameplay, wedged into a pretentious shell of a story.
  10. 60
    Appealing yet not fully finalized attempt of interactive novel. Emotional dream adventure is not flawless but it evokes interesting questions to answer. [Issue#208]
  11. Aug 31, 2011
    50
    Intriguing visuals, great music and an interesting concept. Unfortunately Trauma is too short for its price and shallow – no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to see any deeper meaning to this story. [Sept 2011, p.68]
  12. Aug 23, 2011
    60
    If taken as an artistic creation, Trauma is noteworthy, but considered only as a videogame, it is too limited and short in duration.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 20
  2. Negative: 9 out of 20
  1. Aug 13, 2011
    4
    With beautiful aesthetics and sound, Trauma had some awesome ideas, but unfortunately they weren't able to go deeper than the distance of a Polaroid frame.

    Looking for photos wasn't enough to entertain me, even with the supposedly deep themes, which I found really boring. Even being extremely engaging in many visual ways, the themes haven't touched me AT ALL. Maybe people who like a more esoteric or philosophical approach could have some fun, but I could just find some on the curious and creative presentation.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 10, 2011
    8
    Indiecade and IGF finalist, TRAUMA, has been on the indie scene's radar for a while now, and has finally been released on Steam. Though you'll likely get an hour or two's worth of play, you'll be rewarded with some surprisingly moving moments and a sense of real discovery.

    As a women lies in her hospital bed, she moves in and out of consciousness, to remembrance, dream, and back again to awake. The journey, in four stages, is open to your whims, as you can complete any part of the game in any order. That said, all the stages are connected and are necessary to progress through the whole entirely. The play occurs through a sort of revised point-and-click. Images float before a black backdrop, and by moving the cursor to and fro, you'll draw out of the image other images which connect to the previous one. Moving around in the world, then, and examining "objects" (which are often not really objects in the traditional sense) is certainly a point-and-click affair. Yet you also learn the ability to inscribe symbols on the screen which turn you left, right, back you up, or turn you around, and eventually you'll learn secret abilities which allow you to progress through each stage's multiple endings. As a mechanic, mousing through images and pictures and occasionally inscribing symbols works quite well with the overall simple nature of the presentation. As images of remembrance, all extremely local and yet simultaneously etherial, the tool is used more as a way of discovery than the typical "puzzle solving" in classics like Myst. Certainly, you'll need to "solve" specific solutions, but the tone here is much more exploratory.

    In these four worlds of dream/remembrance, each is composed of serial pictures of landscapes which though initially often seem mundane (a road at night, an old factory at sunset, etc), flower and unfold into strange and metaphysical landscapes. It's this congruence of the ordinary and the extraordinary that's so powerful in play, and it's easily the remarkable aspect of the game. The hospitalized woman's voice speaks to you (herself) as you explore, in a calm but thoughtful tone, as soft piano plays behind it all. The setting, then, becomes surprisingly moving, as the women's voice, the transcendental pictures, and the events which unfold all serve in an understated manner to draw you in compellingly.

    As a relatively simple experience, TRAUMA lets you discover on your own how to proceed, though it does give you hints as you progress though a variety of Polaroid images scattered through each level. Some teach you the mechanics of drawing symbols to maneuver through the world while others are hints to the multiple "solutions" for each stage. Each of the four stages has four different endings, each of which is able to be experienced multiple times, with the game "ending" when you complete each for the final "Road Less Traveled" stage. If you're a completionist, though many Polaroids are difficult to find, upon completing all the endings for a stage you're granted a new sense which allows you to judge the distance to each remaining Polaroid. It's a useful addition, though as the Polaroids themselves are useful only in helping to obtain all the endings, it's a modest gift. Clocking in at one to two hours, TRAUMA might be slightly more expensive than you might want to pay, though the game itself is certainly fresh. Far and away the most provocative aspect is the ability of the game to transmute what seems like a far-too-normal world into someplace magical. It's a rare treat, accomplished by understated art design, appropriately subdued sound, and a focus on exploration over traditional "puzzle solving." TRAUMA won't knock you over the head - it's far too mature for that. Rather, it seeps into your consciousness as you play, and is quite wonderful given it's simple presentation. If you're looking for strong puzzle mechanics, action, or traditional gameplay, look elsewhere. However, if you're an art-house gamer, interested in seeing what the game-medium can deliver in terms of emotional impact and experimentation, clearly you need to pick this up.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 1, 2011
    3
    Uhmmmm....this game is a trip. I'm still puzzled at what just happened. I'm not even sure if it really qualifies as a "game." I suppose it could qualify as an eye spy adventure puzzler, but that's stretching it. Pick it up as part of the humble pack because I couldn't see buying this as a stand-alone product, but that's just my opinion. Try it and judge for yourself. Full Review »