User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 50
  2. Negative: 17 out of 50
  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. Expand
  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.
    Expand
  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.
  4. Jan 27, 2012
    5
    The thought of a traditional point'n'click adventure where your take your journey into the mind of a car crash victim sounded intriguing. Experiencing dreams, subjective memories, looking at hidden allegories while trying to understand, piece together a traumatized mind is a great idea - I was instantly reminded of how great was the old adventure "Sanitarium", so I decided to give Trauma a chance. Unfortunately, the game is too ambitious for what it delivers. You don't really piece together anything, you're more an spectator than a player or an explorer. The main character ain't properly explored, you don't get to know her. The game feels unrewarding and, really, is very short. As a game, Trauma isn't awful, but it's lacking. Had some great ideas, but didn't use 'em well. Expand
  5. Oct 5, 2011
    1
    I really thought that I was in for a different type of game when I started playing this. I wasn't disappointed at all. I really believe I would rather watch paint dry, than submit myself to more than the 15 minutes that I wasted playing this polished turd. Other than the eerie music, and the pretty good photos that's all this game is about. I don't need a game to remind me of how devastating death can be, since we "all" face it. Please don't even suggest this to a family member or a friend. I promise, you aren't missing a thing if you are of average to higher than average intellect! Expand
  6. Oct 5, 2011
    0
    Not much of a game; not much of a game at all.

    There has been some 'interesting' hype and slick marketing around what looks to me to be very little more than four flashplayer scripts, a couple of cutscenes and some silly learnable mouse symbols. To my semi-trained eye, this looks to me more like a student development exercise than a real game ... so I feel robbed ! It took me 15-20
    minutes to finish - almost less time than it took to download. 15-20 minutes of gameplay, 15-20 whole minutes!! And It's mostly simple-minded with very little to puzzle over other than why the developers bothered. Most demos I've tried recently (Trine, Limbo) take longer than this to explore and complete! I find it hard to say anything positive simply because I feel so badly ripped off but let me try and provide some balance to this review.

    Great Visuals +1
    Interesting use of mouse 'symbols' +1

    but ...

    Gameplay / Value for money -1
    Obtuse hype/advertising/marketing -1

    If this had been a demo, or a tech/art showcase with some accompanying warnings about shallow gameplay I would have had more sympathy for the developers, but to market this as a finished game seems to me to be a great great shame.
    Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2012
    6
    6 points for an unconventional story with a lot of emotional aspects, for unconventional game playing where you have to draw what you want. And the other points: graphics and sound ok, lenght ok. I had fun with it and would recommend this one for all who take care of different ideas!
  8. Aug 21, 2012
    3
    This is more interactive experience and less the point and click adventure that the description makes it out to be. The 'gameplay' mechanics involve you wondering threw dreams, depicted by photographs, by using the mouse and gestures. The idea behind it is a very intriguing one & it certainly caught my attention ,& whilst what you have on offer is executed fairly well, the content is far too unsubstantial (15 - 30minutes worth of gameplay) and the psychological analysis isn't engaging enough to make this game nearly worth the £5 asking price. It'll keep your attention the duration of the game, but given the length that isn't saying much; if 'Trauma' was a free Flash App I'd be recommending it without hesitation because of it's unique atmosphere and premise but as it is I really cannot recommend this to anyone & I say that as someone who loves experimental of games. + Great Atmosphere
    + Strong music & visual design
    + Story is and psychological analysis of dreams is intriguing - Shallow gameplay
    - Incredibly short at only 15 - 30minutes
    - Premise isn't fully realized and the psychological analysis isn't as deep as one would hope
    - No WOW factor, this is what experience games rely on, this will not open your mind
    - Poor Value For Money
    Expand
  9. Apr 22, 2013
    7
    I really liked this. The woman's voice is so authentic and sad. It leaves you thinking. You can finish this in about 10 minutes, but can last hours if you really take the time to explore. Interesting concept, left me wanting to play over and over to find new paths to discover more of her story and commentary.
  10. Dec 4, 2011
    1
    Insanely boring and easy "puzzle" game. Once you play the 4 "levels" and get the "secret" on each of them you can easily go back though each level and find the other endings and photos. The story is boring as hell and was not interesting at all. It is really easy, boring and absolutely not worth your time.
  11. Jan 23, 2012
    9
    I truly liked Trauma. Sure, its deep concepts didn't hit me hard, but I still enjoyed them more than the 'deep meaning' that some people fit into other pieces of literature. I think the concept, while kinda funky, is still pretty great. If you haven't - play this game. It takes like, 20 minutes.
  12. Jun 1, 2012
    0
    Holy crap. I have a bad habit of calling indie games hipster trash, but this game is like the epitome of awful, pretentious, and is full to the brim with content that is 2deep4u. The "gameplay" is essentially clicking around on an image to achieve a goal, such as lifting a boulder off a teddy bear. You do this with mouse gestures that you essentially have to figure out on the spot, with no tutorial or directions or anything. This game might have been good as a puzzle game, but instead of thinking to achieve a goal, you just fumble around with the mouse to get the correct gesture, at which point the game says "oh well done!" and you get to move on to the next static image to doodle on fruitlessly. There is pretty much no story, and I didnt actually know what was going on in the game until someone else told me. Don't buy for the love of god. Expand
  13. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    Trauma is a brilliant game that has elements of beauty, especially in the music, sounds, and aesthetics, but especially in writing. It is slightly twisted, but that makes it all the much better, as anyone that has been through a car crash would be. Exploration and gameplay is very unique, and was not meant to solely be entertaining necessarily, like most games are, but to be intriguing, which it does so quite well. It is a game that requires a level of maturity and understanding, as it is quite deep (for a lack of a better word).

    The gameplay is after all defined by elements of the crash that were part of her mind. Her camera in the seat of the car is what creates the images that make up the game, and the lights of the car create the symbols that are drawn. It is a puzzle game indeed, and point-and-click, but yet the game has its own style.

    I heavily disagree with those who claim it isn
    Expand
  14. May 9, 2013
    3
    Simply said, I did not like this game. It seemed to me that the "artist" behind it, felt the need to feel very "artsy" and "original" with this game, but in the end what he ended up is something really messy. The gameplay is clicking through the pictures, which were taken from many angles. Not the most fun gameplay mechanic as you could imagine. The next gameplay aspect is to look for symbols that you can draw, which are usually on some Polaroid pictures, hidden somewhere (but not really hidden). The final part is to apply these symbols to an object, to complete the stage. That's all, that's all there is to the gameplay. There's obviously a story, but it's nothing that stands out from many indie film producers..basically, it's nothing great, its just ok.
    It took me 40 minutes to complete the game. Mobile games from year 2000 took longer to complete than that, and that's saying something (unless you're too young to know what mobile games in 2000 were like). I basically completed it without much effort, because all you could do is find the object you need to apply the symbol to, and from there you could try all symbols in a row, or even just swiping random things across the screen and game registering that as a symbol, the correct one for that matter (that really is what happened to me).
    To conclude, this game is pointless, I do not recommend it at all.
    And if you wish to see my full playthrough of it, you can see it here:
    http://www.thehshow.com/2012/01/indie-play-trauma_22.html
    Expand
  15. Apr 13, 2012
    7
    Trauma won't keep you busy for very long. You'll be done with it within an hour, even with finding all of the pictures and alternative endings. This is where I think more effort should have been taken. I like the main presentation and concept, and I love the overall atmosphere. But it's just too short to be completely immersed by, don't expect to end up feeling completely satisfied or blown away. Still, it does has that indie feel the way that games like Flower or the even shorter than this game Linger in Shadows have. So most of the score has to be attributed to artistic value, which still makes this game a nice experience as far as I'm concerned. Expand
  16. Jan 2, 2013
    9
    Может ли сон стать обезболивающим средством для окружающей действительности, а хаотичная мозговая деятельность вывести смотрителя сновидения на путь решения жизненных вопросов? Одни забываются навсегда, другие на долгое время поселяются в голове. Прислушивайтесь к своим ночным путешествиям. Expand
  17. Nov 22, 2012
    8
    A unique experience and an experimental way to navigate make this an interesting game. You click through pictures, somewhat like the old Myst games, to unlock memories. You can use symbols to make special moves and the story becomes clearer with every item you find. The ambiance is simply amazing with great voice-acting and music as well as clear pictures that really let you feel the scenes. Sadly, even with the additional content to unlock besides beating the four levels, this will be done in an hour to one and a half. Would have liked a few more levels for the full price but I still really enjoyed playing this and would like a sequel. This is a very special kind of game so you may want to have a look at it before buying it yourself. Expand
  18. Mar 8, 2014
    7
    Photography, movie, poetry (why not?)...
    Trauma is a very different and interesting game, where you travel through four dreams of a girl in a hospital, after a road accident. You travel by clicks and mouse gestures - like road lights in motion - in still worlds/dreams made of photographs and short cinematics.

    You're are searching for one of the four ways to leave these dreams, one
    uncovering part of a cinematic of that girl at the hospital, three more additional ends for each dream, and a collection of polaroid photos, uncovering tips and little insights for the girl's past and thoughts.

    It is not a great story, but the mood is mysterious and cool.
    Created on Flash for web, so you can't expect great graphics resolutions and resources, but it still an unique experience.
    Expand
  19. Jul 20, 2013
    4
    An interesting experience, but not much of a game. The music and visuals are excellent, but that's about all Trauma has to offer. Although the game creates a convincing sense of unease, I found the supposed deep concepts to be as underwhelming as the actual gameplay. Don't bother 100%ing the game either. It takes significantly longer than playing through the main game and adds very little to the story.

    If interested in trying Trauma, I'd suggest playing the game for free on the developer site (ww.traumagame.com). It's the full version and if you aren't satisfied at least it didn't cost you anything.
    Expand
  20. Oct 14, 2013
    6
    This game is more of an interactive glimpse into the author's head than a game. There are no rewards, no real ending, and it poses a lot of questions but never answers them. This might sound like a bad thing, but it fits the "interactive experience" style perfectly.

    The graphics, music, and voice acting are all very fitting, although the animations sometimes seem jarring in a world made
    of photographs.

    The cinemas felt a bit lacking, and the game lacked content. It is composed entirely of four small dreams, each with a primary goal and three alternate goals. It only takes about half an hour to explore each dream and complete the main objectives, and under two hours to get 100%.

    If you get this game as part of a bundle, it's worth your time to play through it, but I wouldn't pay full price ($7) for it.
    Expand
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.