What does the Fox watch?

Our new friend Trifox just wants to unwind at home, but he’s horrified to learn some bad guys have stolen his remote. The cheek of some people!! We all know the lengths to which your average guy will go to find his remote, and Trifox is no exception. Why not just go buy a new remote? Because we need a game to play, not real-world common sense, for cryin’ out loud!

Trifox opens with pictures of the title character’s life scrolling by and a scene of bandits robbing our hero of his precious remote. The game then provides the player with three options for the nature of the hero: Fighter, Mage, or Engineer. Each has different abilities and play styles. There is a sort of skill tree you can use to add new abilities or attacks. The new skills are based on the hero type, but you are not limited to using only your character type skills. This opens some very interesting possibilities regarding strategy, tactics, and replay. One oddity I noticed with the intro movie is that I didn’t find a way to fast forward through it. I mashed every button, and tried the press and hold method, but I just had to sit through a couple minutes of video to get back to the game. The good news is you only have to endure this when you start a new game; so, not too bad.

The visuals are a bit faceted (not realistic/smooth), but they are not overly pixelated. The effect is almost comic bookish and well done. There are plenty of interesting visual elements with lots of vibrant color and good use of light. The game takes our hero through different types of environments, as well, so the developers get to show off their skills a bit.

The audio is really well done. Everything just sounds “right” and works together with the visuals to provide an immersive experience.

Delving into the game play, we find plenty of good and a couple of concerning issues. First, let’s get the concerns out of the way. This game is a platformer, so there is plenty of jumping about. While the action is smooth, the jumps are a bit floaty. They almost seem to be happening a bit too slowly. It isn’t really off-putting, it just requires a mental adjustment from other games which come a bit closer to a normal gravity effect.

The other concern is the camera. With some platformers and adventure games, the player has some control over the camera angle. Trifox doesn’t have this feature. More to the point, the way the camera tracks as you move about doesn’t always provide a good angle or allow you to see what you want to see. There are some places where you are wedged into some tight spots or need to make a jump to a small target, and the camera angle makes it difficult to see how you are oriented or distorts your perspective. This can make it a bit frustrating when you are fighting some critters or need to make a tricky jump.

Now, on to more good stuff. Trifox does offer a tutorial, but it’s limited. This isn’t a bad thing, in this case. The game is pretty straightforward, so a barebones tutorial works just fine. The game does offer a very handy feature—there is a target practice range you can utilize to get used to aiming and controlling your weapons. You also get the aforementioned skill tree. As expected, you will need to run around and collect coins so you can spend them on new skills/weapons.

There are plenty of baddies to shoot/smash/zap and some clever puzzles to solve as you make your way through each level.

Between levels, you get a cut scene which advances the story or shows you your next boss target. As storylines go, Trifox isn’t what we call rich, but it is enough to serve the purpose.

As you get new skills, you have the option to assign your favorite four to your R, ZR, L, and ZL buttons. There are three basic character classes you can play, but you can buy skills from all three so you can mix things up a bit. Don’t forget to explore your surroundings and maybe shoot up some boxes; there are coins and potions hiding in some interesting places. Potions? Oh, yeah, there are potions you can use to restore some health, and, as the mage, use as weapons. As with other platformers, it pays to explore everything.

One thing you need to be wary of is falling. When you have to jump over a ravine to get to the other side because the bridge is out (isn’t that always the way?), we expect the peril of falling to our doom; this is a platformer, after all. What you might not expect is the ability to fall off a perfectly good bridge, cliff, or other precipice. If you fall into the abyss, or even into deep water, you’re toast. You will respawn, but you’ll have to start your coin collection over. Some of the bad guys can fall off a cliff (or get pushed off) so you can win the battle but lose the loot.

The worlds our fox friend has to navigate include some great scenery, fun baddies to fight and some good puzzles. There is little in the way of hints for the puzzles, so there is some running back and forth to get the nature of the thing and to get the steps in the right order. The platformer features are challenging enough to keep you on your toes and there is very good replay time with three character classes and the ability to mix and match your skills.

Anyway, now that I’m done with this, I have to go find my remote. I think it fell down into the couch…at least I hope so.