TransDimensional


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Rating: 3.6/5 (104 votes)
| Comments (30) | Views (36)

corygalliherTransdimensionalIt's not a well-publicized fact, but we here at JayIsGames spend a lot of our time hopping between dimensions. You might even call it a hobby. We fund our massive office parties through jaunts to the Dinero Dimension, load up on snacks from the Elemental Plane of Nachos and relax in the Waterbed Universe when it's all over. It should come as no surprise, then, that we felt a certain kinship with the robotic hero of TransDimensional, a new platform adventure game from Willem Rosenthal.

Our hero is an employee of the Trans-Dimensional Personal and Business Travel Agency. He can go about his job by using the [left] and [right] keys to walk around, [Z] to jump, [C] or [down] to interact with the environment and [shift] to carry items. When he's eventually armed, our robotic buddy can use his weapon with [X] and aim with [up] and [down].

It doesn't take long for our metal friend's first job for Trans-Dimensional to go wrong and he's thrown into another dimension thanks to some malfunctioning hardware. He finds himself in a strange land of bureaucrats, scientists and hippies. It's your job to lead him home...or at least as close to home as he can get!

TransdimensionalAnalysis: Anyone who's played the classic SNES game Earthbound will feel right at home with TransDimensional. The two have a fair amount in common, from their styles of humor to their styles of music; even the scenes when you die are almost identical in both games. There's a certain air of irreverent weirdness about the proceedings that makes TransDimensional feel like something special.

Graphically, the game follows an abstract retro aesthetic. Everything's pleasing to the eye and bizarre enough that it's enjoyable to keep going just to see what strange environment might pop up next. The real highlight of the presentation, though, is the music. It's pretty darn catchy for what might just be random MIDI notes.

In terms of gameplay, TransDimensional is a fairly straightforward platformer. Instant death spikes and pits abound, but the game's far too short for these to become all that aggravating. While you're given a gun fairly early on, it doesn't see a whole lot of use and the majority of the challenges are based around platforming instead of combat. The game's physics are nicely balanced and avoid the "floatiness" that plagues a lot of indie platformers, so while there will probably be a fair amount of falling, it's generally due to player error rather than the game. This can still frustrating but it's much easier to correct.

TransDimensional's unique presentation is pulled off well enough that it's certainly worth a look. At around 20 minutes long, it doesn't require much of a time investment and fans of platformers are bound to have a good time hopping between dimensions. And you won't have to visit the Elemental Plane of Nachos. The cheddar elementals there are killer.

Play TransDimensional

30 Comments

Carny Asada Author Profile Page August 20, 2011 2:51 PM

Artwork is great; controls a little counterintuitive (and sluggish). What I'd really like is a reset button. Waiting to die when I've put my robot in an untenable position is boring.

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Seems very nice, but I found a bug that made me stop playing: at some point of the game (coming out of the kitchen through a door) I pressed some combination of keys (like, going through the door while jumping and moving around) and suddenly I appeared in the first screen of the game where the alien lady talks to you and she was like "why are you still here" and then suddenly she started allover with the tutorial. Booh :(

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 5:14 PM

During the part where you first get the T-Drive and have to jump across those bodies of water, I made it to the last platform with the door but I landed on the corner. Then the screen started shaking as if it were an earthquake - not sure if this was scripted in the game or not and my bot fell off the edge into the water below. He hit the bottom and the warp sound started playing (as if you had fell into the water) but the warp animation didn't play and the bot walked to the left of the screen and the game froze.

I had already gone through the game once though so I still think it's a pretty fun game that is tricky at times but there are a few bugs I've run into.

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I got a bug as well. After picking up a lamp, I got stuck in a chute going into the next screen.

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shadowmax Author Profile Page August 20, 2011 6:14 PM

After drowning either the robot or the lamp for the 10th time, I pass. Having to hold the shift so as not to lose the lamp while moving and jumping in just the right spot is too much for me today. I like a challenge, but 'you got *arcade* in my *adventure*' :P. Maybe tomorrow.

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Waiting for my character to die when he, say, falls into hot tar or whatever goo it is when he's carrying the lamp around is very, very boring. I'm typing this out in a seperate tab while his health ever so slowly goes down. If it happens again I'll probably quit, even though I know I could use the 'scene selection' to go anywhere in the game.

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I didn't ever die in the lamp-carrying passage, so I can't really say I agree with the aforementioned bugs.. but I think the last part of the game, with the left/right blowing wind, was REALLY annoying. You move in a way that makes it quite hard to stay on a plateform when the wind's blowing, and it is just frustrating.
And, oh, god, why did it have to end like this ? This game had really a lot of potential.. I was looking forward at least a new dimension to explore. The ambiance was very good, and TransDimensional reminded me of the good old SNES games. I'm a bit disappointed that it was way too short, and that I didn't get to go in the ' Come back when you've finished the game ' room that looked interesting. But, well, I give it 4 mushrooms.

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The "come back when you've finished the game" room gives you

a flamethrower. Which seems rather pointless as it still doesn't kill those annoying spiky plants and there is, in general, nothing to do with it, unless I've missed something...

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 8:17 PM

What? It ends at the mountains? The game looked like an adventure game, then a shooter-platformer and now it needs people to demand a sequel. At least I'll give 5/5 for the effort.

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I really did not like this game. I almost feel cheated, though I know it is a free game made for my benefit.
The game's platforming mechanics work, but not well. Jumps are sometimes not reacted to, and the characters aerial movement speed doesnt make much sense. This would be fine if the game didnt contain such an unforgiving ice level. The death screen was also annoying to load and made me more frustrated than I would have been without it. The ending was also extremely unsatisfying.
Upon my second playthrough in order to get into the secret room I decided to take a different path. Since I knew I was going to fall in the water anyway I just decided to go back the way I came instead of the alternate route. As soon as I walked into the water the screen flashed pink and then went to black. Clicking still brought up the instruction screen. The game had potential but it feels so unfinished.

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G.H.Fount Author Profile Page August 20, 2011 10:52 PM

How do I get to the other side of the mayor's cave?

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 11:15 PM

G. H. You need to convince the mayor to use it.

Hint:

You need an item from the lab

The lab felt like it was going to be a hub after the fire mission.

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Carny Asada Author Profile Page August 20, 2011 11:35 PM

Well, it did hook me enough that I came back for a second try. But to be honest, it makes me appreciate how genius the "Robot Wants..." games were.

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so it's mostly walking around talking to people and carrying stuff, then two brutal platforming levels, and that's the whole game? why did i need to learn to throw that other robot's head? why was i able to carry garlic around in the kitchen but not take it to the hungry guy in the next room? i guess i'm missing something.

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Didn't really like this game. The opening dialog nearly killed me.

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ThenAgain Author Profile Page August 21, 2011 10:04 AM

If you go through door 24a, no matter what you do, it would appear you end up falling in the water. There's an earthquake that freezes your controls and pushes you into the water.

Forced linear gameplay when two options are available. Why even pretend you're going to let me go where I want if you're just going to rail road me into the water.

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baramburum Author Profile Page August 21, 2011 1:51 PM

Dialogs are annoying, but game if very classic and funny. Thanks.

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Littleghost Author Profile Page August 21, 2011 3:55 PM

ThenAgain,
The accident is the premise of the adventure, just roll with it. You should be taken to another dimension, but you may have a glitch.

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Littleghost Author Profile Page August 21, 2011 3:59 PM

Getting across the mayor's cave chasms is way too hard. Any hints?

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Try jumping when the wind blows to the left. You'll go farther.

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You can make every jump without being pushed by the wind. Just be patient, and be careful with the few last plateforms ; they can be hidden by clouds.

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Littleghost Author Profile Page August 21, 2011 6:03 PM

Yeah, I knew that beforehand, just needed to persevere. Short game for one with such potential.

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Anonymous August 22, 2011 12:13 AM

I thought it was more like Cave Story than Earthbound. Many similar sounds and the smoke effect when you fall into the spikes. Only the game over screen really was like Earthbound.

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Anonymous August 22, 2011 4:17 AM

I can't seem to reliably jump forward while holding items. I can't jump vertically with them without fail, but I never need to do that. I need to move forward and jump and I can't, lest the stars align.

Given that and the complaints that fill over half this page, I'm not going to try any further. 1/5 only because 0/5 isn't possible.

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So it ends at that? Grr.....

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I really wish there were more checkpoints. After getting killed on the top part of the level with the dandelion spores, I don't want to repeat the whole screen. (And for some reason, there's a point on the screen where the instructions keep popping up in between two dandelions, though maybe it's just that I keep accidentally clicking my mouse there.)

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Game has potential and I liked the art, but awkward controls (constantly holding shift) and no option to change them killed it. Not only I'm lefty who usually likes his own key-mappings, but any non-american will have problems with 'z' vs 'y' keyboard placement.

To any eventual game developer who reads this - please add remapping option, you'll solve more than one problem with one shot and your players would appreciate it a lot!

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Anonymous August 24, 2011 4:30 AM

Why the hell is everybody complaining about how terrible the controls are? seemed feasible to me...

(although it could have something to do with me using an xbox 360 controller...)

also with all the complaints of not wanting to redo all the tedious playthrough just to get to the secret room after beating the game, have any of you even read the pause menu?

you can just scene select to the part where you want and then get to the secret room.

complain complain complain. sheesh. now I'll never know what the flame thrower is for...

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HipsterSharkWitch Author Profile Page September 10, 2011 9:19 PM

I gave up after dying again and again being stabbed by those spikey plants. There are certain ones you can't even jump over, and they drain half my health. I don't have the patience for this.

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There's one rather annoying bug - I can't hold on to any item while going from one room to another - the robot drops whatever he's carrying, thus it's impossible to bring items with you.

Too much frustration with the whole holding on to things - shame, because the game is charmingly put together.

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