Achievements, awards, whatever you want to call them... as a gamer, you love trophies. You just do. Many of us are willing to do almost anything for a taste of sweet, sweet digital glory, and Ralph Damiano's (ForTheLoss) latest puzzle platformer Trophiends is going to put that dedication to the test. Your goal through a series of progressively maniacal stages is to get to the trophy at the end. Or, y'know, trophies, since everything is better with friends, and after you've learned the ropes you'll be controlling multiple characters who all move simultaneously. Which might be hard enough if not for the fact that each level is littered with hazards that will put a serious cramp in your victory. Can you handle being both fleet on your feet and trying to wrangle a safe path through spikes, motorized ramps, power-ups, and more? After all, everything's better with a buddy... even if it is explosive death!
Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to control whatever characters you have in the level, and hit [R] to restart if you get yourself stuck. Each stage has its own unique design, so you'll want to make note of things like spikes, switches, floating platforms... and... is that TNT? Seriously? The benefits for whatever these guys signed on for had better be amazing. Regardless, your goal is to get each character to its correspondingly coloured trophy. If more than one character is present, everyone moves at the same time in the same way, though some stages have little floating power-ups you can snag that will As long as at least one character manages to avoid exploding into a shower of pixels, you'll still pass the level no matter how many
bothans pixel dudes died to bring you your victory. Of course, if you want to get a perfect score and eventually unlock something special, you're going to want to try your best to make sure everyone lives and gets a taste of glory.
Trophiends is one of those games where a little planning can go a long way, and simply diving headfirst into a stage without taking proper stock of your surroundings is a good way to get as'ploded. Each stage is carefully, cleverly designed so that it can be finished in a minute or two... as long as you plan ahead. The mechanics here aren't necessarily new, but they're balanced out by such a great simple presentation and a handful of clever additions that it doesn't feel stale. The controls will definitely require you to be more than a little precise with your jumps, but then again, slow and steady wins the race... you know, except if you're standing on a keg of dynamite and there's a spike headed straight for your squishy head. With a level editor to torment your friends and some cunning co-operative puzzle-solving and platforming, Trophiends is a colourful, challenging break from your day. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends.