It'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!
Analysis: 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.