Sparsity and Thought Pays off in Trick Art
The game’s name explains it all. The term “trick art” refers to paintings that act as illusions, giving the impression that the objects in them really exist. It’s an art form that forces the observer to participate and to shift their perspectives.
Trick Art tells the story of Aiden, a lost boy in search of his parents. Each story beat is split neatly into chapters, all with their own setting, build up and climax, usually in the shape of a disturbing creature that triggers some amount of megalophobia. There’s a refreshing disregard for complexity and difficulty in Trick Art; while there are puzzles that take some thought to solve, it’s not a game that will force you to mash your fingers against your smartphone. At the end of the day, Trick Art won’t be remembered due to it’s replayability or challenging gameplay; what will stay with you is the experience, which is among the most memorable you’ll find in mobile gaming.
If You’re Looking for Something Different, Look No Further.
Trick Art’s controls and mechanics are simple. In each chapter you’ll find your character wandering through a different dream/memory. To move, you’ll simply touch where you want your character to go. There’s no action button that allows you to interact with your surroundings or jump. On the right corner of the screen there’s a small hint button that sometimes indicates the direction you’re supposed to take and highlights points of interest on the map.
The challenging bits of the game involve interacting with parts of the map that look like one thing but are another. Spotting them is easy, since they stand out clearly from their surroundings. In order to move forward, you’ll have to rearrange the pieces and create a way forward. As you move along through Aiden’s journey you’ll collect pieces of photographs that provide some backstory and give your brain plenty of room to wonder. Although the game’s ending might not be satisfactory for everyone, Trick Art’s art direction and elegant puzzles prove how unique it is a couple of chapters in. Competing video games could learn a thing or two from it.
Lots of Mind-Bending Maps and Nostalgia
The pay to play features on Trick Art are inescapable. While you won’t have to pay if you don’t want to,every time you lose, you’ll be forced to watch a brief ad if you wish to continue or if you don’t want to lose your progress. Although this quickly becomes annoying, I understand the reasoning behind the decision. Trick Art is all about mood and tension, with the map being carefully balanced and purposefully sparse. A colorful Candy Crush ad bursting in the middle of a boss fight isn’t ideal.
Trick Art is a smart game, one that will leave your screen and bother you when you’re out doing other stuff. It’s the rare Android game that has staying power, be that due to the disturbing boss fights or to the sense of melancholy that it potently evokes.
Trick Art is the rare Android game that succeeds in doing something different. Although the mechanics and story lose some of their initial shock the more you play them, the design, monsters and feeling will stay with you long after you’ve completed the game.