Sometimes, the best games you play are the unassuming ones. The ones that take you completely by surprise and flip your expectations on their head. Take Triple Take, for example, a platformer with a unique gimmick and plenty of unexpected twists under the hood.
I knew very little about this game heading into it. And because of that, I was pleasantly surprised with the package overall. And in all honesty, Triple Take is a game best experienced with no prior knowledge of it.
I’d encourage you to give it a try yourself instead of reading this little review, really. To quickly summarize, it’s a solid platformer with an interesting stage mechanic and a creepy metafictional horror story. Beyond that, you should experience it for yourself first.
Still reading on? Then let’s continue.
Repetition is its own reward
The first aspect of Triple Take that sticks out is its level design, which ties into its appropriate title. In the game, you traverse a number of short levels where the objective is, of course, to reach the end. But you aren’t done once you beat a level once; you’ll have to complete it three times to move onward.
Don’t worry, it’s not unnecessarily bloated. Each time you beat the level, some elements or blocks are removed, changing the stage’s shape and therefore the way you’re intended to move through it. Some changes may make a platforming challenge tougher, unblock an enemy or hazard, or open up a brand new path.
It’d be very easy for the game to feel incredibly repetitive and boring because of this, but thankfully, Triple Take mostly avoids this. The level variations feel different enough that each journey through is unique, and usually a little more difficult each time.
Take back control
One of the most important parts of a platformer is how it feels to play, both in the controls and your character’s movement. The controls are just fine, but while Triple Take is mostly fine regarding maneuverability, it isn’t perfect.
It’s hard to explain this without playing the game yourself, but I found the acceleration and deceleration in particular to be frustrating at points. With the former being a little too fast and the latter being a little too slow, I never had complete control over my character.
A little more fine-tuning would have made this game feel that much better. That’s important, too, because the levels require some pretty precise platforming on your end. Especially in the later variants of levels, you’ll have a lot of large gaps and tight jumps to make, and if you can’t get past these small control issues, you might have a rough time here.
The meta horror of Triple Take
Here’s again where I’m going to remind you to play this game for yourself if you’re at all interested. I won’t be spoiling anything here, but just know that not everything in Triple Take is at is seems on the surface. There’s some surprising horror and metafictional elements that extend the game’s world beyond what you might think is possible.
It begins fairly normally, with the player interacting with several characters like the hungry Flux and grumbling Trine. Yet quickly, the game’s meta tone becomes apparent with a being who goes by F communicating directly to the player through software error messages. From there, you encounter an evil entity in the game that seeks to escape and destroy the software itself.
The methods Triple Take uses to break the fourth wall are obvious if you’re at all familiar with how games work. Yet they’re still effective, and can take you by surprise. It unfolds the first layers of this metafictional narrative very early on, making it known quickly what direction it wants to take. But without spoiling anything, it still managed to get some shocks out of me with its scares.
With all the twists and turns Triple Take, er, takes, it’s still a solid platformer at its core. Its purposeful repetition serves the meta story well, and for the pure platforming fan, it’s a good if not spectacular time. You may have seen some of these beats before, but this game does them well enough to be worth the short 3-4 hour runtime.