Developed by Gatling Goat Studios
Published by Adult Swim Games
Available On PC
In Traverser, the new game from Swedish studio Gatling Goat Studios, you play Valerie Bennet, daughter of Raven Corporation employee/inventor Linus Bennet. The sun has died and forced mankind to move underground. Now, Raven Corporation controls breathable air, holding it like a bribe above the heads of the citizens.
Valerie is training to become a Traverser, someone who can travel between upper and lower Brimstone. On the day of her final test, her father, Linus, is sick to the point that he can’t get a new air tank, and sends Valerie to meet Phil Air, the air tank salesman. After replacing the tank, Valerie is off to do the final test. The test serves as an introduction of sorts, teaching you the controls and the ins and outs of the ‘Gravity Gun’; a specialized weapon that allows Valerie to manipulate crates and other objects to solve puzzles.
After passing the test, Valerie rushes home to tell her father, but discovers the house has been ransacked, and Linus is missing. She discovers a note from Phil Air and decides to go meet him in town. Phil then formulates a plan to send Valerie to lower Brimstone to meet a Raven Corporation employee who might be able to help, but to what end?
The graphic style of this game can best be described as Victorian in scope. Buildings seem to lean over the street, creating a very dark, dingy atmosphere and the dreary colors really lend to this. You feel as though you are in a funk and it’s a great job done by the art department in creating an atmosphere that breeds this sort of leeching feeling to the end user.
The sound sets the mood perfectly. It looms in the background, a very good mix of lonely desolation, but somehow weaving a feeling of hope into it; drawing you more into the game, keeping you playing. It does a very good job of always being there, but never distracting you. It’s never overpowering to the point where you need to adjust it to focus. A lot of games fall down in this area, but Traverser is not one of them.
The game also utilizes a very minimalistic style for the display. There’s no health bar, which sounds like it would be clunky in a game like this, but it works tremendously. It uses a very intuitive design of having the screen fade to a darker and darker shade of red as Valerie takes damage. There was no need to explain it to the player, it just made sense.
Traverser is sure to be a hit when it comes to PC. It has a mix of great graphics, a wonderful musical pairing, and a well-thought out display. The story is very accessible, and the dialogue is well-written, with a hearty mix of jokes and plot. Add the logic puzzles, the intoxicating boss fights, and the ability to throw garbage around willy nilly (seriously), and you’ve got the recipe for an exciting, engaging experience.