Overall Score 72%
Jogo Das Traíras
A traíras is, if you didn't know, a pike like Amazonian predatory fish and Jogo Das Traíras is a charming Brazilian game casting the player as one such fish.
The aim is quite simple. As said Traíras, swim through the smoothly scrolling worlds gathering treasure chests. There are crabs and some red fish, presumably pirahnas, that nip away your energy with the pixel perfect collision that comes into play. Our brave fish is not helpless though.
Eat one of the yummy little fishies that swim around helplessly and he can spit a deadly backbone with a press of the space bar.
The cartoon like graphics and animation are just right. We are treated to a different background on each level, and background objects like the seaweed are animated too. There aren't many frames there, a death animation would have helped, but what is there is drawn as well as any animator could. The sound is rather lacking, there are only about four sounds effects and the main, snapping, sound is more like a camera click than a 'bite' noise. Some ambient noise would have improved the game too.
Like all games played in a window, sometimes the graphics are going to flicker a bit, and the fading scene change when entering a door or one of the sand castles sometimes looks a bit strange, but the game play is not affected.
For a desktop game the game plays quite well. There are not many play-in-a-window games that capture the attention for more than one or two games but I found myself filling up the high score table and more. The difficulty level is just about perfect. There are few random elements yet I died in a different place each game, a good sign. The levels can be large and there are colour coded keys and doorways to add a simple puzzle element. In Traíras, how far you get and how much you score actually matters.
Ultimately Traíras is a simple game. There are probably a few java games like this on the web for free but for one dollar, yes just one, you get a multi level scrolling arcade adventure that will at very least kill a few lunch break minutes.
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