Despite what the game tittle may suggest, you need no advanced degree in geometry to enjoy Dreamoji’s new action 2D platformer, but a good grasp of parabolas will certainly help with the hundreds of jumps you will be executing to conquer it. Little Triangle is a game of two halves and far more than meets the eye...
Invasion! Of the alien sort! An entire society of anthropomorphised geometric shapes sent to the verge of destruction faster than you could spell ‘Isosceles’. But from the ashes of angular destruction, one triangle decided he'd had enough. It was time to take back the XY plane. A blue bandanna on his top vertex and some red pants covering his base later, he begins his heroic adventure to rescue the remaining triangles. Who knew geometry could be this intense?
The single-player campaign goes all out with the classic platformer tropes: You get to tackle three zones (Factory, Temple and Jungle) of increasing difficulty with the very first level of Factory acting as the tutorial. True to the roots of the type of games it is paying homage, the titular geometric hero can move left or right, jump and double-jump, all with the control accuracy expected from the very best this genre has to offer. There are no other special powers or upgrades during the entire single-player portion of the game and despite the ability to jump on top of some enemies to deal them a mortal blow, more often than not avoiding them altogether is a far safer strategy.
This small set of skills allows the Shangai developer to really showcase why this game will keep you coming back for more, again and again: level design. With each new level, new elements such as enemies and hazards are introduced not just for the sake of difficulty but to enable you to improve on your skills, making sure he has a fighting chance when facing the several bosses that have your three-pointed hero being chased across perilous terrain.
On each level you have a set number of diamonds to collect. In the early levels you will easily be able to collect them all, but eventually you will need to develop a sort of sixth sense about secrets. The game rewards the player who thinks slightly outside the box, with a slew of invisible walls covering not only extra diamonds but also fellow triangles you need to rescue. Not only are the diamonds currency that will allow you to unlock extra hard festival levels, you can actually play as any of the triangles you rescue.
Considering there are over 60 of these to collect, should you become tired of the main red pants wearing nameless triangle nothing will prevent you from picking a brand new three pointed persona to carry the mission. Be warned; Dreamoji likes to hide secrets within secrets so make sure that hidden area you just discovered is truly cleared before moving on. We find ourselves not only discovering unlockable mini-games that mix up the core gameplay, but also a fourth wall-breaking programmer’s room.
The second half of Little Triangle is the local multiplayer, for up to four triangles. The same precise controls from the single-player campaign make a return in several competitive modes that turn the hardcore platformer experience in a causal party riot. Some of these modes surprisingly even allow weaponry that would be very welcome in a few choice spots of the single player adventure. This is a very welcome, often overlooked addition considering the nature of Switch and adds considerable value to the already generous package.
It is evident that presentation was an important aspect for the developer; the 2D cartoon world is filled with intricate details such as dozens of posters on the wall of the Factory level calling out for rebellion or the (not so kid friendly) piles of fallen triangle corpses that show the aftermath of the invasion. Yet, unexpectedly, it is your very own triangular hero that was given some particular attention, infused with a personality that is accented by little details. Just like the platforming heroes of the bygone 16-bit era, idle animations give him an unexpected charm and his facial expression when near dangerous hazards or ledges just add to his accidental heroic charisma. The sound and musical aspect of the game is also way above average, with some particular beautiful music on the festival levels. For a game named after the simplest of geometry shapes, the audio-visual package certainly delivers far more bang-for-your-buck than one would expect.
Little Triangle snugly fits among the other great 2D platforming games currently available on Switch. Despite not reaching the same high level of Celeste or Slime-san it still manages to deliver a compelling, addictive ‘just one more go’ single player challenge with tight controls and a very generous portion of content. If you happen to have some friends or family to play with you, the hardcore platformer turns into a casual two to four triangle party at a flick of a Switch. Charming, challenging yet never frustrating to the levels of the designed to do so Super Meat Boy, this little triangle that could might just turn you into a geometry fan for life. Recommended from every angle.