An elaborate puzzle challenge combined with an unconventional story.
User reviews:
Mixed (505 reviews) - 68% of the 505 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 8, 2011

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About This Game

TRAUMA tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity - such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents. TRAUMA lets you experience those dreams in an interactive way, reminiscent of Point-and-Click Adventure Games. It builds upon this established formula by introducing a gesture-based interface, real-time 3D technology for dynamic level layouts, unique photographic visuals and a level design philosophy that focuses on creating a rich experience rather than an elaborate puzzle challenge. Combined with the unconventional story, it is aimed to be a compact and deep game for a literate and mature audience.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor:2.0 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • DirectX®:5.0
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor:2.0 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (505 reviews)
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379 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
TRAUMA is very much an arthouse game, and as vague as that is it should tell you right away if you'll have the patience for it. There's no deep gameplay or clear story to be found here, just a lot of clicking and speculation. This is by no means a bad thing, as I will expand upon, but its not going to be for everyone.

The title refers to the car accident and subsequent hospitalization of the main character, a terribly disaffected European woman. You'll be playing through her dreams as she lies in her hospital bed, mulling over the choices she's made in life. The game is divided into four dreams, each presented as a series of still photographs. Clicking on hotspots or gesturing with the mouse moves you from one photograph to the next, simulating movement through the celluloid environment. You've probably played something like it on a Flash site, where someone took a bunch of pictures of the alley next to their house and cobbled them into a 10-minute adventure game.

TRAUMA is a little more involved than that, thankfully. Each dream has a goal that must be accomplished using a special gesture learned in that dream. These gestures can also be used in other dreams to unlock alternate endings and paths. In addition to the goal and three alternate endings, each dream also contains nine photographs to find within the photographed world. Some of these give additional background on your character's life, some teach new gestures for moving around, and some give clues to the alternate endings. They can be tricky to find due to the wonky angles of some scenes, but getting all the endings for a dream unlocks a "photo sense" that gives you vague but useful feedback on how far away a photo is.

During your explorations, your character will narrate what you see in her best deadpan Bjork voice. A lot of this is philosophical meandering like wondering if she's every really connected with anyone, but it makes a good backdrop for your actual meandering. The environments are also more than just photo club art projects, with some limited CG added for dreamlike features. Overall it's the atmosphere of TRAUMA that most appeals to me, the combination of quiet, unaffected musing with a journey through familiar scenes made alien by the way they are chopped into stills. The audio does a lot to prop up this feeling, with understated sound effects and a low minimalist soundtrack that's just the right amount of menacing.

Despite the appeal, I still have some bones to pick with the design. Like with any photographic adventure game, some of the connections between scenes don't make a whole lot of sense. Some clicks will tilt your head a little, others will send you into the next zip code. The fourth dream in particular has a layout that is sure to aggravate, with multiple transitions that could only be accomplished with teleportation. And don't expect any sort of explicit resolution or pathos to the story, because you're either going to get a total non-ending or a slightly cryptic non-ending, depending on if you find all the photographs.

If you've read this far and are still with me, TRAUMA is probably a game that will hold your interest. There's only an hour or so of exploration total, but it nails that dreamworld feel that so many games shoot for and miss. And if you do dive into it, maybe you can extract more from the story than I could. I appreciate unique experiences in games, and while TRAUMA might not be groundbreaking or even deep in its gameplay, there's enough to see and feel to make it a worthwhile experience.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
"Trauma" is more a visual art project shaped as a point'n'click adventure than a conventional game. IMHO, a great, quite succesful experiment, with a surprising game mechanic I had never seen before and a dreamy, surrealistic atmosphere.

Having said that, the game is quite short, so try to get it at a discount.
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38 of 50 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 8, 2015
Trauma is a very artsy puzzle-adventure kind of game.

Graphics 6 of 10
The graphics consist mainly of photo-shots of urban everyday areas. I’d say they're okayish. For an indie game developer that's ok. Still feels old school.

Gameplay 5 of 10
You navigate through the photo-shots and you manipulate various objects with gestures /signs. Think of the swiping movements you do with your fingers on a smartphone...but here you do it with a mouse. Which is in no way intuitive or comfortable. It’s meant to be an adventure game, but it's not very adventurous to me. The areas where you are allowed to do something are sparse. And so you click your way through the artsy still photo-shots...while a tragic little story unfolds. On the plus side the atmosphere is quite nice and feels dreamlike and obscure at times.

Sound 6 of 10
The voice of the actress is quite well done. Music is almost nonexistent.

Final verdict
I would not recommend this game. Although it has its moments and the story is bittersweet, the gameplay just doesn't feel right, the puzzles are way too easy and it's extremely short and can be accomplished in like 45 minutes
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29 of 36 people (81%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2013
Photography, movie, poetry (why not?)...
Trauma is a very different and interesting game, where you travel through four dreams of a girl in a hospital, after a road accident. You travel by clicks and mouse gestures - like road lights in motion - in still worlds/dreams made of photographs and short cinematics.

You're are searching for one of the four ways to leave these dreams, one uncovering part of a cinematic of that girl at the hospital, three more additional ends for each dream, and a collection of polaroid photos, uncovering tips and little insights for the girl's past and thoughts.

It is not a great story, but the mood is mysterious and cool.
Created on Flash for web, so you can't expect great graphics resolutions and resources, but it still an unique experience.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Less of a game, more of an interactive story.
The gameplay is based on navigating trough a set of dreams and finding a sigil to use in the right area. Each dream contains a single sigil, but can be solved with every one of them leading to different revelations. The game can end via solving all dreams once, but discovering all revelations will unlock a secret ending.
Dreams can be solved in a non-sequential manner and although navigation can be confusing at times it also makes it easy to tackle a different dream and come back later on.
Overall an enjoyable brief and casual experience, that manages to deliver its message.
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22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2015
A creative, inventive, and intelligent experiment ... that ultimately fails.

First off, the price tag is cheeky. I'm sure a lot of effort went into making this game, but the same is true for many independent games that are cheap or free. Some humility is in order here.

The mix of photography and film is gorgeous and very evocative, though calling it "real-time 3D technology" is plain deceptive, because the scenes are all in 2D. The voice acting is good enough, the music forgettable but fitting.

Make no mistake, despite the artistic pretense this is intended to be a playable game. As such, it's a bad one: a very hard hidden-object game with "secrets" instead of puzzles. The game might take a few hours to complete if you play it without a walkthrough, but those would be frustrating hours for most of us.

(Note that I am talking about completing the whole game. You can also breeze through it in 45 minutes without seeing much of the secret content and alternate endings of chapters. When reviews say this game is "short and easy," that's what they mean. The whole game is very hard.)

The problem is that the difficulty of finding the collectible objects (photographs) is due entirely to the incredibly obtuse navigation controls: the player is not otherwise presented with challenges requiring creative thought. The perspective is first person, but your normal sense of direction will confuse rather than guide you, because the photographic angles tell you almost nothing about which direction you will be heading or what exits are available. The map you should be building in your head would be a tree-like structure of locations that has almost nothing to do with the physical layout. You'll miss objects not because you are a bad detective, but because you have no idea how to get to where you want to go.

Even with a walkthrough I cannot recommend this game. The revealed secrets do not cohere into a meaningful narrative or image: it's just a few fragments from the life, memories, and observations of a young, middle-class, female European university student. Despite the poetic pomp, there's nothing deep about her mutterings. There is potential for a deeper meaning, but it is left undeveloped.

I'm happy that developers experiment with video games and try to move beyond our expectations of how they should look and feel. In this case, it didn't work out, and it would be nice if the developers acknowledge this and set a more appropriate price tag.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Well that's a flash game at steam, very atmospheric, kind of depressing but still interesting to play and explore.

+Very nice voice work - i like that girl actor voice, it brings that charm to the game.
+A lot of things to explore - multiple endings at each level, a lot of hidden stuff to explore
+Unusual game - unusual controls you have to discover, confusing stuff happening around you. Pretty interesting.
+Cant say its too short or too long - 2 hours is enough to complete the whole game, unless you stuck with finding last parts, well then google is your friend.
-Kinda derpessing, well you were informed.
-Flash game problems - doesnt support steamcloud - if you delete the game, after some years you will have to unlock everything all over again
-No steamcards or achievements

Got this game years ago in some bundle, well its a great buy if this will be put on discount.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
Trauma is pretty much a point-and-click kind of game, the cool concept that this game offers is that you move through photos in 4 different scenarios, it's very experimental and it tells the story about a woman who had an accident (car crash).
The game is very easy and you can figure everything quickly, but the real beauty is hidden behind the elements of the photos, the 'story' itself.
The idea, like I said before, is very cool and I would recommend this game for photography and cinema fans since it explores the meanings behind the composition.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
This was a fun little game. Not very long, not overly complex or maddenly difficult...just a nice little journey though a trauma victim's memories and impressions. Gameplay is essentially point and click for navigation, and you learn to create these "symbols" (performed with mouse-based gestures) that have generic purposes (e.g., directional controls) and in some cases can be used in less-than-obvious (but usually clever) applications. A modicum of replayability is achieved via multiple solutions/endings to each chapter, and by finding all of the "polaroids" thoughout.

If you're worried about bang-for-the-buck, then get it on sale like I did. Take a look at the screenshots to see if you like the photographic art style. It's certainly not for everybody. But if you're looking for something simple and explorative, a touch psychological, with some light puzzle elements, then it might be for you.
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
I'll preface by saying yes it is a kind of old school flash based find the thing to click kind of story. The ambience is a little dark and moody but it is not off puttingly so. What this honestly reminds me of, more than anything is kind of an old school macintosh hypercard stack.

You are bascially presented with 4 dreams, and in each dream there is a main goal (accomplishing the thing that ends the dream), as well as a few little collectable photos and side goals you can do to sort of 'back out' of the dream's current logic.

I agree with a number of other reviewers who note its not really that much of a game, and though I am generally a real sucker for 'really well executed story disguising as a game' (see Gone Home and To the Moon). In this case the story sort of feels disjointed/only partially executed. A number of the pieces are there, but they don't seem to actually gel into a really solid cohesive goal.

Who are you? Why are you in these dreams, what does getting through them really accomplish? I won't spoiler things here but it just seems more like while there may be some answers there, they don't seem to ... matter... much I guess?

I'm not saying that there isn't something here that some people may enjoy, but its certainly not something readily accessable to me.

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Recently Posted
Katapalleroinen ~
1.9 hrs
Posted: October 18
A very thought-provoking, psychological and metaphoric picture journey about coping, expectations and the society.

Although quite short, the game made me resound with its athmosphere and the thoughts of a soul whose life has tangled up. This is more like an art project using a video game as the medium then a "game" as one would expect a game to be.

Either way, if this is on sale then get it if you're into these lol
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.5 hrs
Posted: October 17
Rough stuff reading some of these reviews, I really liked this game, I think people getting pretty elitist over what can be called a game or not, shouldn't worry about how long it takes to 100% it either, I put a good 2 hours into the game I think I got what I paid for, fun > time. The levels are designed using pictures rather than a 3d world, you click an area of the picture and it takes you to another one, and that's how you traverse the scene. Some puzzles are easy, some puzzles will have you scratching you head, very unique, very enjoyable.
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2.1 hrs
Posted: October 2
I definitely felt like I was in a German art show while playing this game. I mean that in the best way possible.

This is a highly-atmospheric adventure game. The puzzles and exploration are real and there will be times when you don't know what to do, like a regular, old-school adventure game.

It is very short, even if you get the extras. But I look back fondly at my time playing it.
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2.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
While this plays very much like Google Street View: The Game, it is a perfectly pleasant way to spend a couple of hours and it doesn't outstay its welcome.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.6 hrs
Posted: September 7
Unique, yes. Good, no. Some puzzles of the game leave you stumped. "How in the world would I know that I needed to do this to find that" would be the phrase you would keep asking yourself and the developers.
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5.5 hrs
Posted: August 22
Interesting, like full interesting, it´s kinda realistic I´d say, or more like it could be realistic, since imagination is a strong element.
I loved every hour I played and I think it could bring some empathy to some people, if they really want to look into stuff and see how a trauma could look like.
Such a nice game, I didnt regret to buy it :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: August 16
This is a flash game on steam. it is a story with some puzzles, i liked the photograph and the background music but the story is kinda depressing.
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Mr. Yellow
4.4 hrs
Posted: July 21
Trauma is a very well done art puzzle game that doesn't fell pretentious. It has a very satisfying story and game play that I always find myself coming back to. At 6.99 the game is well worth the price. Over all 9/10, the game feels like it could have used just one more part for each segment.
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1.1 hrs
Posted: July 19
This is a neatly made little casual game that is a nice distraction from usual gaming. It is engaging in a simple way without the player getting bogged down in puzzle solving.

However, it is rather short but that isn't a bad thing for a game like this.
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