Trigon: Space Story is a top-down roguelike space-ship adventure. It’s developed by Sernur.tech and published by Gameforge 4D GmbH. When I first looked at the game I thought “Well I guess this game was inspired by FTL: Faster Than Light”, and after I played the tutorial, I corrected myself by saying “Well this game is just FTL with better graphics.”. Since the similarities between FTL and Trigon are a lot, I will be comparing them to each other and focusing more on their differences. While I personally don’t believe a game cannot be good on its own just because it was heavily influenced by an older game, Trigon isn’t able to fill FTL’s shoes and can’t stuck the landing on many of its own ideas.
In Trigon you get to control a spaceship and its crew. There are multiple systems in the ship and all the crew members have their own skills and abilities. The main gameplay loop consists of traveling from point to point, fighting enemy ships and getting their loot, using the loot to upgrade your ship and then advancing in the story. The ship upgrade system is an exact copy of FTL’s system so there isn’t much to say about that part.
In addition to FTL’s game mechanics Trigon added a food system, you need to keep your crew fed otherwise they die. Honestly this mechanic doesn’t provide anything for the gameplay other than being one more resource you need to keep an eye on. Finding food is random, in-game systems for creating food are unbalanced, and once you run out of food your crew dies and you lose. While adding more survival elements wasn’t a bad idea, the system is just not streamlined enough. Most of the time finding food and making sure to have enough of it feels like a chore more than a gameplay element.
There are a few more new additions Trigon adds to the FTL formula. There is no forced urgency as a core-gameplay mechanic in Trigon unlike FTL, this means the player can explore more before moving on and doesn’t have to think about getting the best possible map RNG at the start. The developers also thought of a way to make sure players didn’t get overpowered by just staying in the same sector and grinding. There is a bounty system, your bounty gets bigger as you fight more enemies. The bigger your bounty the harder the fights and enemies get. There are also random events and other solutions to get your bounty down. Overall, I liked this new mechanic more than FTL’s way of handling things.
There are 2 currencies in Trigon, Scrap and Credits. Scrap can be used outside of space stations to upgrade your ship and Credits can be used in space stations to upgrade your ship and/or buy crew members, guns, ship systems, etc. I really didn’t understand the developers’ intent on putting 2 different currencies. Since your ship can be upgraded with both, you can trade credits for scrap and scrap for credits, I don’t see any reason to have two different currencies. It is redundant and just serves as more complication for new players.
Most of what you do in Trigon is fighting space battles. The ships and the effects of guns look good, the sound effects feel satisfying, but I can’t help but feel like Trigon’s way of displaying information during combat makes the game feel more arcade-y, while combat in FTL almost always felt strategic. It is easy to lose sight of a crew member or system getting damaged because of the amount of explosions and damage numbers flying through the screen. While this more amplified amount of action may appeal to some players, I would have preferred a more minimalistic and strategy focused battle screens.
Trigon adds a bunch of new weapons and ammunition types to the game. You unluck them as you play, they can be acquired as loot with random chance or through shops/in game events. While I haven’t had a chance to try out all of these new weapons, there are a lot of them and it adds variety to the gameplay, not much to complain about there.
Quest System and Story
The quest system can be divided into two parts, scripted and unscripted. There is a scripted storyline and campaign you play through. This is an original addition to the FTL formula as FTL didn’t really have a deep storyline. There are 4 different campaigns to play through, however I won’t be spoiling more of it. You advance through the story by following map markers, this allows for more of an organic flow to the game, since you’d want to explore that part of the map eventually anyways. There are choices you can make through the storyline and random encounters, some of the better dialog options only unlock if you have a specific crew member or a ship system. It’s always a good feeling to see an orange dialog option and be glad you have that weapon or crew member in your ship.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics are one of Trigon’s strong points. The ship details look great, character models are interesting, each race has a very distinct look. The backgrounds feel vibrant, and immersive. There aren’t many bad things that can be said about how this game’s looks. If not anything it definitely is a huge graphical upgrade to how FTL looked.
The audio is fine, music and sound effects are fitting and not often distracting. Nothing really stands out.
While Trigon: Space Story could really have been something special, I feel it got stuck under FTL’s shadow. The gameplay doesn’t flow great, the additions don’t feel that impactful and the overall balance of the game is off. While the graphics and visuals are great, it is not enough to carry the whole game on its shoulders. I can recommend this game if you’ve experienced everything FTL has to offer and still want more like it. Otherwise I’d wait until a sale.