[PlayStation 4] Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew Review
Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew from Because Because Games and Ratalaika Games is a point and click game. Check our Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew review!
In 1695, Tew and his fellow pirates pursued a Mughal ship. His ship, The Amity, attacked the ship, the Fateh Muhammed. Tew was disemboweled by a cannon shot, and died instantly. Or did he?
Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew is a 3D point and click game in which you’re following private detective James Labett on his way to solve the murder mystery of a local citizen, which then expands on the greater mystery surrounding the titular Thomas Tew.
You’ll encounter a few people in your quest to solve the murder mystery, and you’ll have to think about how to solve the many steps required to achieve your goal. I thought that the puzzles were often counter-intuitive, and I guess some people could easily get stuck in some situations given the steps needed to solve a few of them. To give credit to the developer, a few of the puzzles were great, and the cannon one towards the end was both well thought and funny to solve. There is, however, a lot of backtracking needed in the few places that can be visited, so be ready to go back to the same places over and over again.
As soon as the game began, I immediately thought that there could have used some extra work for the console adaptation. For instance, in order to interact with something, you have to move a pointer using the left analog stick, which works great for PC games, but less so for console gaming. The main character moves when you click on the edge of the screen or on a location, where I thought it would have been more intuitive to use the left analog stick for actually moving and using the right one for the cursor. Another aspect is that every object, door, character needs to be interacted with by selecting it, and then you’ll get a menu in which you can either inspect or interact with the object. Most of the time, you want to interact with the objects, which made things a bit more cumbersome than they should.
Then as for the actual gameplay, the first chapter was really confusing. You can add items to your inventory easily, but once they are there, some must be selected to be used on the scene. It isn’t explained, but you have to QUICKLY press the button X on the item in order to select it for you to use in the scene. If you press it normally like in any other game, you’ll get the Inspect menu which doesn’t allow you to use it. Honestly, there are four face buttons on the controller – there isn’t any reason to use the same button with different presses in order to do more than one action.
As for the presentation, I thought that the art style was unappealing to me. Every scene is voice acted, and you’ll hear the detective comment every time you interact with an object in the scene or his inventory. The voice acting itself is a bit average. There are also many text errors: “favourate” is written more than a few times, and it’s not the only one I noticed.
Trophies are awarded for progressing through the campaign and solving cases. It’s not a long list. There’s one Silver Trophy, eleven Gold trophies, and then a Platinum for your effort. Trophies will unlock naturally as you progress through the game. If you’re following a guide – such as the one linked below – you could earn the Platinum in around half an hour!
Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew is a hard game to recommend. It lacks some extra polish, has unintuitive and unresponsive controls, and a story that doesn’t offer any real surprises. Some puzzles were hard to figure out, meaning you’ll most likely require a guide to get through this release. It’s out on PlayStation 4 for a $4.99 price.
Here’s a trophy guide to help you get through if you ever feel stuck:
This Trails and Traces: The Tomb of Thomas Tew review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.