Reviews

Review – Trailmakers (PC)

Conquer the World with Vehicle Crafting in Trailmakers

This is an early access review of Trailmakers. Most of my gameplay happened pre-launch, so I am not going to get nitty gritty into various technical issues or bugs in the games current state, but they are there. 

Flashbulb is a newer company, but they are compromised of industry veterans from Rare, Press Play, and IO Interactive. So, we can expect a lot from them. So far I have had a lot of fun times in Trailmakers, but this game is not the happy-go-lucky explore and have a fun adventure type that I thought it was at first glance. Trailmakers is a very serious puzzle game that will take a lot of ingenuity and problem-solving skills to beat. 

Gameplay

Trailmakers - Photo Credit: Steam
Trailmakers – Photo Credit: Steam

So, when you start Trailmakers, it seems like it will be an open-world driving game. I was not prepared for the level of analysis required to get past some of these objectives. When you begin, a large checkered flag appears in the distance. So, it is pretty intuitive that you need to get from your position to that checkered flag. What you might not be ready for is the variety of puzzles between you and your destination. 

One of the first challenges you have in Trailmakers is simply climbing a hill. It is an easy puzzle to complete; you want to climb a hill? Then you need to add more power to your vehicle!

The first few puzzles are deceptively easy but do not expect it to stay that way. Eventually, you will be hit with problems that take hours to beat. It had better take other people hours, because some took me hours! Often, I found myself walking away from the game only to come up with a solution later. 

One of the harder early game puzzles for me involved a wind tunnel. Every time I tried to go down it, my vehicle would flip over and go flying back to the start. I moved blocks around, added blocks, and completely rebuilt my vehicle multiple times. Finally, I went back to my original vehicle and moved a single block a little further back on the front end. Bam, I solved it. The thing is, there were probably thirty different vehicles I could have built to solve that puzzle just with the blocks I had found.

There was a completely different puzzle where I had to cross a strange bridge, then use updrafts to fly into the next area. I tried and failed so many times, I got fed up. My solution eventually involved me just skipping the puzzle altogether and riding the wall past the puzzle by using jet engines. 

My point is, every time you move forward you are presented with an awesome set of puzzles that all have, no doubt, hundreds of possible solutions. 

Graphics

Trailmakers - Photo Credit: Steam
Trailmakers – Photo Credit: Steam

The only negative I had was the general graphics. I have nothing against cartoon-style graphics and embrace them. There are just a lot of textures that feel incomplete. I know I said I would not get into any of the nitty gritty early access details, but that is the only big negative I had with the game.  I am sure by the time this game launches, it will look great. 

Overall

I have had a lot of great moments in Trailmakers. I remember the first time, I had a bird curled up like a roly-poly and attack my vehicle. It was a wacky and fun experience that I did not expect. It really added to the life of the world.

Trailmakers has a long way to go until it feels complete, but it is well on its way. The world of Trailmakers is full of unique challenges, and fun gameplay.

Be sure to check out the early release of Trailmakers! Looking for more fun games to play? Take a look at our video game reviews on Word of the Nerd!


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About the author

Hans Goss

Hans was a US Army Airborne Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne and is now an avid gamer and writer. You can often find him live on Twitch under his gaming handle Fugio.