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My second most favorite Infocom game (after Steve Meretzsky's A Mind Forever Voyaging) and undoubtedly one of the best games ever made in any genre, Trinity is a forgotten classic that combines astute literary metaphors, excellent prose, clever puzzles, and a huge dose of imagination that could only come from Brian Moriarty, into a captivating, very moving tale.
You are an American on vacation in future London when World War III interrupts the daily routine with the dropping of a bomb. Whether by chance or design, you survive the devastation with the help of a magical portal and a strange voice inside your head. Stepping through through the portal, you discover a world of wonder unlike anything ever seen in interactive fiction. The game will take you through a whirlwind tour of space-time that juxtoposes the real with the unreal. You will eventually wind up in the New Mexico desert, minutes before the countdown to the culmination of the Trinity project-- with a chance to change history forever.
In Trinity, Brian Moriarty accomplishes what few IF authors are able to do: combine an intriguing, original premise with outstanding writing and ingenious puzzles. The game's writing will draw you into its fantastic world... so much so that you can almost visualize the magical mushroom portals, feel the eerie suspension of space-time, and be moved by the sight of a crippled Japanese girl. The game's puzzles are tough, but they are never illogical, and they mesh within the gameworld seamlessly. The game's anti-nuclear message is powerful, but never overbearing, and many of its stronger literary metaphors (e.g. the umbrella, the sundial, and the crane) will stay with you long after the game is over.
The bottom line is that, while a bona fide literary masterpiece, Trinity will not appeal to everyone. Those who don't "get" the game will likely write it off as just "another" piece of incoherent storytelling that is full of incomprehensible puzzles and illogical plot. Those who do "get it," on the other hand, will be well rewarded with one of the most immensely entertaining and thought-provoking works of interactive fiction ever made. Adventurers be warned, though: Trinity is much harder than an average Infocom game, and there are many instances in which you can get irrevocably stuck without knowing it (the incident involving a furry animal and the endgame are cases in point). Save early, save often.
Bonus: The sundial that came with the game is one of the neatest freebies Infocom ever made. Mine still adorns my windowsill to this day. The manual scan below (which is not so much a manual as the freebies that came with the game) includes scan of an unmade sundial, so everyone can make his/her own :)
Trinity is truly an epic story, starkly serious and mature throughout and, it must be said, beautiful and moving in places. You play an American tourist in London when World War 3 erupts. Through a series of events you find yourself stepping through a magical portal into a world where the real and unreal combined. You will be transported through time and space to such locations as the New Mexico desert (the plot as a whole is about nuclear weapons).
The game wont appeal to everyone, some wont understand the story and its more metaphorical parts, some will be daunted by the difficulty of the puzzles in the game, but for everyone else Trinity will be a very rewarding experience. An adult game in the sense that it has a more mature and complicated plot than most games, but one that is worth investing your time in if you are up to it.
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