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Trauma (pc game)
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Slick and enjoyable blasting action

There's nothing quite like an old-school vertically scrolling shooter, with Raptor, Tyrian and The Reap all providing simple but highly addictive thrills. Trauma falls into this category of undemanding games which are nevertheless pure fun and which is surely what games are all about. As is usual, there isn't much plot to get in the way of Trauma's blasting action and it simply charges you with destroying everything that gets in your way in a series of intense and excitement-packed levels, all in the name of a war between three rival empires. While the gameplay might be familiar, there are a few neat extras to provide further appeal. Of course, there is the usual array of slick and hi-tech weapons and upgrades to take down the myriad enemies which swarm you right from the start, while you also have an array of pilots and ships to choose from to add in some variety and which represent the three warring empires. There's also a sort of basic resource management section where you choose your loadouts and mission, but perhaps the game's best feature is the two-player mode which really cranks up the fun factor. While Trauma might not be original, it does score a lot of points for simply getting everything right. The action is intense, fast and furious, while the graphics are simple enough but highly effective with some nice chunky sprites and cool, varied environments. The extra features are all welcome additions, especially the two-up mode, so if you are looking for an undemanding slice of arcade action, then this is well worth checking out.