Intriguing mix of Doom, Mario and Tomb Raider
This is a really bold and ambitious game which tries to combine several genres into one, and while it doesn't quite pull it off, it gets pretty close and is certainly work more than a cursory look. The game is one of the earliest attempts at a 3D platformer and mixes elements of games like Tomb Raider with features from FPS games like Doom to create an interesting action experience. Players take control of Malcolm, an average guy who is literally thrown into a nightmare world of his own creation and who must face his demons in order to survive. This world is represented in 3D fashion, with Malcolm leaping across platforms as if he were Mario (who has nightmares about platforms?) while facing down his fears by blasting their physical manifestations and overcoming the various puzzles and obstacles that stand between him and sanity. Helping him out are various weapons and upgrades like a trusty .45 automatic, a grenade launcher, an axe and of course a floating hoverboard (who wouldn't want one of those in such a situation?), while there are 11 levels of madness to overcome before Malcolm can be declared sane. While Soultrap makes for an intriguing experience, a few flaws let the side down a bit. The various levels are generally well designed but their restrictive nature does cause some frustration as it is very easy to fall to your death while you are concentrating on an enemy. The option to change between third-and first-person view is nice but proves impractical as the latter is rather disorienting. The first two levels are slightly dull but persevere and they get better, providing plenty of enjoyment and challenge, while the graphics are less than spectacular and are somewhat dated but charming enough anyway. Overall, Soultrap isn't a classic but it's unusual enough to warrant spending some time with.