Today on the blog, we have a tester’s corner from Misha!
Trinoline is a beautiful and touching story that really delves into what it means to be human. It was the first visual novel by minori that I had ever played, and it certainly won’t be my last! There is a little bit of everything in it: humor, tragedy, and existential questions that stay with you long after you beat the game, all wrapped up in a highly-polished package.
The protagonist of Trinoline is Shun Nanami, a high school boy whose younger sister, Shirone, tragically drowned in the ocean when they were both children. Devastated with the loss of his sibling, Shun grew up and was never able to recover from her death.
Shun’s two childhood friends, chronically ill Yuuri Miyakaze and now extremely distant Sara Tsumugi, want to do all they can to help Shun regain the happiness he once had in their own ways. This sets up the central story of Trinoline, and eventually unfurls how Shun meets SHIRONE, an android created in his sister’s image and personality.
Going into Trinoline, I didn’t know what to expect, but I found myself pleasantly surprised time and time again. The story itself is gripping the whole way through, and the characters are incredibly human (even the non-human ones). The balance between drama and humor is well matched throughout the VN, however it does tend to lag and go slowly in some places.
There are three respective routes: Yuuri, SHIRONE, and Sara (which is unlocked until you beat the first two). The common route mainly focuses on Shun’s interactions with SHIRONE, so it was nice to branch off and get to know the other girls a lot more in their own, longer routes. The routes are very different from one another, so you never feel like you’re reading the same story over and over again. However, each route really only focuses on its respective heroine, so you won’t be seeing much of SHIRONE in Yuuri’s path, and vice versa. Each route ended in a way I really didn’t expect, so I recommend playing through all of them! Sara’s ended up being my favorite!
I can’t wrap this tester’s corner up until I gush a little bit about just how beautiful all the assets in Trinoline truly are. The art is absolutely gorgeous. Every character is rendered with so much thought put into them. The sprites blink, have their own unique poses and body language, and their mouths move as they speak. It was easy to get immersed, and I often felt like I was watching an anime in a way, especially because there are fully animated scenes where you are walking along side each girl. It creates a sense of intimacy that I’ve never really experienced in a VN before.
As expected, every CG is drawn beautifully and time and time again I found myself blown away with just how atmospheric the lighting was in each scene. It really sets the time of day and puts you in the moment. It’s also worth it to mention that many CGs also have animated eye blinking and lip syncing as well!
If you like VNs that pose questions about what it means to be human, digs deep into the complexities of artificial intelligence, has a healthy balance of humor and drama, with breath taking art, then Trinoline is for you!
P.S. It also has incredibly raunchy H-Scenes! 😀