Little Triangle is the latest entry in the Nintendo Switch’s vast platforming catalogue. The game makes its mark with excellent controls, a mix of precision platforming and exploration, and frantic multiplayer that takes more than a little inspiration from Duck Game, the popular weapons-based 2D quackfest known for its quick and intense battle royales.
The story, as told by a few introductory pictures at the start of the game, is that there has been an alien invasion, or something to that effect, and a whole swath of Little Kingdom’s triangular citizens have been abducted in the midst. Once the stage is set, you must traverse three expansive worlds in order to rescue abducted triangle brethren and extinguish the alien threat.
While the 36 available platforming levels can be cleared in just a few hours, there’s more content hidden below the games surface, literally. Hidden areas, abducted triangles, unlockable minigames, and a timer all provide incentive to play through levels multiple times. Even with replayability, the game still rests on the short side, but it still feels like a full experience.
Little Triangle’s gameplay takes hints from precision and traditional platformers. The precision platforming component is based on tight controls and precarious platforming situations. I found these instances highly challenging, but also highly forgiving. Instead of uber-short levels found in games like Super Meat Boy, however, Little Triangle has long, sprawling adventures packed with secrets and unlockables. The game crawls and expands similarly to something like Super Mario World. In this respect, Little Triangle has embraced some of the advancements made in the genre with its recent revival, while also harkening back to older days, truly emulating the feel of a fun ‘90s mascot platformer.
On top of an excellent platforming adventure, Little Triangle offers an extremely fun local multiplayer mode. This arena is relentlessly fast-paced, hopelessly addicting, and endlessly satisfying. While the running and jumping physics from single player remain the same, the game also shakes things up a bit for multiplayer. Here, Little Triangle takes clear queues from Duck Game with its quick and brutal 2D free-for-alls where you will settle the score with numerous guns, axes, and other pickups not seen in single player. You can down an enemy by fighting them with your weapons or by jumping on their head. Every successful attack is lethal and will subtract a life from each player’s beginning pool of ten, and the last triangle standing wins. What ensues en route to victory is pure chaos: scrambling for weapons, desperately avoiding projectiles, and the satisfaction of dispatching your friend with a well-timed cranium jump all create an amazingly hectic experience. There are unfortunately no real options for multiplayer customization, and there is no online or bot play, but the wide variety of weaponry and stages are enough to keep the game entertaining if you have a friend to play with.
Despite its solid core game, Little Triangle has numerous minor imperfections. The most noticeable of these blemishes is the lack of detail in the game’s descriptions and menus. While reading comprehension is not important for platforming gameplay, the bare-bones labels make menu navigation challenging. For example, when starting Little Triangle, the first thing the player is presented with a choice: casual or hardcore mode. The game, however, gives no indication as to what the actual differences between those modes are, other than implying that one is harder. Another example comes on the main menu, where there is a mode that I eventually determined was a boss rush mode. I could not possibly have known that from the main menu, where the only descriptor available is ‘Challenge.’
While menus lack clarity, there are also some areas of gameplay that lack variety and polish. Across 36 lengthy levels, there are only three different environments (A factory, a temple, and a jungle) and just a few more songs on the soundtrack. The available environments are fun, and the music is catchy, but both become tiresome by the latter half of each world. More variance in music and environments would have made a big impact.
One final critique for Little Triangle comes in the form of gameplay balancing. The first boss could have easily been the final, since it was much more challenging than anything that came after. The third world had difficulty that spiked up and down, and while it never felt unfair, it was jarring to play back-to-back levels with contrasting challenge.
Little Triangle’s single player and multiplayer options would both be worth checking out on their own. Together, they form quite a package. Despite a relatively short adventure, the platforming is fun, challenging, and loaded with replay value. Frenzied multiplayer battles, meanwhile, are almost a bigger draw than the single player. Fans of Duck Game in particular should heavily consider adding Little Triangle to their library. Overcoming a few minor issues in presentation, the end result is an excellent game that is worth a serious look for anyone who enjoys ballistic local multiplayer or intense precision platforming.