We aren't saaiiillliinngg, we aren't saaiiillliinngg, under the waatttteerr, under the seeaaaaeeaaa. Not, that's not quite right, is it...? Ahem. Like a bridge under troubblleeed waattterrr... Nope. Definitely off course there.
Ah, I have it - the definitive musical accompaniment to Treasure Trap. Altogether now: Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground. Into the blue again, into the silent water, under the rocks and stones there is water underground. Letting the days go by, into the silent water. Once in a lifetime, water flowing undergrounds. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
There's more to it, but I sense a writ from EMI if I continue.
Treasure Trap is all about money and being under water. It's about searching the 100+ rooms for every single bar of Esmeralda's gold. Swipe all the gold and win the game? Easy, huh?
Hardly. Treasure Trap marks a return of the isometric 3D arcade adventure made famous by Ultimate so many years ago and given a brief reprise last year by Microdeal with Airball. Considering how good these games were, it's a surprise it's taken so long for another stab at the genre.
Anyway, being underwater, Treasure Trap deals with all things aquatic and, naturally, an ever decreasing air supply. Mapping is essential, as is noting where the canisters of oxygen are.
While a good gulp of the invisible stuff is to be recommended, don't waste it by grabbing a canister while you still have a nearly full tank. The result is that your driver's suit bulges at the seams and the little man takes on the aspect of a very fat person indeed.
After a rip gurgling tune on the intro and title page (listen and watch it all the way through) the rest of the sound effects in the game live up to the high standard set, perfectly complimenting the underwater thievery.
If there's any gold in a room an indicator flashes. This is just as well because half the time you can't see it. Moving boxes and crates, patrolling jellyfish, starfish and killer crabs are all there to help or to remove one of your five lives.
This being an arcade adventure, there are locked doors requiring various types of key, which thankfully do not disappear once used. The catch is that you can only carry four of them. The gold disappears into some sort of aquatic Barclays Bank automatically, so you don't have to carry it around.
There are puzzles aplenty, some of them bordering on the Fu Man Chu for fiendishness. You can't get behind these crates where the gold is? What do you do? You use a loose crate to make a patrolling fish detour round the back and involuntarily push the gold out.
When the fish-
The 100+ rooms are going to keep you busy for a while, but none require Mensa eligibility to solve or table tennis player reactions to execute.
With balanced gameplay, good graphics, snappy sonics and a sense of humour which nothing else has these days, Treasure Trap represents a return to traditional gaming values. A decent challenge, and a damn fine game.