It’s hard to look at a game like Tryst and not compare it to game series like Starcraft, Warcraft, Command and Conquer, and Age of Empires. These are very fun and well-balanced games with engaging storylines and strong multiplayer presence. Tryst uses elements typically seen in the real-time strategy genre of games and adds a couple different design choices. However, the game falters in many areas and doesn’t come close to the same quality of well known RTS games.
The story takes place on the world of Ishtonia, where both humans and an alien race known as “Zali” live and use as a mining planet. The governing Humans known as Command are at war with both rebel humans and the Zali race. As Oliver Petrovich, son of the Command’s Overseer, you must unite the humans and stop the Zali threat from taking the planet.
Unfortunately the story never grows to be anything unique or interesting. You play through five human missions and the single player campaign is done in about 4 hours with no Zali perspective. There is a skirmish mode, but even that lacks any longevity with only five maps to play. This leads to the multiplayer mode, which is pretty much skirmish mode but against other players…if you can find any online. For a $25 game, that is pretty dry and disappointing, especially if you only plan on playing the single player only.
The lack of content is enough of a call to avoid this game, but how is the actual gameplay? Well, on the one hand Tryst is similar to other RTS games, so it’s easy to get into. Upgrading units is easier since it’s all on one screen instead of individual buildings. And having an energy ammo counter on each unit adds another element to keep track of. There’s nothing special here, but it is playable.
Of course then there’s the other hand where Tryst just doesn’t seem to be polished. There are balance issues with some units being either overpowered or completely useless on both human and Zali. There are a few bugs and glitches, including the odd campaign text or voice bug, and a weird bug in my game where I can no longer access the single player mode after completing it.
In the end, I simply cannot recommend Tryst. Even if you truly liked the gameplay, the campaign will only give a few hours of mediocre storytelling and if you can find people to play with online, the appeal of multiplayer wears off pretty quick. For a $25 game, its just not worth the purchase.
Summary: Tryst is a mediocre RTS game that lacks enough content in both single player and multiplayer to keep players invested and justify the high price.
Verdict: 3 out of 10