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The Esmerelda has been found, resting at the bottom of the ocean, laden with a fortune in gold bars. Unfortunately she’s also laden with all manner of underwater usurpers – like electric eels, magnetic mines, jelly fish and more. The Esmerelda is a veritable… Treasure Trap.
Treasure Trap is a puzzle game using the quirky – in my opinion – tilted view employed by games like Populous. Your main objective - as a salvage diver – is to gather as many gold bars as possible from the sunken wreckage.
The puzzle part is in collecting the gold bar, as getting to it is often times easier than it sounds. You must avoid a variety of sea creatures that cost you a life if you touch them, although some creatures you can jump on for a ride. Figuring out which is which is part of the puzzle as there is no manual available for this game.
You must explore the ship one room at a time. Each room connects to one or more other rooms, but some door can only be opened with the correct key. Up to three keys can be carried at one time. You are also using up your precious air supply with each step you take. No worries, there are extra air tanks scattered around the area.
A map is available that shows the relationship of each room, so if you are serious about the game, you can map the rooms to assist you in moving about more quickly, noting the location of keys and gold. There is no method continuing from the last location once you run out of lives, so a map will be useful.
You can redefine the key mapping, but for some odd reason they don’t save and you are required to remap them each time. Other than movement you can jump, pickup and/or drop keys, and release a super fish. A super fish will eat the objects in a room, such as the magnetic mines, which are attracted to you metal diving suit.
The graphics are fitting for an old rotting hulk and are more than seaworthy for a puzzle game. The sound is adequate as well.
I was able to rack up only about 45 gold bars and found the controls to be quirky, even if I redefined the keys. This puzzle game is an oldie that may not be a keeper, but catching it is still fun!