Global warming. It’s an issue we’re all familiar with, and some of us are more passionate about it than others. It’s been very well covered in films, TV shows and games, but Trash is Fun is the latest title to try and raise awareness around the incoming threat of climate instability.
That’s right, the apocalypse has come and the only way to sort it is to organise and recycle the endless supply of garbage. You can choose to play as one of many mutated animals (such as a squirrel, duck, owl etc) in this eco-adventure set in various locations around the world. A virus, which was locked away in the glaciers before they melted, has given the animals of the world a mind and free will. I don’t remember being warned about that by the doomsayers.
Put simply, each level will have several machines which convert trash into useful resources. Thank goodness for technology, eh. Once you have loaded up the device via the conveyor, simply hitting the green button will kick off the conversion process. Sometimes, you’ll need to use that item in another machine to craft the final resource.
Doing this will keep your oxygen levels healthy. Some levels have a separate generator which you will also need to feed separately with pretty much any old items you have to hand. If either of these resources deplete, you’ve had it.
However, just to make things a little more complicated, you’ll be set upon by waves of zombies trying to break through your defences and tear down your base. Mercifully, you will begin with sandbag defences and auto turrets in place to fend off the undead menace.
However, their integrity will soon be compromised, and you will have to carry out repairs to prevent getting completely overwhelmed. Some of the turrets are in fact stationary flamethrowers, but again these will need maintenance by way of feeding them fuel. They are thirsty so and so’s too.
This is the crux of the gameplay in Trash is Fun. It’s all about balancing your resource crafting with defending yourself against the endless zombie hordes. If you outlast the timer and score enough points you’ll move on to the next area.
You will be awarded points for successfully turning your trash into resources, and each level has a bronze, silver and gold medal (or wheelie bin here) on offer depending on how well you do. There is a story mode to play through, as well as a zombie mode which simply requires you to focus on fending off the zombies, without any other distractions.
Sadly there are only a combined total of eleven levels in Trash is Fun, so it’s safe to say it won’t take you long to complete. The story mode levels do get progressively more challenging however, which is especially the case if you’re aiming for high scores all round. You can get some friends involved in the frantic recycling action if you wish, as four way local cooperative play is supported here.
Despite the rather serious theme, Trash is Fun looks colourful and pretty, running at 120fps. It’s a lovely thing, despite not exactly being a deal breaker. But, in order to get the message out there about responsible waste management, the game needs to be attractive enough to draw players in, which is a totally understandable and sensible decision in my eyes.
There’s also another theme at play here, given the fact that both the developers and publisher are Ukrainian. In zombie mode, there is a level at the end where you are fighting off warships on an island, and many of the troops that disembark have the letter “Z” attached to their helmet. It’s actually based on a mini game called “Russian warship go f*ck yourself”, referencing an incident early on in the war on Snake Island. It’s a not so subtle reminder of the atrocities that have been (and continue to be) committed on the other side of Europe, but it’s also lots of fun to play.
What I did find amusing, is the fact that one of the key features listed for Trash is Fun was “easy achievements”. And boy, do they mean it. You’ll have a tidy 1000G in under ten minutes, simply by getting on with the task at hand and recycling like a hero.
Above all else, Trash in Fun is a plucky little game which has heart, and given that it has been developed by such a small team deserves a little extra credit. For under a fiver, you could do an awful lot worse. Trash is Fun is a wholesome (if brief) experience that just goes to show that recycling can indeed be fun.