I am probably the least qualified person to review a Trine game ever for not having played, tried nor watched any of the other games in the franchise. But considering this is a game detached from all the intricacies of sequels and progression, this seems like one game I can enjoy without having to climb the ladders of the previous titles. And I was damn right!
Trine is essentially a puzzle-platformer that revolves around the simple mechanics of creation and combinations. With Amadeus the Wizard, you will see yourself levitating objects from the world and conjuring your very own objects from thin air such as boxes. Eventually, you will be able obtain new powers like the ability to conjure multiple boxes at the same time which is essentially the only thing a wizard would ever want in their lifetime. Or at least that’s what his age told me. That and the other types of objects you can materialize from a rolling metallic ball to a bouncy ball that never really had much use if I’m being completely honest here or planks that lets you cross areas or connect certain mechanics to solve certain puzzles.
But to add to the mischiefs of puzzle-platforming, you have Zora the Thief. She on the other hand plays differently as she has a bow. Maybe she’s a part-time archer? I don’t know. All jokes aside, she’s able to tie ropes from interactable objects like an average boy scout. What’s not so average about her however is her unique skills in tying ropes from one end of the screen to the other without even moving an inch from her original position. For once, that’s one character you wouldn’t want to shout “bondage” and not immediately regret it. She has more “unique skills” but I think it’s best to leave that out for now.
Then there’s Ser Pontius… yes, Ser Pontius. A knight that literally does nothing but break shit up, be fat and smack things all around. He’s your man for dealing with the nightmares that pops out every now and then aside from making his shield a literal light reflector. If Amadeus can conjure mirrors, he’d probably be fired from the cast. Sorry, I’m joking, he reflects and redirects water currents too and no mere mirror can do that…
These band of misfits are your best bet for tracking down the academy lab rat and runaway prince after going berserk making his and other people’s nightmares cross into reality. The story puts you into a chase across multiple vibrant landscapes and captivating graphical environments, bad jokes included. You’ll be meeting very likeable characters that will help you out in your adventure and then there are the not-so-likeable characters that would ask for your help without hesitation just because you’re a band of unemployed heroes willing to help for squat. Yeah, I’m not buying it… get your books or your seeds yourself or pay me for navigating through your maze-like rustic homes and forests. Now I just realized, what if the heroes of Dragon Quest or any other JRPG for that matter are just venting their anger for being underpaid when they’re trespassing on other people’s home, taking items from their chests and smashing pots for anything useful?
All that aside, the game delivers some fun gameplay and at times mind-boggling experiences. Puzzles itself provides the most out of it without being too hair-splitting that you’ll be bald before you can progress. Though at times, there are ways to completely ignore the mechanics and simply YOLO jump from one end to the next. This is especially true once the gang learns how to charge and do air dashes so, at times, you simply need to stack up some boxes and air dash to get to the other end of a cliff when there’s a completely usable interactable that can be used to connect either side without using the dash in the first place.
Seeing as it is a game that even has the slightest bit respect for physics in the early game, after a while it throws that off the window by introducing new mechanics that break it. At times I find myself attaching a fairy rope to a completely metallic box that would normally wouldn’t even be mistaken for a weirdly-shaped balloon filled with helium. Meanwhile, attaching two boxes with rope and balancing in it is probably one of my favourite bits as I would casually drive around by dragging one of the boxes to where I want to go which is normally not possible if you’re riding a box or plank that you would want to levitate. It’s one of the cool things that make the game fun with a little bit of imagination and even more so with a band of friends or random people to join you on your travels.
Being a puzzle-platformer is probably not enough for Trine and its developers so instead of focusing strictly on that aspect, this 2.5D adventure game also features boss battles aside from the normal button-mash fights with the nightmares. Most of the battles offer even more unique ways to beat them which if you’re not thinking with your feet and moving with your head, you might be minced meat before you can figure out how to beat them. As certain monsters require you to do specific actions with characters like reflecting range attacks with the shield to make them vulnerable to sword attacks, smashing boxes in someone’s head to stun them or even thinking your way out to redirect some light in a hot pot filled with witchy-gooey mixtures. It always makes me excited on how the next boss can be tackled and I honestly think it’s one of the better aspects of the game second to its puzzle-platforming.
Overall, the game has devised a simple yet intricate way of bridging action and mind games that I came to love. Its overall feel of the environment and its cast of characters provide such great balance without having to be overly repetitive despite it being a game that is strictly about puzzles and fighting. I just love how each of the new areas I visit seems similar but new at the same time. There are still platforms to jump on, switches to activate, hidden entrances to find as well as treasures to loot but there’s enough variation with its palettes that I can never fault the prince for being able to cross vast forest areas, trek snowcapped mountain regions or even push through marsh-stained bayous. If you’re still under the fence on whether the game is good or not at this late in the year, I strongly recommend it if you’re a fan or simply want to make your feet wet with puzzles and platformers. It’s a good entry point without being too harsh and difficult which is what makes this all the more appealing to newcomers.
- Developer: Frozenbyte
- Publisher: Modus Games
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
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Trine 4 The Nightmare Prince
Trine 4 The Nightmare Prince from Developers Frozenbyte and Publishers Modus Games is here and we have taken a look at the game in our review on PS4.
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 29.99