What can I say about Trine? I enjoyed my experience, for the most part, though I’m not the biggest fan of platforming games. I think that fans of platformers will enjoy this one, however. Like I said, platformers aren’t my favorite, but I have played a few of them, so I can safely say that Trine is one of the better platformers I have played. Trine has a lot to offer, from beautiful graphics to entertaining gameplay.
Trine starts off in a school called the Astral Academy. You venture through this small level as three separate characters, but all meet up at a relic called the Trine. There’s the Wizard, a man who desperately wishes to learn how to cast a fireball spell, but is actually quite adept at conjuring objects. The Knight wants only to make sure that the Academy is guarded, and does his job admirably. Then there’s the Thief, who breaks into the Astral Academy in order to steal a fabled treasure. When these three meet up at the Trine, they all place their hands upon it at the same time, and vanish. The Wizard explains this artifact has the power to bind souls together, and so only one of them may exist at any given time. The three now-heroes set off from here to free themselves from this artifact.
As you progress through each level you reach checkpoints which will revive any dead characters, and also heal all of them to half-health. The main hook of Trine is you have the ability to switch between the three main characters at any given time. This becomes increasingly necessary to solve certain puzzles, as each character has their own strengths and weaknesses.
The Wizard has the ability to create objects out of thin air, and move all kinds of objects in each level. He doesn’t have much in the way of monster-killing, but he can conjure objects that you can drop on enemies. If the Wizard was all I had left, I often felt like I might as well be dead. A few times during the game I died solely because the Wizard couldn’t defend himself well enough to survive.
The Thief’s main weapon is her bow. She can fire arrows at enemies, and it seemed to me she was a bit quicker than the other two characters. For puzzle-solving the Thief has a grappling hook she can use to swing from objects. I enjoyed swinging through levels because it made me feel like Spiderman.
The Knight is the slowest, but the best monster-fighting character. He is equipped with a sword and shield, used to hack up enemies or defend himself against arrows and the like. The Knight doesn’t do a lot of puzzle-solving, as his strengths lie almost entirely in killing things, but kill things he does; and well, I might add.
In order to clear each level, you must fight your way through hordes of skeletons, with the occasional bat or spider thrown in for good measure. When you’re not mowing down enemies, you are jumping up platforms or breaking down doors in order to find hidden goodies or reach the end of the level. I quite enjoyed solving puzzles in ways they weren’t meant to be solved. This mostly involved conjuring a bunch of platforms with the Wizard, or swinging up onto higher platforms with the Thief’s grappling hook.
Each character has a health and mana gauge, which is self-explanitory, and the three of them share an experience gauge. Killing enemies nets experience, but the more fun way to earn experience is through exploration. Hidden throughout each level are vials of green liquid, experience, and it takes a lot of effort and creativity to find them all. After earning a certain amount of experience you gain skill points, which let you upgrade your characters’ abilities in similar fashion to other RPG’s. This was a cool thing, to me, because I liked being able to choose which skills I wanted to upgrade.
In addition to skill points, Trine offers another level of character customization: equipment. Scattered through each level are chests, and most take a bit of searching to find. Chests contain equipment, and sometimes skills, characters can equip in order to beef up their stats. Some items cause characters to take less or do more damage, where others boost their health gained from potions.
My biggest complaint about Trine is the severe lack of enemy variety. While the geography of each level changes, the enemies don’t seem to. Almost every level is populated with skeletons, and lots of them. They are just not very entertaining, and killing them doesn’t evoke a sense of anything other than monotony. Even the “boss battles” are underwhelming. It’s typically just a larger skeleton, or a weird frog-troll looking thing.
My favorite things about the game were enjoying the great-looking scenery and scouring each level for treasure and experience. The two worked well together, as you had a lot of time to enjoy the artwork while looking for hidden treasures. My other favorite thing about this game was the last level. It felt more like a boss fight than anything else in the game, and if the other bosses had been anywhere near as fun, this game would have been all the better for it.
In addition to the main story, which took me about six or seven hours, there’s a mode that lets you play all three characters simultaneously with friends. I’ll say I haven’t played it, but it is there, if that interests you.
All in all, Trine was an interesting experience. If you enjoy platformers you might want to give it a go. With great graphics, decent platforming, and lots of hidden treasures to find, there is a lot to keep you playing.
A big thanks goes to Frozenbyte for the review copy!
- Beautiful backgrounds
- Enjoyable platforming
- Character customization
- Lack of enemy variety
- Boring boss battles