HM saw the pretty trailers of Trine and was unmoved. It was the persistent harping from RPS that forced his hand when the game entered the periphery of discount space.

Trine is a physics-enhanced platformer from Finnish company Frozenbyte. The goal is simply to get through a level, picking up power-ups and secret items along the way if you can. It has two selling points – the game is highly physics focused and you can switch at will between three characters, a wizard, a thief and a knight.

HM found the wizard to be good for negotiating tricky physical challenges with his telekinesis and object creation abilities. The knight was suited for fighting. The thief was brilliant at traversing levels. HM found himself playing the thief most, the fighter getting the bum end of the deal – the thief was more nimble and safer with ranged weaponry at her disposal.

It’s up to you to find a way through each level with these tools. Sometimes a physics puzzle is staring at you with an obvious solution while other times it’s just hidden out of view. If you’re like HM, you will spend a lot of time trying to get to elusive chests and little green vials which are scattered everywhere like shiny trinkets he could not ignore. That’s where a lot of the real challenge is.

The journey is fraught with peril, whether it be a horde of spawning skeletons or skating across bottomless pits. Yes, HM can confirm it suffers from a case of jump-miss-dead syndrome (JMDS). However it mitigates this with a generous checkpoint system – at any checkpoint, your friends will be brought back from the dead, and you can return to the last checkpoint instantly at any time via menu. There’s rarely a reason to fail outright in this game; it’s fairly forgiving.

Trine, however, is incredibly beautiful. It’s a 2D platformer augmented with artistic, colourful 3D fantasyscapes: the wheels turning in the dungeon, the fireflies dancing around lamps at twilight… it rocks with visual splendour.

The game does not take long to complete and HM did not attempt co-op because he has no friends. Plus he felt the game had exhausted itself by the end, he felt no need to replay; it wasn’t compelling enough, somehow. Steam achievements are available for the ADHD crowd.

One recommendation, though. Don’t get too excited about the new level just added to the game called Path to New Dawn. It’s extremely frustrating, checkpoint-free and stuffed full of JMDS. A step backwards for such a pleasant game.

Post-game buzz: Satisfying, short, beautiful. Not memorable enough.

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5 thoughts on “435 on Trine

  1. What did you think about the combat? I’m finding it very, very tedious. I’d say more but I’m reviewing it for a website and I don’t want to exhaust all the snappy sentences I’m coming up with yet.

  2. Well met, Laura from Second Person Shooter. You are welcome here.

    Yes, the combat is a little tedious, especially when you have skeletons that respawn and respawn and respawn until you have ended an entire platoon of bones. Combat is also not much fun if you are left alone with the wizard, although there is compensatory excitement when faced with extreme vulnerability. However, HM will just press ESC and return to the last checkpoint in this situation.

    The combat is one of several factors that prevent it from being a memorable game. Another is that it does not continuously surprise like, say, World of Goo.

    HM is still glad he played it though.

  3. Well, HM has left so many insightful text-walls on Second Person Shooter that he has at least two friends who will play games with him, especially if he hits them up on Steam.

  4. Thank you Kent, you too are welcome. HM used to play Half-Life deathmatch versus wife, but it has been a long time since they wielded shotguns together like Bonnie and Clyde, Crichton and Aeryn, Freeman and Vance. HM is brushing a wistful tear away.

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