Check out our review of the original Trine
Back in 2009, Finnish developers Frozenbyte
conjured up a slice of platforming goodness with the original Trine
, featuring gorgeous visuals, fun, character swapping gameplay and a host of physics enabled puzzles. A later successful release on PSN secured the popularity of the original game and ensured the creation of Trine 2
The gameplay in Trine
revolves around a mystical object (called a Trine, oddly enough) which originally trapped three characters inside – a thief, a warrior and a wizard. This allows the player to swap instantly between the three playable characters as the need requires to solve puzzles and lock swords with some well rendered nasties.
And Trine 2
does little to spoil that simple formula. Our three heroes are suddenly visited once more by the Trine and end up on another unexpected adventure where you must use their varying skills to survive. The thief is the nimblest of the three and scores a bow and grappling hook, the wizard can create objects out of thin air and the warrior… we he hits stuff good.
We’ve seen this kind of gameplay before but the difference in Trine
is the fluidity of switching from one character to the next and the realistic nature of the puzzles. If you can think of a solution in real life, it will probably work in the world of Trine, whether it’s an elegant system of platforms and ropes or flinging boxes around until something works, there’s a pleasingly straightforward sense to many of the puzzles.
That’s not to say they’re simplistic, with many requiring multiple stages and perfect timing to complete. But Frozenbyte’s design rarely leads to frustration and the developer has added enough new elements to keep things interesting, like some impressive fluid dynamics which continue the realistic remit. You’ll also find a handful of boss fights which add even more variety this time, though they tend to be rather short lived.
also adds fully featured co-op multiplayer to the mix, allowing three players to take on all members of the Trine at the same time. With all the physics based shenanigans going on, it soon becomes suitably chaotic and it’s hard to resist the temptation to brute strength your way through most of the puzzles. While it’s certainly fun to play in the same room, you can also venture online to find some co-operative heroes, though we’d recommend some kind of voice chat to make sure you can actually solve the puzzles.
The original Trine
was a pretty little thing but Trine 2
is downright gorgeous. The screen fairly overflows with detail at every moment, awash with the kind of organic, magical level design you rarely see in games. A more playful camera and some 3D game engine cut scenes enliven things still further, while additions like physics based water just add to the feeling of peering into a magical other world. It’s genuinely beautiful to behold and the haunting soundtrack just adds to the proceedings.
does little to improve on the original in terms of its underdeveloped and slightly daft story and the 12 levels flit by in just a handful of hours but they are minor issues in an otherwise sterling action puzzler. Best of all, Trine 2
can be yours for a mere €12.99 on Steam right now
. Also available on PSN and XBLA.