The first two games in Frozenbyte’s Trine series were whimsical 2D puzzle platformers. A third title, Artifacts of Power, switched to 3D and offered a shorter adventure that left some fans cold. Trine 4 throws away that extra dimension, and feels much more like the series at its best.
Returning players will know the drill by now, but no context is needed to jump right into this fourth tale. Pontius is a rotund knight with a melee attack and a shield, Amadeus is the cheerful mage that can conjure boxes, and Zoya is a sneaky thief with a bow. Journeying through visually captivating and disparate environments, you’ll have to combine the skills of all three characters by switching between them to solve puzzles blocking your path.
The skeletal story sees our trio of heroes set off to retrieve a runaway prince, whose nightmares are manifesting and terrorising the land. Instead of a rich narrative, we get the charming banter of the central trio and the gorgeous art design. In the kingdom of Trine, even dungeons and caves are full of vibrant fauna and minute detail. Landscapes feel epic despite the restrictive perspective, and beautiful fantasy creatures await in every area.
The central puzzle mechanics are still clever and there are many different ways to tackle them. Crossing a perilous chasm could be a job for Amadeus’ levitation, Zoya’s rope, or some combination of everyone’s abilities. Multiplayer is back, so you can group and navigate the Rube Goldberg environmental design as a team. Aside from some impressive boss fights, battling the prince’s shadow creatures is the games weakest aspect. Combat feels stiff and imprecise, but that feels like a mild quibble about such a consistently pleasing experience.