The Trine series has been around for nearly 15 years, releasing four pretty puzzle platformers of varying quality in that time. The third game attempted to bring the beloved character-swapping action to a 3D plane. When that didn't work out, the follow-up returned to the side-scrolling action beloved by fans, and everything was right with the world. Today, developer Frozenbyte has announced the next instalment, Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy, and it looks to be delivering more of that comfortingly familiar gameplay.

Telling a new story, our usual band of heroes — Amadeus the wizard, Pontius the knight, and Zoya the thief — is under threat from an army of clockwork knights, built to put an end to the trio. A malevolent queen wants to quash their heroics once and for all, and it's up to you — and, optionally, some co-op buddies — to stop that happening. Of course, the story is mostly background to allow for another gorgeous, physics-based adventure, and Trine 5 appears to have that in spades.

These games are side-scrolling puzzle platformers, emphasising the interplay between the three player characters. They each have their own abilities, and you'll need to swap them in and out to deal with tricky obstacles in your path. There's also some light combat where, again, each hero has their strengths and weaknesses. Trine 5, which the developer points out will be the "longest Trine yet", appears to be largely more of the same, but with one or two new wrinkles to keep things fresh.

For starters, each character has some new tricks up their sleeves; one example is Pontius' newfound ability to embed his sword in walls, creating a makeshift platform you can bounce on, while Zoya can attach her ropes to its hilt. Using abilities new and old, you'll be hot-swapping between the three characters to solve each puzzle, often needing all of them for different steps. Freezing things in place with Zoya's ice arrows, shining a ray of light with Pontius, or summoning boxes and platforms with Amadeus, all three heroes have their uses.

It's playable solo or in local and online co-op, and depending on the number of players, certain challenges will change. The same also goes for difficulty — puzzles will fundamentally adapt to your preferences, adding extra steps if you play on a harder setting, or making things simpler if you want an easy time. Trine 5 looks to be more flexible, giving you more options for how you want to play, which is always good. There are even two options for co-op — a traditional, three-player mode where each player controls one of the heroes, or a four-player mode in which all players can freely choose between heroes.

As well as the main mission, you'll be able to play Skill Quests — side objectives specific to each character. With XP earned in these (and in the main adventure), you'll be able to unlock and upgrade new skills. You'll need to be at your best, because the game will also feature large boss encounters, which will require all three characters to work together to defeat.

Like we said, Trine 5 doesn't appear to be pushing the envelope, instead providing a reliable physics puzzler that fans can cosy up to. With beautiful visuals, as always, and a heavy emphasis on co-op, it looks like you'll be in very safe hands with this next entry.

Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.

Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is coming to PS5 and PS4 in Summer 2023. Will you be playing this puzzle platformer? Tell us in the comments section below.