What ensues is a trip through a deserted kingdom, where the three must each use their unique strengths to overcome the magic and redeem their individuality.
Trine costs £16.99 and is available for download from the Playstation Store. The single-player campaign will take you roughly 5 hours to complete, but multiple playthroughs are encouraged by the game's inclusion of a platinum trophy.
If you take nothing else from this review, know that Trine is a fantastic looking platforming game. With a gorgeous colour palette of rich purples, the game is a real treat to the eyes. The individual character animation is beautifully realised, with the world swaying in the background. As a 2D title, Trine really has the feel of a much deeper plane, thanks to some wonderful artwork and rendering. The haze of heat from hazardous lava pits emits a washy haze over the game screen, likewise water ripples reflect the game's lighting sources. The over-the-top, Arthurian feel of the game is really emphasised by some medieval music scores that underline the experience and add a charm to proceedings. But it's the seriousness of the narration and character voice acting that really delights — raising many a smile from this reviewer.
At its heart, Trine is a physics based platformer. The earlier mentioned characters — Wizard, Thief and Knight — all have different ways of manipulating the game's physics. The Knight is strong and able to blast through wood and walls, opening up new paths. The Thief is agile and has a grappling hook, allowing aerial travel over various hazards. Finally; the Wizard is able to conjure up platforms, boxes and ramps; aswell as manipulating various elements of the gameworld. Essentially, as the player, this makes you privy to a various arsenal of platforming tools — which you can use in various ways to progress through the game's increasingly difficult obstacle courses. Throughout the game, puzzles often feel like they have multiple solutions, a testament to the game's design and balancing.
As a simple 2D platformer with a range of differing abilities on hand, Trine could have been a mess control-wise. Thankfully, it maintains the simplicity of a basic 2D game — using several commands that let you change character on the fly, jump and use the selected character's special ability. The Wizard's spells are actually executed by holding L2 and drawing an object on the screen with the right stick.
Littered throughout Trine's levels are hordes of undead skeletons, out to hinder your platforming escapades. Rather than serving as a welcome distraction, these enemies are sadly annoying. The game's combat system is far too frustrating to make these sections anything more than a chore. You'll be constantly open to attack, and sadly, the respawning nature of the enemies makes solving puzzles in their vicinity extremely tedious
Trine's closing levels leave a sour taste in the mouth. What starts as a wonderful example of physics based platforming ends in sheer frustration, as the game fills the screen with enemies and makes platforming a real mess of trial and error.
Trine is a clever platformer with some stellar mechanics. Its whimsical charm is offset by some frustration late on, but only repetition and a steep price-tag can deter its overly pleasant nature.