A Thief, a Wizard and a Warrior walk into an abandoned temple and come out as one, what happened to them?
Trine happened to them, that’s what.
That could be the killer setup to the most Dungeons and Dragons joke ever but instead it’s the basic premise of Trine, a side-scrolling puzzle action platformer released back in 2009.
You can switch between three character, the upper mentioned Thief, Wizard and Warrior, each of them having their own separate abilities which you must use to navigate and fight your way through an increasingly difficult gauntlet of puzzles.
The Wizard has the ability to conjure objects out of thin air and to telekinetically move object around the screen, the Thief shoots arrows and a grappling hook and the Warrior can defend with his shield and smash shit with his sword. So it’s basically an updated version of The Lost Vikings.
The puzzles are built on several layers meaning that you have to usually use a combination of the various characters’ skills in order to navigate them successfully. This also means that you can solve some puzzles in a variety of ways, depending on which skills you use and how.
On the other hand this also means that there will be things located in some harder to find and/or reach places, these extra items or skills reward the players who put in the time to explore the game’s nooks and crannies.
Since we’re dealing with a platformer here, movement and the physics engine are a major part of the experience. Thankfully both of them are pretty well-made. Movement and jumping does take a tiny bit of time to get used to but once you go through a couple of screen with each character you’ll become pretty aware of how fast they move and how high they jump. Similarly you just have to spend a bit of time to experiment with the game’s inertia and the weight of objects.
The world of Trine offers quite a lot of freedom when it comes to the object in the world, almost all of the movable ones can be levitated, pushed or thrown across the world, with them having actual visual and physical in-world impact once they stop moving.
RPG lite aspects
What I found most surprising about Trine is the couple of RPG-lite features it comes with. Each character can equip a series of items, which you may or may not find – depending on how much time and effort you spend into exploring the world; the items enhance their already existing abilities or in some cases, instead of items you will find new skills for your characters to use.
All throughout the game you will be collecting experience which you can use from time to time to upgrade one of your character’s various skills.
This becomes increasingly relevant as you progress through the game since it will allow you to either have more objects at your disposal to navigate through puzzles or allow you to more easily deal with the increasingly difficult enemies.
Since I mentioned the enemies, fighting is much more of an important aspect than I would’ve thought. Even though simple the combat system is quick and dynamic and the game also features what could only be described as boss battles once in awhile, so don’t ignore the Warrior.
Graphics and music
The game looks absolutely gorgeous, saturated colours and very fluid movement animations make it a very eye-pleasing experience.
The soundtrack as well does a very good job to support the fun-fantasy setting, which is set up rather well by a narrator who introduces the characters and then offers some context to what is happening between the various stages of the game.
What I have to note especially is that due to the mix of genre styles, playing Trine requires likewise a mix of both patience – when trying to solve a puzzle, as well as skill – when it comes to performing and assessing jumps and such. Check it out if you’re in the mood for some thematic puzzles.
Let me know in the comments what you thought of Trine, in case you’ve already played, or if the article made you interested in trying it.
Seeya next time, again in the past.