Trine: Enchanted Edition
The game at a glance
The story kick off like a fairytale book and you start by playing a tutorial level with each character separately to learn about their unique abilities and mechanics. They all reach the trine, and they souls are bound together by the artifact, making them into an inseparable trio, like it or not. Then their quest to solve the mysteries around the trine and separate their souls starts.
Right from the beginning, you can tell you’re in a beautiful and magical world filled with ruins, treasures and all sorts of contraptions. I actually like that, to my surprise, this is not just a pure puzzle platformer game: it also has its fair share of battles against the undeads, as well as a hardcore mode that puts the enphasis on battle skills to get through it. Also the balance between exploring, solving puzzles/figuring out how to get past an obstacle, and fighting is pretty good so no parts in the game are particularly boring, which is good for the overall rythm.
Fighting skeletons in a dark corridor is one of those things in games that will never get old for me. Bring them on!
A fairytale setting
One of the best things this game has to offer is definitely it’s graphics which are not only good but simply enchanting. The world is sometimes bright, sometimes dark, but always colorful, detailed and straight from a book for children. The forests are gorgeous with all kinds of bright plants and creatures, the ruins are filled with contraptions to block your path and traps to kill you… However, one thing to note is how lonely this world feels as well: Except for undeads, you don’t really meet people there. It’s like our trio are the only humans left. Which isn’t the case of course, but the sheer absence of other living beings feels weird for an otherwise vibrant landscape. I’m not bothered by this at all as I like worlds where there is a feeling you’re alone but still surprised by this choice.
thebetween puzzle solving and side scrolling action
As I mentionned earlier, something I liked about this game was the right balance between puzzles, platforming, and fighting. Other than the great art and graphics, the other strong suit of Trine is the gameplay in my opinion. It is incredibly free as there is always several solutions to a single problem: you could grapple your way through a part, or make platforms with the mage (or a combination of both). Amadeus has the most free gameplay of the game. He can make a number of blocks, planks, and very useful floating platforms (which you can then grapple onto) and move around most objects within the screen, use spikes to stick his creations to a ceiling, the floor, etc… With so many possibilities, getting past some areas or contraptions have many different solutions depending on your level of creativity.
I was playing the whole game with a friend who was playing Amadeus for the most part, and he’s especially crafty and loves to test lots of different things and possibilities, and I was surprised (and very amused xD) to see some of the crazy ways he came up to get past some areas. We loved to call these: “the way the developers intended it”. But that is why I enjoyed the gameplay so much: possibilities, potential, and most importantly if you find a way no matter how unlikely it is, you’re free to do it. That’s how games should be in my opinion.
You also find this same freedom while fighting enemies. All three characters have ways to kill them, even though to be fair you should use Zoya and Pontius for the most part. But if you want to kill them by making them fall in holes or by dropping blocks from above their heads, you’re free to do so. Sometimes it’s details like this that allow you to have a good laugh when playing a game, and having fun is more important to me than the technical stuff even if they greatly help enjoy a game.
Timing jumps with moving platforms while controlling height to not end up in spikes above you is a platformer classic situation and it’s always enjoyable.
Secrets at every corner and lovable art
Trine is filled with secrets to uncover. Destructible walls, hidden areas you need to reach with the grappling hook, etc… Most of them lead to collectibles (which serve as exp for the characters) and let you improve your team with better talents, letting them learn new abilities or improve those they already have (like being able to summon more blocks for Amadeus). There are also chests to find that contain relics giving substantial boosts to th character carrying it (mana, improving a certain skill, HP, etc…). Splitting them wisely between the protagonists lets you not only improve them but also customize their stats to your liking.
Also, I would like to mention how lovely the art is. I already mentionned it reminds me of a book for children, but everything from the menu to the map screen while loading also make me think of an old school RPG. While it certainly isn’t one, it does have that nice graphic touch of a medieval fantasy world found in lots of classics.
The powerful and fearless wizard of the team! Just kidding. He’s the most docile of the 3, afraid of many things, and his magic is rather about utility than offense. Definitely the most useful though thanks to his arsenal of platform creating magic.
The mysterious thief of the group. She seems rather indifferent and calm about most things. Fearless but not reckless, she is very fun to play: arrows are raining down and her grapple gives you a lot of freedom when moving around.
The knight of the band. Reckless and too optimistic, he does know how to handle hordes of undeads with his sword and hammer. His shield also makes his extremely useful to block projectiles, flames, etc…
My favorite bits in this game
Clearly the gamplay and graphics did it for me. These were the two aspects of the game that stood out in my opinion. The feeling you’re taking a trip in a fantasy tale is present at every single stage of this game. Even during loading screens where you see the hand drawn map on the desk with its candles and feather pen. I love that kind of mood.
Gameplay wise, it was the freedom I really enjoyed. There were many ways to get past obstacles that encouraged testing and creativity between the possibilities all 3 characters offered, and choice will always be something I value tremendously in gameplay.
My Personal Rating
- Gameplay 80% 80%
One of the strong points of this game is how simple and free the gameplay is. There is no right way to deal with sections in particular and you can come up with various solutions using the characters, especially with all the types of platforms you can summon and place. I played the game in coop with a friend, and it opens even more possibilities when you combine your efforts and idea, which is really fun.
- Audio 60% 60%
I have to admit the music of this game didn’t particularly stick in my head. It was decent and suitable for that kind of atmosphere, but not very memorable as far as I am concerned. The voices of the main characters also sounded extremely goofy, which I understand since it’s a fairytale kind of setting, but it was still a bit too much for me.
- Graphics 80% 80%
Graphics are really great. It’s beautiful and inspired, and really feels like you’re inside of a fairytale colored book. Sometimes shiny and bright, sometimes dark and eerie, the landscapes get pretty different but always charming. The illustrations, the world map, and the menu also add to this feeling you’re playing inside an old book, which I personally love.
- Lifespan 60% 60%
The game is really short unfortunately, especially if you don’t count the optional objectivessuch as getting all the collectibles and finishing the game in hardcore. But even with those, It only takes a bit more than 10 hours while taking your time. While this is no RPG, I thought that was a bit too short even this type of game.
- Writing 60% 60%
A bit too simple for my taste. Sure I didn’t expect a lot of scenario from this type of game, so that’s not too bad, but I would have loved a bit of background on the characters we’re playing with and felt there that too little. Some more trivia would have been great as well to learn more details about this world.
- Trophies 50% 50%
Ok so again, while trophies do not affect the quality of the game itself, I still consider this to be an important part of games for people who enjoy hunting them like me. And this game has some glitches that make things more difficult at least in multiplayer. The hardcore trophy is glitched in a way that only the host is guaranteed to get credit for the levels, so you need replay some several times for all players to get them. Some collectibles also don’t count randomly. From what I read, this only happens when online which is too bad as this game is really enjoyable when playing with friends.
The final word for Pontius
“ Hahaa, fear not, I have my sword and my cape ”
All in all, Trine was a good experience for me. While I am clearly not the prime target audience for this game as it is not one of my favorite genres, I still enjoy this kind of platformers and have to say the freedom of gameplay this one offers was a nice breath of fresh air. I do not dislike the childish comments of the characters but I definitely would have prefered a slightly more serious approach, especially since we’re up against undeads and saving a kingdom.
The game design and gameplay were really good though for a puzzle platformer. I enjoyed my time in this little world, and though it is not game I will be coming back to, I am looking forward to playing through the rest of the series.