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Trine (PC)

Trine (PC)


These days when discussing new PC games, the talking point is generally around a new cutting edge engine and how much better it looks when compared to the previous version. It seems quite often that the core element of gameplay is overlooked and today we are looking at a title from developer Frozenbyte which is a modern take on the classic 2D action adventure genre.

TRINE starts off with a beautifully presented background story on how three individual characters end up in the same treasure room – all touching the same magical object, which has the effect of combining them into one deity. The voiceover is extremely effective and I immediately warmed to the game just from the initial presentation. The merged characters must find a way to free themselves from the same body while clearing the land of the evil that pollutes it.

You take control of these three unique (and combined) characters … a wizard, a thief and a knight. Each of these has their own special abilities and skills with which they can move around and interact with the environment and its many hostile creatures. The wizard can move objects with his magic and summon blocks and bridges to access certain areas. The thief carries a bow and arrow and can attach a rope to wooden surfaces to reach impossible locations. The Knight is the warrior of the group and he carries a huge sword which is useful for smashing skeletons to bits. The combination of the thief and the knight means that you have melee and ranged combat at your disposal and the wizard adds an edge which means you can create and move objects in the environment.

The specific player mechanic of the game means that many situations can be solved by the use of these characters in different ways and you can actually just stick with two characters for the majority of the game if you like – there is freedom in the design (Knight is mainly used for hacking the undead). Some puzzles require quick thinking and switching between characters to reach the end goal.

As you progress and complete puzzles and kill skeletons you earn experience points that can be used to get new skills. Many of the green potions that contain additional experience points are hidden throughout the environment and the developers have included many hidden areas for additional exploration bonuses (if you can be bothered looking!).

Simply by pressing a key you instantly mutate into one of the three characters and you can switch to them anytime, immediately. They all have independent health and magic bars and if one of them dies then you have to get through with whoever you have left until you reach the next checkpoint. You can also play the game with three people cooperatively if you like with each person controlling one of the characters and this changes the overall game experience. If you are playing the game solo then you only have to deal with getting past a location but in multiplayer then each person needs to ascertain how to get their character from specific locations to others which makes the game extremely difficult and challenging. Unfortunately we found some issues with the camera as it will let characters walk off the screen and they can be killed without knowing it.

Trine is a physics based puzzle platformer, which intrinsically means that all objects and motion is governed by gravity and collisions of objects will react realistically. It works very well and certainly adds a depth to the game which is appealing. For instance if the wizard creates a block and it hits a balanced piece of wood, the plank will react to the weight of the block and move accordingly. The thief can also aim her bow in a full 360 degree motion and will fire in relation to how long you made her pull back the bow string.

Graphically the game is absolutely beautiful with a saturated, stylised game world which is full of personality and makes you feel a part of a fantasy world, lifted from the pages of a book. The environmental design is both complex and stunning and even though players can really only move in a 2D plane the world is rendered in a fully 3 dimensional plane and the camera zooms in and out for dramatic effect. We played the Steam version of the game and were unable to get 2560×1600 resolution via the settings, however after editing the options.txt file within the applications specific steam folder (in config folder) and reloading – we were able to run with the native resolution of our panel.

Musically, the game is also impressive with appealing little orchestral tunes adding tone to the various sections. The quality of the voice acting however stole the show for me, as it is absolutely marvelous.

Trine is a wonderful game which deserves serious consideration from anyone bored with the usual run of mill FPS in 2009. The game has bags of charm and combines the feeling of an old style 2D adventure platforming game with modern day physics elements and solid gameplay with the multifaceted character system. The beautiful visuals and audio score really add to the immersion factor and this one that I can wholeheartedly recommend.


Solid puzzle design and great gameplay.
One of the most beautiful 2d style games ever made. Huge amount of detail on all the environments.
Texture rich score and superb voice acting.
A long single player experience which offers good value for money.

A trip back to the good old days with a modern day twist.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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