Trine has a legacy that stretches pretty far back all the way to 2009. The original Trine 1 set a pretty good precedent of co-op platformer puzzle solving from a 2D perspective. The reason for Trine’s name also has to do with the fact that it’s been a three player adventure for the longest time. That was changed recently, however, as Trine 4 allows for a fourth player to be involved as well. If you’re someone who wants a puzzle solving fairy tale experience, Trine 4 is the perfect game for you and any friends you have.
Here’s the thing about Trine 4, it’s completely fine if you haven’t played any of the previous games. It sort of works the same way as the Final Fantasy franchise works. The story has no real connection to the previous titles and the nature of gameplay hasn’t changed from the first two titles either.
All Trine 4 has new to offer is the stages and puzzles, and this isn’t a bad thing mind you. The reason I say so is that it’s an improvement in quality in every aspect. The visuals, smoothness of the gameplay and overall points that go into each puzzle basically rendering the previous installments unnecessary. This doesn’t mean you should go back and play them, but it’s likely you won’t get a better experience than Trine 4.
The only game that broke away from the mold was Trine 3. Now while unique can be a good thing, it can also be a bad one. In Trine 3’s case, it was pretty bad. The game made the 3D endeavor and failed pretty badly at it. It tried it’s very best though so that’s a good thing.
The puzzle solving nature of Trine just did not work in a 3D environment and I’m glad Frozenbyte realized that. This is why Trine 4 returns to the traditional 2.5D style of gameplay we all know and love.
This is the part where I should actually get down to the Trine 4 gameplay right? That’s exactly what I’ll do! Trine 4 first off, covers the basic in a fun interactive tutorial. One that I hope Dean Takahashi could complete if given the chance, God bless him. I love the guy. Anyways, the game allows you control between 3 main characters. A thief, a Wizard and a Knight, along with a bonus fourth player that can switch between the three.
Now when you’re playing solo, it’s you who has to switch between the three to solve different puzzles. I should also mention that the puzzles change when you’re in single-player or multiplayer. This is a good thing, since games can often be trivialized when more than one person is putting effort into it. I feel like Trine 4 made a good balance in keeping the game fresh in both cases.
The Wizard is the magical companion who’s tool is mainly levitation and manipulation of other objects. He’s in charge of doing things like stacking boxes together or moving platforms in a makeshift elevator style. The thief is the nimble character in the group who can make it to all those hard to reach places.
Obviously you see the connection between her and the wizard immediately. If you’re playing two player, it’s best to pick these two. Finally, the knight’s purpose really is to shine in the few combat scenarios and sometimes boss fights that Trine 4 has. He’s the muscle of the group basically.
Now the puzzles in Trine 4 are in that sweet spot of the difficulty curve that make sure it isn’t too hard to frustrate a player and it isn’t too easy to be a walk in the park. For this very reason, the game is a great appeal to both regular and casual gamers in the best way possible.
Now I mentioned the abilities of the two main puzzle solvers and they do seem simple. The wizard moves shit while the thief grapples up to them while the Knight keeps you guys covered. However, it’s possible for these simple methods to be used in many ways. Often times you and other players will have very different experiences with solving some of the puzzles. This is an aspect I love in video games, giving the player multiple ways to complete an objective. People think it only applies to an RPG but it can be used in so many different places.
I did mention above that there was combat in this game. While it was a welcome change from the constant puzzle solving, it wasn’t something that would hold my attention for long. On a ratio of puzzles to combat, the game’s fun balance is 80:20.
Yes, the fighting can be quirky and you do feel like a badass using the knight but it’s very clear that Trine 4 isn’t a combat game. It’s a puzzle platformer, and it’s definitely a good thing that the platforming is its strongest suit.
There are a few boss fights within Trine 4 which do a good job of combining both the puzzle and combat aspects of the game. However, I’ll admit the final boss was kind of disappointing. It’s sort of like how the Plague Knight in Shovel Knight was secretly the toughest boss fight in the game thrown in way too early.
Since these boss fights were a tiny portion of the game, it’s obviously very forgiveable since they did still do a good job.
The visuals of Trine 4 pretty much do the fairy tale nature of the game justice. I love the vibrant color and Peter Pan esque color bucket that was dumped onto the game’s visuals by the art design team. Kudos to them. I also loved the sound design that encapsulated the ambiance just as well, delivering an experience like playing through a child’s mystical bed time story.
The game plays softly on the player, never really getting overwhelming or in your face at any point. It’s a really soothing experience and you’ll most likely never really face a game over screen. That’s why it’s a great time pass to experience, especially if you’re a big fan of puzzle games. The story wasn’t too well structured but it wasn’t exactly the focus of the game either.
I definitely recommend Trine 4, especially because it’s available across all platforms. You can play it on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC platform. Grab a bunch of friends and go on your fairy tale adventure now!