Trine is a puzzle platformer with some action thrown in there. You have three characters that you can switch between on the fly, similar to the old Lost Vikings game. You first have the most useful class, the Thief that can use a grappling hook to wooden ledges, a bow, and a flaming bow to light torches. Then you have the wizard that can magically make boxes by clicking or holding the right trigger and draw a box. You can also draw platforms and click and drag specific things to move them or get them out of your way. You can use your boxes and platforms to crush enemies. These first two classes are a lot of fun and have a lot of depth, but then we get to the third class / character, the warrior. He is just your straight up sword swinger, effective melee character…. with a shield that seems pretty useless.
The game is very beautiful, bright and vibrant. It is also very physics based and the physics feel nice. There are nice visuals with diverse settings and instead of cut scenes, the game just uses narrations as you play, which I greatly prefer. Since it is so visually beautiful, it can be a beast on lesser video cards, even at the lowest setting. Your platforms and boxes crush enemies, objects can be thrown into enemies or through destructible walls, the grappling hook lets you swing, and you can wrap hanging spike traps around platforms so they don’t fall. I seemed to get the most fun out of unintentional things, such as teeter tauter platforms combine with Ferris wheel like platforms coupled with skeleton warriors jumping and sliding around to fill the room. The platforming dynamic of moving physics based platforming was a lot of fun.
The controls are very simple, and a controller is highly recommended. You have a jump button, a change weapon button, a trigger for drawing boxes or a grappling hook, two shift character buttons, the left stick controls the character, the right stick is like an aim for the bow, to draw platforms and to aim your shield (which is useless when you can easily dodge attacks). You can aim the bow and the longer you aim it, the further the arrow goes. If you don’t like switching between characters, you can also play with a friend, but it is sad there is no online co-op.
Each character has their own health and mana bar, but the mana never really seems to run out with enemies constantly dropping potions. If one character dies, they’re dead until you reach a checkpoint, even previous checkpoints. If all three characters die, then you simply restart at the last checkpoint. Its a forgiving system, which I’m happy about.
As you progress through the game, you’ll level up to get your choice of skill upgrades. You’ll also find new tricks and skills.
The enemies seem competent and dangerous enough. The basic enemy is the skeleton that comes in four flavors, standard, shielded, archer and pyro. They will jump over pits, climb, fall and do everything to get to you (except archers that stand and shoot). The enemy AI seems good enough so every situation can be different There are also spiders and bats, but for the most part, that’s it.
It is a quick game, about 4 – 6 hours, but still a fun play through (not as addictively fun as Guacamelee). There is some replay value here with collecting stuff from each level and no playthrough feels exactly the same due to the physics and AI. It was a good design choice to have collectables stay collected when you enter each level so you don’t waste time getting what you already had.
If you can get it cheaper than $10, go for it. If you’re not into puzzles, avoid it, because the combat is pretty shallow.