I decided to look through the free games I acquired from my Instant Games Collection, when I recalled that I started to play a game named Trine 2 for my PS4. Recently all I’ve been playing (in-between bouts on The Last of Us multiplayer) are puzzle based indie titles. The Swapper was my favourite game of last year and recently I’ve enjoyed playing through both Never Alone and White Night. Trine 2 was another title that was awash with puzzles. When I first booted up Trine 2 several months ago, I remember enjoying the first level but other games got in the way and I wasn’t exactly drawn back to playing it. Especially as I had been surrounded by puzzle based games recently.
That was perhaps one of my biggest mistakes, well that is in terms of gaming, I’ll leave my other ‘real’ mistakes to the imagination. Trine 2 is amazing.
Trine 2 is a side scrolling puzzle action adventure platformer developed by Frozenbyte, where players can switch between (during gameplay) the three unique characters or play co-operatively with friends. Gamers can play as either Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief, or Pontius the knight. Each falls prey to an overtly over the top stereotype but it is their abilities that set them apart. Amadeus has magical powers that can conjure and levitate objects such as blocks and planks. Zoya can fire her bow or grapple up to high ledges. Pontius is the brute with the sword and shield designed to take care of enemies. Gamers must collect orbs in order to level up their characters with the handful of abilities on offer, which generally revolve around dealing more damage or conjuring more objects to climb up.
Set in a fantastical and mystical medieval world, Trine 2’s levels are incredibly colourful and vibrant. The choice of lighting and art style are enchanting to say the least, and they make you wish the real world looked like that. The Trine, a glowing orb of light, appears to Amadeus asking the heroes for help. After some trepidation about leaving his wife and children behind, Amadeus, seeks out the other heroes to uncover the mystery of why the Trine has appeared to them once again (the Trine appears in the first game).
I sadly haven’t played the original Trine, but thankfully (although I will be going back) those new to the series don’t need to know the original back story to play Trine 2. The games storytelling is simple yet effective and each level starts with the opening of a fairytale book to keep you up to speed with the general goings on.
The game appears relatively linear, as do most side scrolling platformers, but Trine 2 does have pathways that lead to orbs or other collectibles. The puzzles themselves can range from being as simple as traversing an open chasm to lowering a bridge via a complex mechanism that requires puzzle solving, timing and skill. The great thing about Trine is that puzzles are open to interpretation. The game suggests (via the trophy list) that you can complete the game with one character, or at least finish a level using only one character. Obviously switching between characters can get the job done faster but it was interesting to see how certain puzzles are overcome playing alongside a friend. When two players approach the same puzzle you’ll find one player flipping switches and the other conjuring platforms in a completely different way to what you originally did in single player. It is this open interpretation to puzzle solving that makes Trine 2 a unique gaming experience, as no two play throughs are quite the same.
For me Trine 2 is a real triumph. The game is incredibly inventive, the artwork is marvellous and the puzzles are a delightful but rewarding challenge. Trine 2 takes all the elements of a great game and infuses them to make a truly, seamlessly magnificent game. If you feel Triple A titles are lacking in ideas and diverse gaming, treat yourself to Trine 2 you will not be disappointed.