Game Review #10

Trine

Trine is a side-scrolling action platformer and puzzle game.  It was developed by the Finnish company Frozenbyte.  Trine has received recognition for being one of the most aesthetically pleasing and well executed puzzle platformers in recent years.

The narrative of Trine is straight-forward and not too exciting, but it does hold your interest.  It takes place in a forsaken and ruined kingdom. After enjoying a period of great peace, the king died without leaving an heir, plunging the kingdom into political instability. Taking advantage of the chaos, an undead army suddenly appeared and attacked, forcing the inhabitants to abandon the realm.  After an unspecified amount of time, Trine begins with a thief searching for a legendary treasure in the Astral Academy, an institution of magical studies. Unknown to her, a wizard remained at the academy to study the skies, while a knight arrived there to protect the academy. The three meet at the chamber of the ancient treasure and, touching the object at the same time, disappear.

These three characters become the main characters of the game Trine.

  1. Thief: The thief’s main weapon is her bow.  The bow can be charged by holding down the fire button before releasing, and longer charges make for farther, straighter shots. The thief also has a grappling hook which can be fired at wooden surfaces and used to swing to other platforms.  The thief’s possible upgrades include shooting more arrows with each shot, faster charging of her bow, and more damage inflicted with flaming arrow.
  2. Wizard: The wizard has the ability to use sorcery to move objects remotely, as well as conjure new objects into existence. Initially, the wizard is only able to conjure a cube-shaped object. However, he acquires the ability to conjure long, straight objects, called planks.  The cube and plank behave as normal objects, obeying the laws of physics and gravity.  Later in the game, he learns the ability to conjure a floating object shaped like a small pyramid.  They remain at a fixed point in space, unless the wizard moves it, and can can hold weight and be used as a new platform.  Conjured objects are primarily used to help overcome obstacles and reach difficult areas. The plank, for example, can be used to bridge gaps.
  3. Knight: the knight’s initial weapons are his sword and shield.  He acquires a flaming sword during the game, which inflicts more damage and can light torches. The knight also acquires a sledgehammer.  He has the ability to lift certain objects and hurl them.  His shield can be used to deflect enemy attacks, as well as falling objects and projectiles.  The knight’s possible upgrades include additional sword damage, charging attacks, and additional sledgehammer attacks.

The core mechanic behind Trine is the use of physics.  Each character can interact with various objects found in the game using different abilities.  Everything in the game is subject to gravity and laws of physics.  You have to time your jumps, as well as the creation of boxes, pillars, and platforms.  Trine uses Nvidia’s PhysX physics engine to provide objects and characters with full physics interaction.

The player controls and switches between the three different characters to try to complete levels. There is also a cooperative play feature, whereby multiple players can join in at any time to control different characters simultaneously.  Each character has their own health and energy meter.  Energy is used for certain weapons and abilities, and is replenished by blue-colored bottles found throughout levels.  Health is replenished by collecting heart-shaped containers, which result from destroying certain enemies. The player also has a single experience meter that is shared among all characters, and is improved by acquiring green-colored bottles found throughout levels.  Every 50 experience points, each character is given one point towards the purchase of upgrades to their abilities.

When a character dies, the player must choose another living character to continue playing the level. If all three characters die, the player is sent back to the last checkpoint crossed, and all three characters are resurrected.

My biggest complaint is that there isn’t large variety of enemies.  There are only a few varieties of skeletons, flying bats, and the occasional big beast creature.  However, I think this game is all about being a platformer, not a fighting game.  The enemies are there just to add some challenge and fun.

check out the game at:

http://trine-thegame.com/site/index.php?page=home

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