Review: Trine 2

Read time 2min 50sec

Trine 2 is a fantasy puzzle platform game developed by Frozenbyte, and is the sequel to 2009's Trine.

The game was originally released in December last year for PlayStation, PC, Mac and Xbox, but recently, the Linux version was launched. Comfortingly, players don't need to have played Trine to enjoy the sequel.

The premise of both games is this: there is a magical artefact (the Trine) that merges three characters into one body. The first, Amadeus the wizard, has the ability to levitate and conjure objects (initially, only a box, later, a plank); the second is a thief named Zoya, who can shoot arrows and use a grappling hook; the third is a warrior named Pontius, who can use a sword and shield. Swapping between the characters, and using a combination of those six abilities, the player must navigate a fantastical wilderness.

After giving the first game a go, I'm happy to report there are definitely some improvements in the sequel.

My biggest gripe with Trine was saving the game. The original game uses the checkpoint method of game saving. Trine 2 does employ checkpoints, but they're used to resurrect characters and restore health. Upon exit, the game saves where the player is, so when the game is opened again, players can just resume exactly where they left off.

Another improvement is the eradication of the energy meter. In the first Trine, the wizard could only conjure and levitate a certain amount before his energy ran out and the player had to wait for it to replenish.

Trine 2 is less frustrating than the first Trine, initially. I had fewer instances of white-hot rage from constantly dying. So, the characters are hardier (fewer hit points are lost when injured), but the puzzles are also more difficult, and less straightforward.

Like I said, there were fewer moments when I had the urge to throw my PC out of a window after dying - again - from falling onto spikes. In my experience, though, the puzzles in the sequel are more difficult. They require more precision. The timing must be perfect and, though I'm ashamed to admit it, there were still moments of blinding frustration and many, many experience bubbles I couldn't reach.

In Summary

I say: A fun and sometimes challenging game, but not as engrossing as some.
Good: The nature of the puzzles gives the brain, and reflexes, a workout.
Bad: It can be utterly frustrating.
Score: 7/10
Price: R136

Experience is gained through collecting bubbles, potions and killing enemies. Experience is then used to buy more powers/weapons, like a fire sword, or being able to conjure more than one object at a time.

The world itself is pretty to look at, but sometimes the excessive cuteness makes me wonder if the game is aimed at a younger audience. I'd say it's a good game for a moderate-gamer tween, or a casual to moderate gamer adult. Although, I suspect, it would be more popular among women.

In summary

The game can be quite addictive (when the puzzles are going the player's way) but the platformer nature of the game means players probably won't be fully immersed in the world for long periods of time.

See also