Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review
I really enjoy being surprised by a game. I voiced recently that I generally dislike side scrolling platforming games. What I’ve actually realised since then, that this isn’t actually true. In fact, there are a number of examples recently even that proved that. Stela is game that I recently reviewed, that I quite enjoyed, and now I can add Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince to the list of side scrolling platformers that I enjoy.
Officially, Trine 4 is a ‘puzzle-platforming adventure’ game. It follows 3 heroes as they are sent on a quest to retrieve the troubled Prince Selius. This is my first foray into the Trine series, but I didn’t need a back story to get to grips with what was going on. The 3 heroes – Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight and Zoya the Thief are series mainstays. And I’m sure that returning fans of the franchise will relate more to these characters having been with them through previous adventures. But if you’re a newbie like me, don’t fret. The game explains enough about them for you to feel comfortable in who they are, and what they’re doing.
Trine 4, does allow for up to 4 player co-operative play both locally and online. I always appreciate a game allowing for local multiplayer, a night on the sofa playing games on the same TV always fills me with fond memories. That being said, I didn’t have an opportunity to test this feature during my time with the game. So, this review is purely from the solo play perspective.
Prince Selius is a troubled young man that wants to master magic. It already sounds like a bad combination. But he soon loses control of a spell, and all his nightmares break through as shadows into the real world. Selius is on the run and scared, he doesn’t know what he’s done or how to control these beings he’s created. But it’s your job to catch him and help deal with the threat these entities now pose on the world.
All 3 characters are essential to progression within the game. Each have their own ability set which are needed throughout each level once you’ve done the introductory levels for each one. You’re able to swap between characters by simply pressing RB or LB, and the switch is immediate. Puzzles and small combat sections take up the majority of the game’s layout. And as you’d expect the puzzles get ever more difficult as you progress. Starting off with easily levitating objects into positions as Amadeus, deflecting light off a shield as Pontius, or swinging from hooks with your rope as Zoya. You’ll soon be combining abilities to progress, and the massive difference in abilities for each character really allows you to explore different options to solve these puzzles.
As you go through the levels, you’re able to collect experience orbs. These in themselves come with their own mini platforming puzzles you need to solve to retrieve them. The experience is used to unlock further abilities for each character. By the end of the game, it’s possible for there to be different method to solve puzzles, which will help somewhat with replay ability options. There are also some boss fights in the game. These come with their own platforming areas and need you to figure out certain mechanics to identify weak points to overcome them.
The gameplay is very smooth. Movement and controls across all 3 characters works flawlessly. I’ve found myself frustrated with platforming games in the past that make things awkward due to poor gameplay. But here, any frustration was with me for not being able to solve the problem, rather than gaming mechanics. Visually as well, this is one of the best looking 2.5D games I’ve seen. Vibrant colours, sharp graphics and a variety of landscape, and enemy design make it a delight to look at.
Trine 4 is a great success. It’s strange coming into a series so late and being able to get so much enjoyment out of it. But here I am, fully recommending anyone with previous experience with Trine, and those who are just fans of fun puzzle platforming games, to check this one out. Thank you to Dead Good Media for the review code.
Publisher: Modus Games