A wizard, knight, and thief walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the setup for a bad joke, but a bad setup for a Trine 2 review. In this 2D puzzle platformer, your objective is to use the three characters you have at your disposal to get past any obstacles in your way as you search for the a magical treasure. Though it was released last year on PC, Mac, XBOX Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, I didn’t really give it much thought. However, I always did hear great things about it, and I picked it up when it went on sale recently on XBLA.
The crux of the experience hinges on its three protagonists: Amadeus the wizard, Pontius the knight, and Zoya the thief. Each character has unique abilities, none of which should be a surprise if you’re familiar with their character archetypes. However, the joy in using them within the context of Trine 2 is how you’ll leverage them to solve each puzzle. Most puzzles require you to rotate between your characters, and use each of their abilities in a way that allows everyone to get through as a team. Progressing through the game will net you skill points, which you can spend on each character’s skill trees. The trees are short, but the rewards are good.
Of the three characters available to you, the wizard and thief were easily the most fun, and useful. The knight on the other hand, isn’t very interesting to use. His primary purpose is to fight enemies, and break down barriers, but neither of these core actions is very interesting. I found myself only using him when I absolutely had to, and focusing my efforts on the wizard, and thief instead.
In most cases, the puzzles felt good to solve, though of course there were a few that stumped me along the way. The game has a hint system that will dispense a hint for you if you get stuck, and you can even toggle the amount of time it takes before the game drops a hint on you. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the hints very useful. A trip to YouTube was what I ended up resorting to when I got really stuck.
As you’re making your way across the land, definitely take a moment to enjoy the view. Lush backgrounds, and characters full of detail reminded me of the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw Donkey Kong Country. I wish the a of the game’s presentation layers lived up to the visuals, but the sound, and story are a clear step down.
I’m only about half way through the game, but what I’ve played has been pretty cool so far. Unfortunately, it kind of fell out of my rotation, and I haven’t gone back to it for awhile. I can’t give it a full review because of this, but I feel confident in recommending you give it a shot. The demo is at the very least, free to try on XBOX Live Arcade.