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Story Mode Complete: Trine

GamesKristina PinoComment

Physics-based puzzler/adventure game Trine is one I've been meaning to play for a while since it's got beautiful art, a simple premise, and of course, is playable on my favorite gaming platform: the PC. I didn't know too much about it going in except I'd have to work with several characters in one body, but I ended up having a great time.

Trine isn't too long, definitely around seven hours of play time (more or less) depending on things, and there isn't too much going on, nothing getting in your face and nothing overly fancy. You get three characters, who somehow become enchanted and bound to just one body and must collect three artifacts to restore balance to the world and hopefully get their own bodies back. No pressure, right? 

The first thing that struck me while playing Trine is the wonderful music. It's relaxing, mostly strings, and goes like any kind of medieval or adventure movie theme. There is very little dialogue, and all of the story narration happens while the game is loading between levels (once the level loads, you have the option to skip).

The environments are like paintings that look like the kind of artwork you see on Magic: The Gathering trading cards or fantasy art in general. It's easy to tell what you are supposed to interact with through depth and perspective without having to make the walking areas pop out with bright colors or anything. Surprisingly enough, you even end up swimming around in the course of the game, though I had to increase the brightness a little bit to actually see what was in the murky water and avoid drowning my characters.

The puzzles themselves are pretty straightforward, as all you ever need to worry about is whacking a few skeletons here and there and making your way through obstacles to the end of the level. Usually, things just went left to right. As things get more complicated, you end up having to back-track a little to activate some switches or move things around, but for the most part the adventurers just travel in one direction: right. The very last level changes things and forces you to climb (out of a hell hole, quite literally), which is the only relatively challenging stage you'll encounter.

Once the game is over, you'll open up one more bonus level, which is basically just a breeze-through where you're "tasked" with collecting 10 bottles of some sort. I guess it's like "capture the flags" or just any kind of mini-game type deal where you battle obstacles to collect stuff and then clear. Even if you don't collect everything, you can clear the level and get the "Thank you for playing!" screen at the end.

The only difficulties I had playing the game stemmed from my dumb self not realizing my keyboard was in need of a battery change. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are definitely physics involved so the movement needs to be rather precise. Moreover, replenishing health throughout each stage wasn't easy, and none of the characters had the ability to heal either, so dumb goofs and glitches could turn things into an exasperating situation. For me, everything was tolerable up until that last level. There was just no way! But then I experimented a bit and turned on a different game I've never had glitching issues with, and lo and behold, I had issues moving around there, too. The solution? Charge the batteries. It was an easy mistake, but it cost me a few hours, so I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else has their "moments."

Overall I definitely recommend Trine to lovers of fantasy/adventure as a genre and/or puzzle games. My technical issues aside, it's a delight to play and a nice, quick story to pass the time. The only thing that truly stinks is you have to beat a whole level for the game to save your storyline progress and move you forward. It isn't enough getting to the checkpoints within each level, because if you quit then load up your file again, it'll start you at the beginning of that stage (even if you acquired stuff throughout or upgraded - your characters and status will be saved, but not your progress).

You can get Trine (and/or its sequel, Trine 2) via their official website to play on various platforms or clients.