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ZPavelZ

Pavel joined Apr 28, 2011

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Blog RSS Report abuse Trine (mini-impression)

1 comment by ZPavelZ on Apr 11th, 2012

I decided to put some of my impressions concerning some games I like here.
First would be Trine. It is an indie title, after all, thus it should fit Desura well.

Trine

For me this was the game that convinced me indie does not mean "low production value" or "simple". Essentially the games is a physics-based puzzle platformer. In other ways you have to control physical objects and make them interact with each other to advance. Just like in "Incredible Machine" remember?

Well I would not recommend the game, if it was "just" that. Besides being a puzzle platformer the game also has elements of hack-and-slash RPG. This means you have to kill enemies, level up, distribute skill points, enhance your skills, find and equip items etc. And you have a "party" of heroes - a wizard, a knight and a thief (and a good-looking one at that!).

Now here comes the difference - while you are playing a platformer you are controlling only one character at a time. They are all "packaged" together so you do not need to worry about repetitiveness. What you do need to worry about is your own creativity. Trine is a game where there are at least 2 ways to accomplish each puzzle. Normally there rather be three. What does that mean? It means you can use "any" of the characters to advance. Just as well as you can choose any character to battle the monsters. Which one is better for what? You will find that out yourself. What is even more important is that you will find out a lot of "oh that's actually really cool!" moments when you solve the puzzles (I certainly did). And since you essentially can do this in different ways the game has quite a lot of replayability value.

Now, you understand what the core is about. What about the wrappings? They are AWESOME! Frozenbyte claimed all level design in Trine was essentially done by their artists. And it shows. Oh yes, it shows. The levels are pretty... no they are PRETTY! Just look at the screenshots, find some gameplay video. You will certainly see what I mean. Lush, varied landscapes, lots and lots of details on backgrounds all blended together to create the magical atmosphere the likes of which you do not find in games all that often, actually.

Now you would not want to play the game without sound, would you? I surely would not advise you to. The voiceacting is really-really good. The storyline is "ok" (Frozenbyte actually claim it was conceived during a heavy-drinking night). But the presentation is splendid. Narrator sounds like a kind, old Gandalf telling hobbits about his past adventures with Bilbo and Frodo. The Knight is a grumpy funny not-so-witty guy, Wizard is a little goofy, but kind soul (remember Rincewind?), Thief is a sneaky reserved mysterious girl ("femme fatale"), who nevertheless gets drawn into the things going on. All of them together have funny dialogs with some actually decent jokes, which reveal their distinct personalities.

The music. Well - please, just listen to it. You will absolutely adore it. Ari Pulkkinen is called "award winning" for a reason. His music fits the game perfectly. It is sort of nordic folk music one would expect the ancient finns play near their big fires praising their old finnish gods, eating their old finnish roasted boar and drinking their old finnish ale. It is charming, very professional and it will most probably come back to your mind once you think of Trine (just as it does to me even though I played it a long time ago).

The only problems is the lack of enemy variety (only skeletons here - different, with different weapons and abilities and of different sizes, but still - only skeletons) and lack of online co-op - only local is available.

Trine is like a fairytale come true! If you want to feel like a small child again, being told a magical and beautiful tale about old probably-never-existent-yet-so-believable-and-true events by a kind (grand)parent this game is for you.

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