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Analysis of Trine 4, the dream return of the three heroes to 2.5D

Written by Kamran Haider

Prince Selius is out of control. Your nightmares are coming true. It is the turn of our three heroes to put an end to this chaos and all accompanied by new puzzles and powers that return to the essence of the saga. In the analysis of Trine 4, we see how far this return goes to the origins.

I‘ve always had a certain weakness for the Trine saga. Maybe because somehow his mix of puzzles between three characters has reminded me of that other Blizzard saga called The Lost Vikings, which today a handful of nostalgic remember. These eureka moments are easy to find in The Nightmare Prince, although each time the formula is repeated a little more. Therefore, I think you have to recognize Frozenbyte the courage to try to get out of the way with Trine 3: Artifacts of Power and take his saga to the pure three dimensions. The experiment, however, also demonstrated the strength of the previous video games, especially that Trine 2 that managed to capture the essence of the original and take it much further.

This fourth installment does not strike as hard as his second. It is logical, his approach repeats enough of the mechanics and tools already used. But he always does it with style and making each puzzle feel fresh and witty. Part of the charm, I think, puts that dynamic way of solving them. There is no single solution to the problem, which encourages creativity in decision-making, to the point that sometimes it almost seems that we are benefiting from something that programmers have missed, but nothing is further from reality. Even more so when we are encouraged to look for all the secrets and drops that are scattered across the stage, which often require thinking a little more than necessary and taking the longest route.

This mix between rhythm and creativity makes you want to always keep going.

The result is that it always rewards. Probably because the balance put in their challenges is very well measured. In my games, I have rarely been really stuck and even when it has happened, I have not reached enough time that you can mark (in my case 6 minutes) in which the game gives you a clue how to find the solution. This mix between rhythm and creativity makes you want to always keep going in order to see how developers will curl the curl on the next level.nightmare

I Trine 4, inside the nightmare

The Story is not very important in this Trine 4 beyond serving as an approach to unite the different levels and does not try to interfere too much in the player’s way. It has to do with the game’s own title, The Nightmare Prince, as our adventurers will have to bring Prince Selius back, whose powers are unleashed after escaping from the basement of the magic academy and bringing his nightmares to life (and also to those of other characters and even ourselves).

As I say, it perfectly serves to create an even more magical pretext than a fantasy game like Trine presents. To the stunning images that the saga always brings, even more, imagination is added thanks to these dreamlike moments where the rules of nature are further distorted if possible. It is impossible not to continue opening our eyes to the incredible images that each of its scenarios leaves us. Frozenbyte’s work in visual design catches.If you thought you were already impressed with his previous work, wait to see the result of Trine 4 or take a look at his images or his trailers. The selection of colors that pigment each of these story panoramas is overwhelming. Only for visual recreation, which is also accompanied by great melodies for each level, is this adventure worthwhile.

But I cannot avoid the debate about the continuity of the work. Trine 2 proposed a masterful expansion of the mechanics of the first, while it’s the third party, with greater or lesser success, proposed leaving that 2.5D that characterizes the saga. Trine 4 is, therefore, the most conservative, since many puzzles and mechanics, and even advanced, you will have seen them before in the other games. You always get one more twist and, even if they are familiar, they will continue to challenge your intellect and spatial vision. However, it is the first time he has given me to think about what would happen if Frozenbyte retired Amadeus, Pontius, and Zoya and tried to create other characters with different talents to give the game system a complete turnaround.

It would help to renew some skills. For example, everything related to the fighting, which is justified here with those prince’s nightmares in closed stages, is really little worked. They feel bored, repetitive and with little depth that does not obey more than trying to vary something the puzzles, but that really does not contribute much. These battles work best in the final bosses, where they are justified much more since each of the blows we take is always preceded by a small puzzle to solve to find out how to weaken the enemy. Thus, he shares much better the spirit of the series, which has always been to use intelligence ahead of the sword.

There are some novelties, such as that system of improvements that provide the drops and that allow us to unlock movements and objects instead of finding them by mapping in hidden areas (which there are also), but usually they do not help a lot since everything in Trine it must be able to be solved with the basic movements, while the obligatory ones are unlocked automatically. For this reason, the multiplayer mode that allows us to solve the puzzles with one or two other players and that represents a total revision to each of the levels stands out, since these challenges are adjusted to the number of players to make cooperation between skills necessary, of the magician, the knight, and the thief.

The balance put in its challenges is very well measured.

However, Trine 4 may not feel the freshest or most revolutionary delivery of all, I think that here the study has wanted to return to the roots and rethink the next movement. However, for those looking for a natural extension of their second part, they will find in The Nightmare Prince just what they were looking for. And I often return, demonstrating what Frozenbyte is capable of doing with a great handling of the color palette and a good bit of imagination to build truly beautiful levels and elegant and creative puzzles. There is no better sample of the power of magic.

Recommended: Miitopia analysis. A lot of humor, little RPG

Conclusion:

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince may be the most continuous delivery of the series, which returns to the path established by its second part, but does not forget to create the most beautiful delivery of all, with very ingenious, balanced puzzles and with that great ability to solve them in several different ways. Although it does not deepen as much in those phases of combat as it has done in the puzzle, the result catches. Even more, if we take advantage of its multiplayer functions, which adapt the whole adventure to the number of players.

  • Is beautiful. A composition of colors and backgrounds perfect.
  • Ingenious and well-balanced puzzles.
  • Dynamic challenges, with multiple ways to solve.
  • Multiplayer that adapts the game to the number of players.
  • Continue Fewer original ideas than his second installment.
  • The phases of fighting are very simple and boring.
  • Sometimes it is messy to select the correct object to interact with.

About the author

Kamran Haider

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