The classic puzzle platformer series Trine has grown throughout the years, with each instalment being bigger and better than the last. Okay, I know Trine 3 wasn’t very well-received, but you have got to admit, it was ambitious. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is no different, and it excels in many areas that its predecessors lacked in.
Just like the previous Trine games, you follow the adventures of Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief and Pontius the Knight. Their purpose this time around is to find the missing Prince Selius, who had been experimenting with dark magic. His actions have caused the peoples’ nightmares to become reality, making them live alongside their worst fears.
The campaign is spread across five chapters, each introducing players to beautiful new locations as they progress. The first chapter eases you in by introducing you to the mechanics of each character, with the Wizard, Thief and Knight all offering their own unique abilities and attributes. Despite having to play all three characters simultaneously, it’s surprisingly simple, with R used to switch between them. You’ll need to master all of them if you hope to be successful.
The Wizard allows you to conjure up boxes by pressing Y, and you can then move them wherever you choose by holding ZR and moving the right joystick. The Thief fires arrows from her bow by using ZR and aiming the right joystick, which is useful not only for defeating enemies, but also shooting things down that would otherwise be out of reach. Using Y with her also allows you to use her grapple hook. Finally, the Knight has his trusty sword and shield. Pressing Y allows you to attack with the sword, and using the right joystick aims your shield, which can deflect certain projectiles. Each character offers a variety of ways to solve the puzzles that you come across.
One incredibly positive aspect of Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is how likeable the characters are. Throughout each level, through everything that happens, each character’s personality still manages to shine through. They provide witty narration to certain events and little bits of backstory, adding more depth and immersion to the whole experience.
The game also beats previous Trine titles’ hands-down in terms of its progression system. You’re able to unlock more useful abilities that add interesting twists to the way you approach puzzles, such as Amadeus’ ability to levitate enemies or Pontius’ Frost Stompy ability. The way in which you unlock these abilities is done in two sections: collecting experience from defeating enemies, and collecting pink bottles. The experience section unlocks automatically, and collecting pink bottles allows you to purchase various upgrades of your choice.
The puzzles themselves don’t prove to be too difficult, involving fairly simple goals such as guiding light in a certain direction, or placing a box to lower a bridge. You’re unlikely to find yourself stuck at any point, and will likely comfortably sail through the levels. This I believe to be a good thing, as it gives players a chance to appreciate the various other aspects of the game, such as its story, characters and gorgeous artwork.
Overall, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a visually stunning game, with each area packed full of originality and detail that is just bursting at the seams with colour. There is something extremely alluring about the artwork that I found myself just admiring at the start of each level, making this experience one worth playing for sure.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince £29.99
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince was an absolute dream. Likeable characters, engaging gameplay and breathtaking visuals make it hard to put down. The best way to play is in multiplayer, so bring your friends along for a magical experience.