[Review] Trine 3 – Nintendo Switch

Written by Lloyd Coombes
  • Developer: Frozenbyte
  • Publisher: Frozenbyte
  • Release Date: 22/07/2019 
  • Price: $19.99/ £17.99
  • Review code provided by Frozenbyte

With the number of ports of older titles coming to the Nintendo Switch, it can be hard to find diamonds in the rough. While 2015’s Trine 3 makes the jump with a great port, the game underneath just isn’t quite the fairy tale it could be. 

It’s All About Perspective

For the uninitiated, the Trine series from Frozenbyte are platformers that incorporate some light combat and puzzle elements. The franchise’s exaggerated, high-fantasy environments have always traditionally been explorable from a 2D perspective (or 2.5D to be precise) – until Trine 3.

Unfortunately, while characters can now traverse the foreground and background of some areas, the game still relies on a 2D camera. This can make some jumps difficult to judge, or the distance between enemies and our heroes seem closer or further than it is.

The basic premise of Trine is to collect items known as Trineangles – small collectibles strewn throughout each environment. Some are more obvious than others, but it can difficult at times to discern whether they exist in the foreground or background which leads to some frustration. Since levels are unlocked after meeting certain numbers of Trineangles, it can be irritating to return to earlier levels just to sniff out one or two more to reach the required threshold and have to repeat the same trial and err.

Third Trine’s The Charm

Trine 3 remains a fun journey, though, and one you’ll take with three playable characters – each with their own unique talents. Ser Pontius is a barrel-chested knight, Amadeus is a powerful wizard, and Zoya is a thief. Each can be switched on-the-fly, and using each one to navigate areas is key – some puzzles will require Zoya’s grappling hook, while Ser Pontius can bash through sizeable pieces of rock. Amadeus uses his magic to conjure platforms and manipulate environmental areas to reach new areas.

The charm and levity of the world soaks through every aspect of Trine 3, from whimsical dialogue to sumptuous environmental design. Despite the game’s fixed camera perspective, the world in Trine is exceptionally vibrant, and even in 720p on the Switch’s handheld mode it’s a feast for the eyes. That’s the same whether yourself in a dank cave, a mystical forest, or somewhere in between.

Unfortunately, playing in handheld does bring it’s own issues, once again linked to the game’s new dimension of interaction. The key problem is that it can be difficult to discern the depth of your character’s position in relation to the world when looking at the Switch’s screen. Thankfully, playing in Docked Mode brings out the aforementioned superlative artwork – just look at these screens.

Conclusion

If you’re a fan of the Trine franchise, you’ll likely already have an idea as to whether you’ll enjoy Trine 3. The artwork on offer is some of the best on the Switch, and the laid back story make it a fun diversion for an afternoon or two. Unfortunately, the move to 3D isn’t quite the “true love’s kiss” Frozenbyte were hoping for, presenting more problems than successes. 

Pros

  • Great use of colour
  • Lighthearted story and characters feel refreshing

Cons

  • 3D perspective adds serious issues

3/5

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