[Review] Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince – Nintendo Switch

Written by Brett Hill
  • Developer: Frozenbyte
  • Publisher:  Modus Games
  • Release Date:  08/10/2019
  • Price: £29.99 $29.99
  • Review code provided by Modus Games

3 Heroes Reunited

Trine is a series that is completely new to me and wow I have definitely missed out over the past 9 years. The combination of puzzle-solving and traditional side-scrolling platform gameplay blends together perfectly. With 3 protagonists to switch between you will soon be creating quirky and imaginative ways to complete the mystical conundrums that will try to stop you from reaching the Prince. Frozenbyte has also added online and local co-op play which can be a blast if you find the right person to play with otherwise expect a few arguments.

The storyline is pretty straightforward, 3 adventurers by the names of Amadeus the wizard, Ser Pontius the knight and Zora the thief are reunited in this brand new addition to the Trine series. A prince has escaped from Astral Academy, in which he was kept there for his own safety and for the great of good. The Prince had enough and disappeared, but can he control the evil within? It’s up to the 3 amigos to find and return him to the academy as you fight, climb, jump and swing through 5 acts.

The scriptwriting is witty and hilarious with a few laugh out loud moments, reminiscent of Monty Python especially The Holy Grail. The relationships between the 3 characters work really well together with the knight being a simpleton but built like a unit and wouldn’t think twice about using his head to bash through a wall. Then there’s Zora a witty thief who is always one step ahead of the game whose abilities are archery and grappling. Amadeus is a wizard who flunked magic school but isn’t afraid to lay it on thick about how amazing he is. The 3 personalities have so much depth to them and will have you rooting for them instantly.

Is An Extra 1/2 D Worth It?

Trine 4 has been uniquely designed in 2.5D with breathtaking backdrops that look truly beautiful as you progress through the acts, from eerie forests to castle ruins the 3D scenery adds a sense of depth to the level. The art style of Trine reminded me of Oddworld and Heart of Darkness ( This needs to be remastered by the way). So to answer my title yes, yes it is.

The lighting effects are another gem of Trine 4, Frozenbyte has done a fantastic job of blending the foreground in with the 3D background and I feel the main reason for this is down to the lighting. one example is when you are inside and the sun is glistening through the windows onto the floor even showing dust particles just looks spectacular.

The levels are broken up into scenes with each one having a puzzle to overcome before moving onto the next. The puzzles are pretty straight forward and can feel repetitive in places, There are only a couple of moments throughout the game which makes you feel like you have hit a wall. The puzzles themselves usually require you to use a certain attribute from one of the 3 characters to overcome. This can be anything from using Amadeus to conjure up a box to rest on a pressure switch to open a door, use Zora’s grapple to cross a huge chasm or strategically aim Pontius’s shield to bend light to hit a switch.

Within each level, there are battle scenes to break up the repetitiveness of the puzzles but once you have found a technique that works for you it is pretty easy to destroy the enemies and work the same way throughout the game. At the end of each act, there is a boss fight but again once you have worked out the sequence they are not challenging in the slightest and can be beaten on the first go.

The soundtrack perfectly compliments Trine, Ari Pulkkinen has captured an authentic sound with an almost medieval feel to it thanks to the choral music and psaltery sounding instrument that plays throughout. It almost has that distinct sound of Harry Potter.

Collection of Knickknacks

To keep the gameplay fresh there are many nooks and crannies throughout the game to explore and collect treasure. Also, you can unlock new attributes for each character from being able to conjure up to 3 objects using Amadeus or being able to use your kite as a shield with Ser Pontius. These attributes can aid you through the game but some puzzles require you to own a specific upgrade to progress through the game. These can be unlocked by collecting stars and purple water droplets.

Conclusion

Trine 4 is a great game for those side scroller fans out there and for anyone who likes the Trine series. The puzzles can be a little on the easy side and the levels are drawn out a little too long but with the story being broken up into 5 acts and mini-bosses to tackle it will keep you engaged till the credits are rolling. The art style and graphics are the stand out points, every part of the game looks amazing from the cutscenes down to the actual design of the levels. The gameplay is simple which is a feat in itself, with the number of techniques and movements involved the controls are relatively easy to pick up. Trine 4 was a game that I knew very little about and caught me by surprise, I will definitely be visiting the previous 3 titles in the series.

PROS

• Controls are quick to pick up
• Artstyle is truely breathtaking and looks great on the switch.
• the 3 Protagonists are equally loveable and the storytelling is on point.

CONS

• Puzzles can get repetitive and easy to complete.
• Levels are drawn out.
• Boss levels are straight forward and can be destroyed in one go.

Verdict
A magical side scroller with an amazing and hilarious script, with over 15 hours of gameplay it can feel repetitive but rewarding at the same time. The puzzle and platformer gameplay is a winning combo and I would recommend it to fans of both genres.

4/5

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