Today I will tell you a tale. A tale of a time, long ago when I saw the first screenshots of Trine, and the obvious beauty of the game encouraged me to purchase it. It was clear to me that this game would offer a superior experience on a console but a series of circumstances lead me to purchase it for the PC. What sort of circumstances you ask? I became addicted to the price savings offered by the Humble Bundles, and in 2011 they offered the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle, which included Trine 1. I tried playing Trine on the PC, and it was certainly beautiful but it pushed my laptop a bit too hard and it became uncomfortably hot and overheated my nether regions. They keyboard controls were also as poor as I expected. I was able to make it a few levels in but I never gave the game a fair chance.
The years rolled by and I didn’t give Trine another thought until one day I heard that Trine 2 had not only been released, but it was being made available FOR FREE to Playstation Plus subscribers. FREE! (With paid subscription) is one of my favorite price points so I immediately downloaded and tried the game out. Then I didn’t play it for three months.
My daughter was born in August 2014 and when up late, or early, or both with her I’d set her into the crook on my left arm and sometimes I’d play some Trine, but usually I’d watch Star Trek : TNG on Netflix because I didn’t have the mental energy to engage in a video game. I’ll be honest too – I wasn’t enjoying Trine that much. It is beautiful, challenging, interesting and unique but it is too slow. It may be the Mario player in me, but I wanted to be able to run faster, jump higher, but Trine is a puzzle game first and an action game second.
The puzzles in Trine require either thought, or brute force. It’s not like other games where there is one correct answer, there may be many possible ways to get up to the next ledge. Some of them require skill, others require patience but all require you to stop running and start thinking. Levels generally took me 20-40 minutes to complete and I was never sure if I could save mid-level. I couldn’t find a save option – I assumed the game had an auto-save feature. Sometimes after reloading I would start at a checkpoint and other times I had to start a level over. It was slow going for me. I played a few levels a month and I monitored the list of Trophies to gauge my progress but I never seemed to be any closer to finishing the game.
Then Sony bequeathed unto PS4 owners a glorious update. The ability to suspend a game in the middle of a level and resume later without losing any progress was added to the system, and the people rejoiced. Without concern of losing my progress through a level I began to play Trine 2 in smaller, bite sized sessions. With the mighty sword of suspend, and the shield of resume I was able to conquer my foe and Trine 2 lies dead in the graveyard of my blog.
Trine 2 isn’t especially graphic but I tried to limit my kids to only watching the puzzle portions of the game and kicked them out when I was involved in goblin hacking. Sometimes I’d get through a puzzle only to be thrown into a battle and forget to kick the kids out but they never seemed overly traumatized (I’m pretty sure my 4-year-old’s night terrors were unrelated). They seem to be able to grasp that it’s only a game and most of the action on my 24″ monitor is too small to make out much detail anyway.
I discovered accidentally that Trine 2 is one of the few PS4 titles to support 3D, and as the world’s only fan of 3D I took the opportunity to play in 3D as much as possible. The game looks absolutely amazing-er in 3D, although since it is a 2D side scroller 3D mode doesn’t accomplish much other than emphasize the distance between the graphics layers.
Suspend mode was the feature that really made it possible for me to enjoy Trine 2. I had tried playing using remote play from my Vita (which worked well) but Trine makes full use of the controller and the Vita’s emulation of the extra shoulder buttons is…not fantastic. After I got into the game I had a lot of fun playing it and I’m considering going back to that overheating laptop to give Trine 1 another shot, especially since I have three kids now and I don’t need my nethers anymore.
- Stunningly Beautiful Artwork.
- Can be a bit slow going.
Is it fun: Yes