Trine 3

Trine 3

One step at a Trine.


If someone were to ask me what is a fun, fantasy puzzle platformer with RPG mechanics , I would tell them in a heart beat, the Trine series.  Since the first Trine graced PS3 back in 2009, the rich, colorful environments and charming, mystical soundtrack have become a mainstay of the series and have become increasingly well realized.  The once 2D platformer became well know for its thought provoking puzzles and multi-character management.  The developers Frozenbyte have decided to change up the formula a bit this time around by introducing 3D environments that allow characters to leave the limits of a 2D track.  Is this inclusion of player movement freedom really for the better, or do the puzzles suffer?

Trine 3 01

Trine is all about the three main characters and their journey in the mystical land.  Pontius, a powerful knight is the brawn of the outfit.  He is best used swinging his sword or blocking with his shield in combat.  Next you have Zoya, a rogue like archer that can maneuver about quickly with a grappling hook or take out distant foes with a well placed arrow.  Finally we have Amadeus, the wizard.  His powers allow the world to be manipulated by telekinetic powers, as well as the spawning of planks or boxes that can be moved around at will, and are essential to some of the games many puzzles.

Trine 3 02

As you play Trine 3 solo you progress through the game while actively controlling one of the three characters at a time.  Being able to switch which character you have at the spur of a moment allows for precise control over each engagement you encounter.  For instance, you can use the wizard to create a plank that is then placed over a cliff and then switch to the knight once you cross over to the other side where there are some goblins now in your path.  This type of control makes the game very entertaining and gives the player a sense of accomplishment when they figure out the right combination of things to do, and in the right order to get past the current puzzle.  But the freedom goes farther than that as there is usually more than one way to solve a puzzle.

Trine 3 03

Since this is a platformer, one would think progression is limited until you solve the puzzle perfectly, but with the inclusion of 3D worlds, sometimes getting past a once difficult place is easier than it should be because there are so many ways to tackle it.  Trine also has great multiplayer since you can have up to three players either locally or online progressing through the game together, each playing as one of the 3 characters.  Working together in unison becomes essential and mostly prevents one from proceeding further than the others because that friendly co-operation is needed.  While I was able to try some local play and it worked fine, sadly on the occasions I checked online (different days and at different times), there were absolutely no games available.  No one is playing this game online it would seem and that is a sad thing.

Trine 3 06

In the past, Trine has always been about getting through the games many and varied environments in one piece.  Falling on spikes or being bludgeoned by one of the games occasional enemies would result in that current characters death and you would be forced to continue on without their skills until the next checkpoint, where they would then respawn.  Being able to upgrade your characters abilities was a staple of past games and sadly is completely missing this time around, which entirely gets rid of player progression.  Puzzles are not the only part of the exploration.  The other main driving force is collecting the many items in the game known as “Trineangles” which are bright orange, floating triangles and are very easy to spot.  In the past the games collectibles were a form of XP that allowed character upgrades, but this time all they do is allow access to the next level.  The main menu of the game is a 3D game board of types that serves as a map for the available chapters.  These consist of the main game levels and then side levels which each have their own challenge.  In order to unlock these new levels one needs to collect a certain amount of Trineangles.

Trine 3 07

To me the game shines in a couple of new areas and I am really glad they are included.  Tracking of the collectibles is made increasingly easy as each level has a collectible counter and is broken down by checkpoints, so returning to each one to find the few you missed are much easier.  Also, the addition of 3D environments makes the collectibles harder to find at times because they can be hidden in hard to find places.  Think God of War style collectibles.  Some are right in your path and others are hidden off in strange camera angles or in underwater passageways.  The other change I really enjoy is the side missions that are designed for a single character only and range from fending off hordes of enemies to passing through a taxing puzzle level to gather the Trineangles along the way.  These are challenging and if you die there are no checkpoints.  It encourages trial and error as well as mastering your environment so that you can finally do a perfect run through.

Trine 3 05

All in all, Trine 3 is more of what I love from the series.  It has a rich, medieval fantasy art design, challenging puzzles and quick platforming.  Sadly the shortness of the game can catch a few off guard and the removal of some character progression is disappointing, but I still feel that Trine 3 is a solid sequel.  I think that they went out on a limb with the switch to 3D and it mostly paid off, but Frozenbyte might be better off sticking with the tried and true 2D for Trine 4.  As of this writing the future of the Trine series is in jeopardy, but the developers should be rest assured that they have a gem on their hands, and maybe just need to stick with what works.

A review copy of Trine 3 on PC was provided by Frozenbyte Inc’s PR team and the game is available now on Steam.

The Verdict


The Good: Art design | Music | 3D Puzzles

The Bad: Short length | Removal of character progression

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I don’t know how to put this… But I’m kinda a big deal. People know me. In case you don’t I’m a gamer, outdoor enthusiast and part-time everything else.

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