Zoya, Amadeus, and Pontius are reunited once again in Frozenbyte’s Trine 2 to save the kingdom from from a new danger. While our three heroes are battling goblins and solving puzzles, gamers are posed with questions of their own: does Trine 2 live up to its predecessor? Does it improve upon its flaws? What about the graphics? The puzzles? The abilities? The problem with sequels is that it is impossible to play them without making endless comparisons to the games that came before. Does Trine 2 improve upon the first game? Yes and no. But more important is how this game holds up in the competitive and growing world of indie platformers. Trine 2 brings players into a world of vivid fantasy settings, whimsical storytelling, and challenging puzzles to deliver a unique experience.
Once again, players will find themselves switching between three characters – a thief, a wizard, and a warrior – to confront the challenges of this side-scrolling adventure. Each character has unique abilities and their own health bar. In a single-player game, this can pose a bit of a problem. If a player finds herself down a warrior and a thief in the middle of a mass of goblins, there is little a wizard can do aside from stand and be slaughtered. Or summon boxes and planks. Luckily, Trine 2 also features an excellent online cooperative mode. Multiplayer games are easy to connect to and finding other players a breeze. A girl can either play with her friends or play a quick game with strangers, without the stress of worrying about whether or not she’ll successfully connect to a game. And if players are worried about the puzzles being too easy in multiplayer mode, fear not, because the puzzles offer enough of a challenge to warrant a helping hand every now and again.
The storyline, while more engaging and involved than that of the original Trine, does leave some room for improvement. The game starts with players being transported by the Trine to a forest filled with goblins. They come across a darkly-clad witch, who implores them to aide her in defeating the Goblin King who has overtaken her palace. Along the way, the story of two sister princesses unfolds. It tells like a classic fairytale. There is little depth. The conclusion is open-ended. But the story is whimsical and when paired with the stellar visuals make for a satisfying experience. Not all stories need to have layer upon layer of intrigue, and Trine 2 gives just enough flavor to keep a girl hanging on for the next level.
In closing, Trine 2 may not be the king of side-scrolling platformers but it offers players a gorgeous world to visit for a few hours on a rainy afternoon.
Full disclosure: the author was provided with a free copy of the game for review purposes.