The Trine franchise returns for the fourth entry in the series, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince. Fans of the franchise are undoubtedly eagerly anticipating the release of the latest installment. For everyone else who, like myself, has no prior knowledge of the game, allow me to lead off this preview by asking: Where has this game been all my life!?
What’s Old Is New Again
The Trine series got its start over ten years ago, when it released for The PC in 2009. The franchise has since received two sequels, released in 2011 and 2015, all three of which eventually made their way to consoles, while receiving high praise from critics and fans alike.
Although the franchise has been around for a while, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is an entirely new entry and does not require players to have any prior knowledge or experience with the series to enjoy playing it. That said, veteran players will surely enjoy the charms of what the series has continually offered throughout the years.
This preview is based on a private beta that featured six introductory levels to get players used to the three characters from the previous games - Amadeus, a wizard who uses his powers of telepathy to clear and create paths; Pontius, an armored knight who utilizes brute force with his sword and shield; and Zoya, an agile thief who uses her arrows and rope to get around - along with the overall mechanics of switching between characters on the fly to progress through each levels’ puzzles and battle every villain. The three join forces once again to rid Prince Selius from the dark magic that possesses him before the darkness consumes the entire world.
I was immediately drawn to Trine 4’s visuals, which feature level designs that have the same whimsey and charm of any classic Disney animated movie. The audio and musical score also added to the game’s ability to immerse players within the game’s side-scrolling 2.5D platformer design.
Getting Better All The Time
As players progress through the story, collecting XP along the way, skills levels can increase and additional abilities can be unlocked. However, even in the introductory levels, the starting abilities of each of the characters are insanely satisfying and fun. Although swinging from hook to hook with Zoya is as enjoyable as it sounds, I took to Amadeus the most. His ability to conjure giant boxes out of thin air and use them in-sync with his telepathy was incredibly helpful for quickly jumping over a ravine. Honestly, that is also part of what makes Trine 4 so fun as well: there’s not just one way to solve an obstacle or puzzle.
Thanks to my lack of concentration that allowed Zoya to fall to her untimely death, I naturally assumed that I would need to restart the level. However, I was able to use the wizard’s abilities to cross the obstacle safely. This was relatively easy to control using my keyboard and mouse, but still just complex enough to make me wonder how well it will translate to controller-based systems, and especially on the Nintendo Switch.
That concern is really neither here nor there, though, as this has probably already been translated perfectly over the span of the previous three games. Trine 4 is currently scheduled for an October 8th release. In the meantime, you can bet that I’ll be picking up the Trine three-game bundle that is currently on sale on Steam. As for Trine 4, in addition to the PC version, there’s also a pretty good chance that I’ll be picking up a second copy for the Nintendo Switch, as it seems to lend itself quite well for the mobile device. At any rate, Trine 4 has come out of nowhere to surprisingly become one of my most anticipated titles for the final months of 2019. Stay tuned to TheGamer for our full review following its release on October 8th.
A preview copy of Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince provided to TheGamer for this preview. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince will be released on October 8th for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.