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Ascaron Trine review

Kat Orphanides
14 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
15
inc VAT

Trine combines action, strategy and physics with classic platforming action to create a game quite unlike anything else you've played.

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Trine is a clever platform game that dispenses with cutesy monsters and jolly themes.

Instead, you face a beautiful but decaying fantasy realm filled with cunning puzzles and powered by some impressive in-game physics. You begin as a solitary thief, Zoya, as she races through an abandoned castle to steal an ancient treasure. The treasure in question is the Trine, a magical artefact that can bind three souls into a single body - the others being the warrior Pontius and the egotistical wizard Amadeus.

You can switch between these characters to take advantage of their abilities. Zoya is an expert archer and can use a rope to swing from beams and platforms. Pontius is all about brute strength, while Amadeus can conjure up boxes and bridges and move objects by telekinesis. As the characters gain experience, they can fire flaming arrows, summon floating platforms and breathe under water.

The enemies are a little repetitive, with lots of skeletons, interspersed with occasional giant crystal-spined lizards and bigger skeletons. Fortunately, the undead have enough different weapons and attacks to keep things interesting. The real foe is often the landscape, as you negotiate eerie swamps and blazing furnaces. Level design is inspired, with platforms that you have to push to swing before you can leap to a distant ledge, gates that must be opened by summoning boxes on distant pressure tiles and deadly pits to swing across.

If one character dies, you can switch to another and continue, as most puzzles have more than one solution. If they all die, you're resurrected at one of the game's many restart points. The learning curve is gentle, and we found the early parts a little too easy, but the final level is brutally unfair, with plenty of opportunities for instant death. Trine lacks the stand-out moments required for an all-time classic, but it's a clever blend of gaming genres and well worth buying at this price.

Details

Price£15
Detailswww.trine-thegame.com
Rating****

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