Platformers have a strong presence at the Nintendo Switch, thanks to the efforts of independent developers who release dozens of games every week. However, not everyone is the same, and there is a fair amount of variation in these matters. One of my favorite games is a platform puzzle game that has been around since Out of this World and Flashback on 16-bit systems. In the beginning of the year I finally played Inside and Unravel Two, two excellent examples of combining puzzle elements in a standard race/jump format. However, if you really want to sit down and enjoy one of these games with friends, Trine 4 : The Nightmare Prince is just what you need.
This fourth installment of the series may deter newcomers, but believe me when I tell you that you don’t have to play one of the previous games in the series. The story stands alone and the tutorial sections for each of the characters show their unique abilities and powers. For the uninitiated: You play one of the three main characters: Amadeus the sorcerer, Zoe the thief and Ponce the knight. If you’re playing alone, you can switch back and forth during the game to solve different puzzles and remove obstacles that get in your way. Up to four players can play in cooperative mode, and here the game really shines, because you’ll have to work together to go through all the stages.
If you’ve played previous games, you’ll know what to expect from each character. The wizard can create a magic box that he can make float and place on the screen. With the box you can reach new heights, overcome obstacles or even drop from afar to solve different puzzles. Other objects, such as wooden planks, can be manipulated in this way, and you can even rotate and rotate the object to create new paths. The thief is very agile, she can attach the rope to special hooks and swing it. It also has the ability to attach a rope to two different objects to create a kind of rope that can be used to navigate other areas of the level. Your bow is useful for breaking barriers and running to enemies. The knight has a sword and a shield and is voluminous enough to move around. It can perform explosions to destroy what lies beneath, and its shield is used to solve puzzles where projectiles must hit weak spots or reflected light to unlock switches. By collecting items and defeating enemies, you can improve your skills with the skill tree to increase your strength and skills.
As long as you’re playing, there’s a free story, although it can’t be generously shared. It turns out that Prince Celius wants to put his hand on magic, but he is not prepared for the consequences of his actions. He unleashes his nightmares in the real world and into a trio of heroes to rescue him from the depths of his dark dream manifestations. They present themselves as enemies in different stages and end up as great boss creatures that can only be defeated with a full set of skills between the characters.
Relying on physics makes the game even more fun. Each object has a weight, and you will often try to pull levers or move gears to move through the level. Many elements of the puzzle can be solved in different ways, which seems to break the game in a way that the developer may not have foreseen. It’s always fun, and if you have a group of players, it’s even more fun and interesting because there are often multiple ways of thinking at the same time, often with hilarious consequences. Remember, you’re part of a team trying to move forward, not kill each other!
Trine 4 has a beautiful landscape. The 2.5D perspective is fantastic on the Switch, and I’m sure it will look even better on more powerful consoles. I haven’t noticed any blatant framing problems or other hiccups, but the male character model is pretty ugly. Every time the game gets close to one of the main characters, it doesn’t look good. They remind me a bit of what you see in a cheap editing scene on PS2. Fortunately, most of the game is small and you notice them less, but with all the great sets and cool scenes, it’s weird that the characters look so cheap.
The soundtrack is quite quiet and has a kind of science fiction sound. The voting game is perfect for each character, and I really enjoyed the random conversations between the main team members who stood there for a while and told us what to do next.
The only thing that bothers me is that the fight is lukewarm. Not all characters have fun attacks on hand, and it’s not so satisfying to constantly attack shadow monsters. There is surprisingly little depth to the battle, although there is often a need to figure out how to get rid of the bosses.
Trine 4 is one of those games that is more fun with friends than alone. Indeed, constantly going from one character to another to solve puzzles can be quite intimidating. Interestingly, some puzzles change dynamically depending on the number of players, which is pretty cool to see. The game seems very worthwhile and fun to discover all the secrets hidden in each level. There are a lot of stops and actions, because you are constantly confronted with something that is blocking your way and you have to find out. New mechanics are introduced as levels progress, and the game is never old or outdated. You can play in the Sofa Club or online with friends, and the post-launch patch is prepared to allow local wireless collaboration as well. If you are looking for a new cooperative platform game that requires hand-eye and brain coordination, then this game is the perfect choice.
Trine 4: Overview of the Nightmare Prince
- Graphs – 8/10
- Sound – 8/10
- Gameplay – 8/10
- Late complaint – 7,5/10
Final thoughts: GRAND
Trine 4 offers an exciting and addictive game for four players at once. The game is more fun if you play with friends. So don’t forget to invite someone and spend a few evenings exploring different worlds that are fun!
Craig has covered the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently editor and employee of Age of Games.
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