If you thought Trine was something to wait till you get your hands on Trine2; in this respect, developer, Frozenbyte have done an excellent job of producing a sequel which manages to maintain or even increase the level of interest in the series. It is a side-scrolling platformer so sumptuous both in presentation and gameplay that you would hate to put down your controller.
The three heroes of the first game — the merry knight, the sly thief and the bold wizard — get another chance to rescue the princess. On their way they have to pass through the enchanted forest and the murky cavern battling goblins and giant spiders, as well as solving the various physics-based puzzles involving fire, water, gravity and magic, so keep your thinking cap on.
The environments in Trine 2 are a spectacle to say the least. As if taken from a fairytale, the settings are magical. The forest, for example, has rich lush green background and the caverns are dark and forbidding, with the spiders and snails defined in great detail.
The three heroes have three distinct set of abilities. The thief has a set of bow and arrow along with a grappling hook, the knight carries a sword and shield and also has a hammer for smashing objects and the wizard has the ability to climb objects and make boxes and planks appear out of the air. In single player mode, only one hero appears on screen at a time but you can easily switch between characters as required by the situation.
The main appeal of the game is the physics based puzzles though you will find that the action sequences are not bad by any means either. You are required to do tasks such as construct a ramp from a pile of crates, rearrange steam pipes to divert steam jets or reroute water canals to the roots of the plants which sprout up like magic beanstalks providing you with a platform to continue your quest.
Some of the puzzles are quite simple and you may be able to find a solution straightaway, but more fun is to try and find a solution which is not that straightforward. In this respect, you will find that the physics engine of the game is exceptional so that you can improvise solutions to a great extent. This allows you the liberty to be original, for example to get around a gate mechanism you can either create magic planks for climbing or ram the same planks into the mechanism to jam the gates. In short, each player can apply his own solution to the problem at hand.
If you get caught up in a real sticky situation, you can enable the optional hint system to help you out so that you keep moving at a brisk pace. As you progress you collect experience orbs which help you upgrade your basic abilities. The thief acquires the fire or ice arrows, the wizard learns to create more boxes simultaneously while the knight upgrades to a charging shield bash.
In multiplayer mode, your co-ops play the other two characters allowing you to combine powers rather than switching between them. This means more freedom and imagination in problem solving, for example, you can have the wizard floating the other two characters onto a platform created by him or make a goblin hanging in the air for the thief to kill with arrows.
The wonderful graphics, the gentle background music combined with adorable characters create a fairytale like feel to the game which is riveting. For those who have experienced Trine would have fond memories of that game and won’t want to miss this one, for newcomers too it will prove to be a nice surprise. — Sohail Saleem