The story concerns a thief, wizard and knight who all touch a magic crystal that binds them together into one body. You have control over all three, but can only use one at a time, switching between them with a press of a key. Each character has a different set of skills. The wizard can conjure boxes and bridges out of thin air, as well as levitate objects and move them around, but he isn’t great in a fight. The thief can use her bow to kill enemies at a distance, and has a grappling hook that will attach to wooden objects and help her swing over large gaps. Finally, the knight is excellent at combat, and has a sword and a shield to both attack and defend. He can also use his strength to pick up and throw items around the levels.
Each skill is entirely different, but equally vital to helping you progress. The level design is excellent, and forces you to think about how you’re going to cross the traps and chasms that you are presented with regularity. There are often a number of ways to cross the obstacles you encounter, and looking for visual clues around the screen can also be important.
Speaking of visuals, the graphics on show within Trine are simply sumptuous. Lighting is pitched perfectly to create glowing plants and beautiful skies, and the depth of the world is simply spellbinding. As you scroll along a 2D plane you see huge amounts of detail in both the fore- and background, with waterfalls, turning cogs and enemy camps all being fully rendered in jaw-dropping detail. The animations are also incredibly smooth; the three characters move beautifully and the great physics engine makes the game feel incredibly realistic. There are a number of options to turn the graphics to a lower setting if you’re experiencing lag, but we tried Trine on both a MacBook Air and a basic Mac Mini and had no problems at all.
As we said at the start, Trine came from nowhere and impressed us hugely. The astounding graphics and tight controls drew us in and we haven’t stopped playing. With Trine 2 on the horizon, now is the perfect time to give the first game a try; we can’t recommend it highly enough.