Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trine

The last game from the Indie Bundle I got around to playing was Trine. This is a platformer with a twist in that you can swicth between three different characters each with different abilities in order to overcome the various challenges that the games levels throw up. This is a style of game play made famous by 1992 game called the "Lost Vikings" from a little known company called Silicon and Synapse who soon after changed their name to Blizzard entertainment.

I have very fond memories of the lost Vikings and it is generally acknowledged as a classic so it is surprising that the format has rarely been copied. "Project Eden" was one such attempt set in a 3-D world but that game failed to grab me. Trine is more faithful to Viking's platformer heritage and proved good enough to keep my interest to the end.

The good bits:
1. The graphics are drop dead gorgeous. The loving attention to detail really makes the game a joy to behold.
2. Controls are tight and responsive.I tried both keyboard and game pad and both work well.
3. The three characters have well selected varying abilities: A melee fighter with a shield, A ranged archer and a Wizard who can manipulate objects.

The bad bits:
1. No mid level save (this seems to be an inherent problem with Frozen Byte's games. I think I read somewhere that it is a limitation of whatever platform they use to develop the games.
2. In my opinion the game doesn't make enough use of the character's special abilities. The melee fighter in particular is almost redundant.
3. As a consequence of 2 the game, in my opinion, relies too much on precision jumping and not enough on puzzle solving. At times this gets tedious to the point of boredom.

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