Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince marks the return of the series back to its 2.5D roots. The first two games in the series are well known for their fantastic platforming and are chalked full of dynamic puzzles. However, with Trine 3, Frozenbyte tried to shake things up by shifting gameplay from 2.5D to 3D. Ultimately, it didn’t work and many fans were left disappointed.
Available for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4—let’s take a look at what makes Trine 4 a magical experience.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Details
Platform: Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Modus Games
Genre: Platform, puzzle, action role-playing
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
In search of the Nightmare Prince
It’s clear that Frozenbyte learned from its mistakes on Trine 3 and has included everything that made the first two games great and used it as a template for Trine 4. Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight and Zoya the Thief all return for a grand adventure that will take them across magical lands.
Prince Selius has gone missing and the trio have been sent to search for the Prince and bring him home. When they finally find the Prince, the trio learn that the Prince’s dark dreams have started to manifest themselves and become reality.
Not wanting to hurt the ones he loves, the Prince escapes and runs off to be by himself. However, Amadeus, Pontius and Zoya are determined to find the Prince and rid him of these dark dreams. While the story leaves something to be desired, I feel that the series has never really been known for its story but rather its superb gameplay.
2.5D gameplay with skill tree character building and dynamic puzzles
Each character has plenty of tricks up their sleeves including ground slams, charges, levitation, shield bashing, and sword slashing. And, skills are upgraded via skill trees that make each of the characters even more valuable than before.
Battles are more abundant than previous series but never really last more than a minute or two at most. I think this was done to keep the gameplay and story moving along preventing things from becoming stagnant. Puzzles require at least two out of the three characters to work together to be solved. For example, I remember having to use Pontius’ shield to deflect a beam of light to a higher spot on the wall to open a chamber.
Next, I used Amadeus to levitate a crate into spikes that were now sticking out from the wall. Finally, I used Zoya’s rope slinging skills to create a pseudo rope bride from one hanging create to the next to make it to the next screen. The vast majority of the puzzles were straight forward and solved within a matter of minutes. Though, there were a handful or so that had me stumped for a little while before I was able to figure them out.
A fairy-tale that comes to life
The Trine series has always been known for its vibrant backgrounds and fairy-tale-like visuals. Trine 4 caries on this tradition and improves with even more vivid colours and details that are right out of a children’s fairy tale book. Environments are full of waterfalls, over-sized flowers, distant castles and giant animals that all blend in perfectly.
Furthermore, the game’s soundtrack is a perfect match to the game’s visuals and is a magical score full of fantasy. The game’s characters are all well voiced and often Amadeus, Pontius and Zoya joke around with each other, keeping things lighthearted.
Better with friends
While Trine 4 can be played as a single-player adventure, the co-op experience is what really makes the game shine. As a result, the game supports local and online play of up to 4 players at a time.
What I really liked about multiplayer was that the game tailors the challenge of each puzzle to the number of players playing at any given time. As a result, this gives you even more encouragement to work together as a team to solve the puzzles.
At first, I played Trine 4 by myself and beat it. Then, I went back and played the entire game again with friends online. The amount of fun I had between the two experiences is night and day. Sure there were instances where we muddled puzzles up and had to start over but when we all worked together, the gameplay just clicked.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince returns the series to its roots and offers a solid experience that is best played with friends
Although, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince doesn’t push the envelope forward for the series, I am ok with that. And, I think most fans will be to. Trine 4 includes tried and true gameplay that made has and continues to make the series great. It spices things up by adding a few new gameplay elements into the mix to keep things fresh.
In the end, if you’ve played the first two games in the series, Trine 4 will feel very familiar. And, if you’ve never played any of the previous Trine games you can jump right in with Trine 4 without any issue at all. The game is fun as a single-player adventure but playing with friends online or locally is a blast.
+ Classic 2.5D gameplay that the series is known for
+ Fun local and online multiplayer experiences
+ Beautiful fair-tale-like environments accompanied by an enchanting soundtrack
– Some may not find it challenging enough
– All to familiar gameplay that doesn’t innovate
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TRINE 4: THE NIGHTMARE PRINCE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)
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