- Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight set off on their next epic adventure in the beloved kingdom on their most action-packed journey yet.
- Play through the campaign solo or with three other players in local or online co-op, featuring a dynamic puzzle difficulty system that adapts the challenges to the number of players.
- Features an all-new skill quest system with a unique skill tree for each character. Earn skill points and unlock powerful enhancements to your existing skills.
A few new releases from last week flew under the radar with the meteoric response to Starfield’s early access, especially since the Xbox Wire crew was all-hands on deck to support the launch. But there was one new title I knew I wanted to bump to the top of my playlist, as I’ve adored all the previous games in the series.
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy will take Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight on their most action-packed journey yet! With their reputations tarnished, loved ones in danger, and their own magical powers at stake, the Heroes of Trine must reunite to push back a fearsome Clockwork army and bring peace and justice to the land!
I’ve always been bewildered by the Trine series. It’s not fair to call a game with five releases – each one a bit bigger and better than its predecessor – a hidden gem. Perhaps, ‘rare gem’ is more befitting. But it is a true treasure indeed – a fun, feature-filled series with a rich story, vibrant characters, and epic adventure.
Once Upon a Time…
The Trine series is a collection of fantasy action-adventure games with equal shares of platforming and puzzle elements sprinkled in about three heroes: a knight, a thief, and a wizard. The heroes are bound together by a magical artifact called the Trine and must work together using their unique skills to solve puzzles, fight enemies, and explore breathtaking environments.
I asked Kai Tuovinen, Marketing Manager at Frozenbyte, how the team would describe the game to someone new to the series. “I think the most used and fitting line for describing the Trine games and Trine 5 is it’s a puzzle-platforming game of action and adventure,” Tuovinen says. “That’s the order that best describes the feel of the game, with puzzles taking the lead, and platforming and action close behind, all tied together into a grand adventure.”
It is an enchanting fairy tale, with beautifully crafted levels, a delightful cast of characters, perfectly narrated by Terry Wilton (if you know, you know), and woven together with colorful artwork and animated cutscenes.
The Most Action-Packed Journey Yet
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy takes place over five Acts. The first three chapters in Act I are solo missions and serve as an introduction to Zoya the Thief, Pontius the Knight, and Amadeus the Wizard and their unique abilities, which will be tested throughout the level. I really enjoyed the first level playing Zoya the Thief on a, let’s just say, less than honorable mission for her own selfish desires. It left me wanting more – perhaps Zoya the Thief starring in her own game devoted to her notorious occupation? Each character receives a new skill in Trine 5, and since I tend to spend the most time as Pontius the Knight, I’m excited with the ability to throw my sword at objects and enemies now. If you’re already familiar with the Trine series, it’s a nice little refresher, and if you play the Act I levels with others, everyone will play the same character.
Starting with Act II, the team will be reunited and the real adventure begins! You will be able, and often required, to switch between the characters throughout the level (you can swap characters on the go even if you’re playing with other players). While Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy can be played solo, the real joy comes with teaming up with friends and working together to solve the puzzles using a combination of characters and their complementing skills. For example, Amadeus can levitate Zoya while she shoots arrows, or Pontius can deflect Zoya’s arrows with his shield to hit a specific target.
You will soon discover there are multiple ways to solve many of the puzzles. “Each puzzle aims to have three clear and fun solutions. Often the puzzles will have many organic solutions and variations of those on top of the three legit solutions,” explains Tuovinen. “We’ve also strived to make sure that the puzzles make use of different skill and character combinations with as much variety as possible.” Tuovinen continues, “Even though we come up with a lot of solutions ourselves during the design phase and in testing, the solutions that some players come up with still surprise and leave us in awe. There’s always some crazy, out-of-the-box thinking. However, there are no wrong solutions – if it works, it works!” That’s a relief, because I have threaded some crazy solutions together using objects created by Amadeus the Wizard and tied down with Zoya the Thief’s grappling hook.
For the completionists and Achievement Hunters, the game has a wonderful map that tracks your completion status and the number of gems you’ve discovered on each level. Several achievements are linked to finding these gems, and you can hop right back into each checkpoint and find the ones you missed without replaying the whole level. There are also several hidden areas and collectibles scattered around each level, so keep a sharp eye out for these as well.
Online and Local Co-Op Multiplayer
When was the last time you played a four-player local co-op game? One of the reasons I like the Trine series so much is it reminds me of Gauntlet, the old four-player arcade cabinet popular in the mid to late ’80s. Not just because of the warrior and wizard element, but because of the memories of playing it with friends, racing through the levels and competing with one another to grab all the loot and food first, but also helping each other out in a jam.
It offered a lot of good games and great laughs, and the Trine games recreate many of those moments with its classic and unlimited multiplayer modes, both of which can be played locally or online. Classic mode supports 2 to 3 players and there can only be one Amadeus, Zoya, or Pontius in the game at a time. Unlimited mode supports 2 to 4 players with any combination of heroes in the game at any time. For example, four Zoyas simultaneously. That in itself feels old-school – Frozenbyte aren’t afraid to let you break their rules if it means you have more fun.
Happily Ever After
The original Trine was released way back in 2009 and over the next 14 years has built up an adoring fanbase over its five-game span. Joel Kinnunen, Vice President at Frozenbyte, explains the inspiration behind the games. “More than any single game or story, we wanted to capture that magical feeling that we had in our childhood playing our favorite games and listening to or watching our favorite fairytale stories. We have always been an independent studio fueled by our passion for making great games, and we used that freedom and passion in developing Trine. Everybody pitched in, and people drew from their personal inspirations, which weren’t necessarily the same for every person but followed the general tone and vibe and made Trine what it is today.”
It’s a rare thing to see a smaller studio able to tell a single story for so long, but I hugely appreciate it. One thing I’ve always loved about the Trine series is the ongoing saga for these three characters. After five games, I’ve become somewhat attached. I don’t know how the game ends yet and what the future holds for the Trine trio, but I can’t wait to find out. Make sure you do too.
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy