Christmas Gaming Playlist #2: Trine 4

For those who aren’t necessarily overwhelmed by divine visions of bearded men gathering in mangers and seeing virgins giving birth to God-given babies at Christmas, there are other magical things to do at this time of year. There are many associations. can evoke. After all, many of the popular festive imagery, such as Santa, the elves, and his Christmas tree, have their roots in pagan traditions and folklore. The theme movie is basically a fairy tale). There’s something about Christmas that makes us crave for folklore and fairy tales, and few video game series do it better than Trine.

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For starters, Trine lets you (and ideally two or three friends) control wizards, thieves, and knights through shimmering woodlands lit by glowworms and raging peaks covered in powdery snow. , castle labyrinths, and all sorts of settings straight out of childhood fairy tale fantasies. It progresses mainly by solving physics puzzles using the unique abilities of the three heroes and a bit of easy combat.

Each of Trine’s games is worth playing, but after developer Frozenbyte went off the rails a bit with Trine 3, they’ve re-formed with the latest Trine 4 released in 2019 (see our review Please give me). A welcome change here is not just four-player support, but play games where each player can freely switch between any character, even if another player already controls them. It was an option. It’s the healthiest kind of mayhem.

One of the reasons Trine 4 feels so festive (beyond its rich, magical environments and appropriately dreamy soundtrack) is that it’s a puzzle game that requires intelligence and improvisation. It’s also a chat simulator that you and your friends can build. Cross each other over rope bridges, but destroy them just as your friends cross them. Or interrupt each other as they try to jump over gaps by summoning boxes mid-jump. Best of all, his experimentation with the game’s robust physics engine allows him to create unexpected puzzle solutions, allowing him to fuse two disparate aspects of the game.

It’s a wonderfully whimsical bonding experience. Each new level feels like a unique visual treat, and death is very forgiving, especially on normal difficulty, only respawning fallen players with some of their health missing. Because of this, the pranks that fellow players do to you are lighthearted and hilarious.

Something about Trine 4, and the series as a whole, takes me back to my childhood, or at least to an abstract, faraway place of pure innocence. It’s a really happy place and not necessarily the most hardcore It’s a place where you can share with people who aren’t serious gamers.

NEXT: The “Let’s Go” system is the best of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

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