When you read the synopsis for Trine or indeed Trine 2 it seems such a simple concept, take three heroes, a warrior, a wizard and a thief. Put them together in a world with physics puzzles on side scrolling levels and go from start to finish. Very similar to The Lost Vikings of yonder generation, perhaps that in itself is evidence that a good formula for a game is timeless. Despite its simple concept, Trine 2 manages to be both challenging and fun, without ever falling into the puzzle trap of getting you stuck, unable to go forward.

Many of the physics based puzzles can be solved in a variety of ways but what makes Trine 2 even better than its original is that finally, PC players can coop through the levels online. Working out how, not only you but all three heroes, can traverse an obstacle is especially satisfying and usually involves a fair amount of teamwork involving the wizards levitate and platform building.

There are a few more boss fights this time around but they are all fairly manageable, either in the traditional method or by use of some cunning triggers that cause damage, such as pulling on a vent to drop molten lava or standing on a platform and then jumping away just as the serpent strikes, causing it to smack its head. The final battle this time around is a fight with a dragon, unlike the original which divided the community with its change of pace asking you to climb a level as lava filled below.

Visually the game looks beautiful, despite its 2d gameplay the levels are created in full 3d and produce a breathtaking magical landscape. I was disappointed to note the hidden chests and secrets this time around gave you unlockable concept art and poems, instead of magical loot to make your heroes better. There have been some changes to make the heroes more universally useful, especially the wizard not having a mana bar and they are good changes but the lack of loot is perhaps a backward step on the reward of discovering how to reach those tricky, hidden chests.

The steam achievements list seems less somehow, I managed to complete the whole single player experience only having acquired about 5 or 6 of them. I suppose if you go for them specifically that makes them content but I do prefer getting achievements as an unexpected surprise rather than a goal when playing. (Admittedly I also hate getting achievements for everything under the sun, so I guess it’s a personal thing.)

Trine 2 is a great game, while it seems to have slightly less depth of advancement for each of the heroes it does still have a decent single player experience and the addition of the online coop rises it above that of the original. It’s a formula that doesn’t get old and I hope Frozenbyte continue to produce more quality sequels in the future.

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