[Beyond PlayStation] Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince Review
The long-awaited Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince from Frozenbyte and Modus Games is finally here! Learn more about this great 2.5 action/puzzle game in our Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince review!
After taking the series into 3D with Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power, Frozenbyte is back with a new entry in the long-running and beloved series. It’s been a little over ten years since the release of the first game in the Trine series, and here we are in 2019 ready to take on a new adventure with Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief. They’re brought together by way of a request to go out on a quest to find Prince Selius, a ward of the Astral Academy. As you can probably imagine going from the game’s title, there’s more to this Prince Selius.
It turns out that Prince Selius suffers from some particularly nasty nightmares, and due to his inexperience with the magical talents he somehow possesses, these nightmares have found a way to escape his dreams to enter the real world. The world of those who are awake is usually pretty chaotic on its own, so when the small, medium, and large nightmares start to pour in, things quickly get out of control, hence the need for the heroes of the Trine to step into action before it is too late!
The game will start you off by giving each of the characters its own mini-chapter to play through. First up is Amadeus, who is sitting inside a very cozy house when he decides he should probably go check the mailbox. Unfortunately, the mailbox is not outside of the house, so out he goes to sort things out in a short puzzle/platforming section. The second hero you’ll control on its own is Pontius, who is out on a quest to defeat a cursed knight. The third and final mini-chapter will be for Zoya, who must escape after doing what thieves do – stealing an item. Once all three mini-chapters are over, the three heroes will come together, and it is here that the adventure proper begins.
You can take on Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince on your own or in local or online multiplayer sessions. When playing in co-op, players will need to work together to solve puzzles and defeat enemies as a team since some of the game’s puzzles will be slightly different when compared to how it would be presented for a single-player session. Worry not if you’re on an online game, and a player drops out since when you reach a checkpoint, the game will rebalance things for you. On top of this, you can select to play the game in Classic mode, in which each player must select a different hero, or in Unlimited mode, in which multiple “copies” of each character can be present for the game session.
If you take on the game on your own, then you’ll be able to switch between all three characters by pressing the L and R buttons. You’ll move around with the left analog stick, jumping with the A button. Amadeus can conjure an object with the Y button, changing between the available objects (once you’ve unlocked them) by pressing left or right on the D-Pad – objects can also be rotated by pressing up or down on the D-Pad. You’ll be able to unlock a special ability for Amadeus that will allow him to quickly blink over a short distance, which will save you from danger more than once.
Zoya can use her rope to attack it to rings, swinging around to progress in the game, or tying the rope to two rings to create a line you can walk on. She also has a handy bow you can use to shoot eh different elemental arrow types at her disposal (again, once you’ve unlocked them). You can but the rope you’re currently holding by pressing the B button, and you can also cut down any rope you’ve tied down by shooting an arrow through it. Zoya also has the option of rolling by pressing the X button, a handy ability for when you need to get out of harm’s way.
Pontius has a sword he can swing with the Y or ZR buttons to attack enemies, or destroy barrels or crates. His shield can be used to defend from enemy attacks, deflect projectiles, or to redirect rays of light or water to aid in opening new paths. He can also jump in the air and stomp down with great strength by pressing the B button. Pontius will also gain access to a kiteshield ability that, as expected, will allow him to float down after jumping. He will also get a powerful charge that can deal good damage or help to open up new paths. The dream shield he can also obtain is a particularly useful ability that will summon an astral copy of his shield, which will be great for solving some of the puzzles the game throws at you.
As you explore each area, you will be able to collect energy vials, and once you’ve collected enough, you will get points you can use to unlock upgrades in each of the skill trees for your heroes. You’ll also get extra experience points from the enemies you defeat, which will allow you to level up, gaining access to. By doing this, you’ll get to unlock new skills and abilities that will change how you approach the game’s challenges. Open up the skill trees menu by pressing the – button, an review what you can unlock, as well as how far along you are towards unlocking new stuff!
Along with the energy vials, you should also keep your eyes open to spot any areas that might be hiding some of the special items to collect. Each level will include three hidden items that include letters, treasures, and knickknacks, which you can check in the Collections menu when you pause the action by pressing the + button. If you’re the type of player who likes to 100% a game, then you’re going to have to search high and low to find every single item! If a spot looks fishy, odds are there’s a way to reach it/open the way so that you can add to your collection.
The fun thing about Trine 4 is that puzzles will have more than one potential solution, so you’ll end up experimenting with the heroes’ abilities to see what works for a particular scenario, and how combining their skills can open up the path forward in different ways. For example, one puzzle room might ask that you find a way to get to the top right corner of the room so that you can activate a switch to make a pair of platforms rotate. There might be rings nearby that Zoya can use to attach one end to one of the boxes that Amadeus conjures, creating a rope bridge you can walk on to help other players to climb on top of Pontius’ shield – which will act as a platform – to reach higher ground.
I had been waiting to play Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince ever since it was first revealed, and I’m happy to report that the wait has been worth it! Trine 4 is the best game in the series, with Frozenbyte improving on everything it had previously done with the series, all while giving us the best looking Trine game yet. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is out tomorrow on Nintendo Switch for $29.99, and it’s certainly worth its asking price. Fans of the series and newcomers are in for a treat!
This Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Modus Games.