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Trine 4 – Gaming the Pandemic: Day 126

Content of the article: "Trine 4 – Gaming the Pandemic: Day 126"

Turns out today's title from my 522 game backlog is pronounced to rhyme with 'fine', and know I don't know why I ever thought otherwise – I'm playing one game a day, every day, while furloughed from work…

Trine 4 for the PC

Previous days' entries are linked in my profile.

For some reason I'd always pronounced these games 'Treen', as in, rhymes with 'green' – lord knows why, but it's funny how often I do this with things in games.

Growing up, I always pronounced the name 'Ryu', 'Rye-oo'. In fairness, there weren't many points of reference back then. But even now, when I know full well it's Ree-oo, the guy from Street Fighter will always be 'Rye-oo' to me.

And then there's Nier: Automata, which I pronounce as 'Near Or-ta-mah-ta'. I've no idea about the Nier part because it's made up, but Automata is a pre-existing word that is, and always has always been, pronounced 'Or-tommer-ter' – but I can't stop myself now.

I've not played any of the other games in the Treen Trine series. I remember reading that the third one was a bit of a disaster, but that's about as much as I know. Bob, with whom I previously played the VR co-op game Evasion, suggested we give it a go. It was on offer for £7.49 on Steam so I figured, why not?

On the off chance anyone reading is unfamiliar: Treen Trine 4 is a 2.5D physics puzzle game in which you take on the role of one of three characters at any given time; each with their own abilities.

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There's a wizard who conjures boxes and levitates stuff, a thief who shoots arrows and swings on ropes, and a knight, who has a sword and shield for swording and shielding. Puzzles are usually of the environmental traps and switches variety, and they are solved by combining the various abilities.

So yeah, it's The Lost Vikings: Harry Potter edition.

Again, I have no point of reference from the other games in the series, but Treen Trine 4 is a very pretty game. Light is used often in the puzzles, and it's effect on the surrounds is stunning. The art style is that sort of 'human proportioned cartoon' that's popular in a lot of games – for some reason it put me in mind of Fable, despite the fact I've never played any of those games either.

At the start you play through a long tutorial where you are locked to one character to get a handle on what they can do. It's a bit of slog, and sitting through story cut-scenes when you're in co-op is always a bit of chore, but when the game proper begins you can switch to any character at any time, and at this point I was certainly grateful for the detailed instructions.

So off we set, left to right in the usual fashion, jumping on see-saws, weighing down doors, and reflecting light beams to unbar the path on our way to progress the story I wasn't paying attention too. And it was great fun.

Solving the puzzles in Treen Trine 4 is very satisfying, but not quite as fun as trapping Bob and abandoning him. In successful co-op game's there's always a part of the experience that can't be quantified. I can't promise that if you played this game with your aunt Phyllis you'd have as much fun sabotaging each others solutions as Bob and I did – but the physics based engine ensures that this is always a possibility.

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We didn't get a vast distance into the game as Bob had to go nuh-nights, but we'll be coming back to it soon and I might revisit it in a later blog post, as, when Gaming the Pandemic ends next week I think I'll be doing an occasional 'revisited' blog, for games I started on furlough but had to abandon to continue the one-a-day format.

I understand, also, that all the Treens Trines can be played solo, so when Bob loses interest I can continue happily on my own. I'm even thinking of picking up the complete edition for my Switch so I can play the earlier games in the mean time.

Trine 4 – I should have saved that 'Lost Vikings' line for this bit… never mind. This is a lovely looking and fun physics puzzler, worth seven quid of anyone's money.


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