Playing Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince feels like meeting one of your best friends all of a sudden after years.
With the raising number of mature and multiplayer titles in the industry, finding a single-player story-driven game that worth playing is as difficult as getting a top player in FIFA 20 Ultimate Team card packs. Not many triple-A developers prefer an impressive narrative-driven experience to a lot of money that’s coming from trending genres and microtransactions. So, it’s on indie studios to work on what the industry has been seemingly losing over the past years to make a name for themselves while trying to response worthfully to a considerable amount of demands on single-player games.
Speaking of Single-player titles, it’s like a long and huge high-way with so many exports and imports in between. We do have single-player games right now, but to be honest, most of the video game designers have focused on RPG just because it’s a trending genre, which causes huge gaps between single-player games. It’s like burying some of the old-school genres deep underground with no specific reasons. However, not all the developers treat the same way. I’m not criticizing the evolution of IPs, but for each franchise there is a framework that you can push its boundaries but you are not allowed to break it and make a new one. The same thing goes for some video games that lost their origins to still be alive. Fortunatly, it hasn’t happened for Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince as it’s delivering the same experience that we were expecting from Frozenbyte, though some there are some flaws yet.
The fourth installment in Trine series features is in the same quality as the previous titles and obviously better than the criticized Trine 3. There are some noticeable good sides in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince but before going over them, I want to clarify exactly what parts of the game bothers me throughout the whole experience and they might not seem like a big deal for you, but when other elements of the game can’t distract you from the issues, it’s safe to call it a serious problem. I’m not a hardcore player who is able to plot souls-borne titles, but being challenged in video games is an essential part. It can happen in various ways but it never gets removed. Even in narrative-driven games like Telltale titles you are being challenged through your choices and the destiny you draw for your characters. But challenges in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince has been partially disappeared. I said partially because puzzles and platforming are the best parts of the game but when it comes to combats, the lack of difficulty is bold and boring. Well, if you have a captivating story to follow, you will probably get distracted from the issue, but here that doesn’t work. Trine 4 isn’t supposed to feature a mind-blowing story with unpredictable twists in between, but it does need to provide you different kinds of difficulty levels, especially regarding that it features co-op mode as well. Why should a developer use a co-op mode when there isn’t enough challenge even for one player in combats?
If I were to comment on the issue directly, I would say Frozenbyte has totally ignored the combat part while it’s supposed to be the game’s most challenging parts at the end of each mission. There are only two difficulty levels in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince and they could never face you with serious struggles in fighting against the enemies.
The next part I’d like to be more expanded in Trine 4, is the game’s characters and puzzle-platforming mechanics. The three brave heroes in Trine series have still remained the same in the fourth version as well, with no new addition or replacement. I think it was the time for Frozenbyte to bring a new group of characters in the same world with new abilities, but anyway, they decided to keep the heroes and slightly upgrade them in skills which is not enough. Now that Trine 4 cannot own new playable characters, it deserves a huge amount of new mechanics for each of the existing ones but most of them are still the same that we had seen in Trine 2, even the outfits. So, don’t expect tons of new additions in Trine 4 if you haven’t liked the previous titles, but does it mean the exiting things aren’t enjoyable? Never. Trine 4 might not be the best title in the series, but it isn’t the worst one either.
When you’re playing a game, you should feel the progression of your character, and if you don’t, it doesn’t differ much from watching a movie. In a video game, you are the one who does everything and that’s why you should feel the path you’ve went along. In Trine 4, you feel that progression and that’s because of the game’s wisely planned pace and rhythm in level design. As you reach new acts and levels, there are new abilities and skills for all of the three characters, and at the same time, puzzles also get much more difficult than before.
Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince features tons of simple and complicated puzzles that are fun to solve. Thanks to the wide variety of puzzles and different ways to solve them, you never get tired of playing the game. You have to combine the abilities of all the three characters to work out the way out and continue your journey to save the prince and the fairy realm from nightmares. The way developers have designed the puzzles is admirable. It’s fantastic when you encounter with dozens of distinct puzzles and find out how complicatedly they work. In higher levels, platforming mechanics have also combined with puzzles which makes it more enjoyable to solve them. There’s nothing to complain about in Trine 4 when it comes to puzzles and platformer style of the game.
Aside from a few minor bugs in the game, you are not going to have any serious problems in Trine 4 graphical wise. There is much to say about the beautifully designed world of the game. From the snowy storms of mountains to reflections of city lights on the river, there are multiple distinct locations in Trine 4 and all of them seem like beautiful live drawings with no exception.
Summing up my review on Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, it definitely worth playing as one of the best puzzle-platformers that you can find on storefronts this year. The game is still loyal to its roots, though it should’ve featured new things as well. Lack of challenge in combats somehow affects the good parts and avoid the game to use its full potential in delivering an enjoyable experience. Having said that, Trine 4 features a huge amount of original and unique puzzles and it’s hard to get tired of playing it. If you are a fan of 2.5D puzzler-platformer games, don’t hesitate to play Trine 4 at all.