Trine 2 is a unique side-scrolling puzzle game that tries to be different, and succeeds in such a manner that all the games in this particular tight niche cower in fear. There aren't many games like it, and the ones that could compete are not even close.
Frozenbyte is a Finish developer with a long experience in making arcade games with a twist. I'm not really sure, but I believe they were the first to make a proper isometric shooter, to the likes of Crusader No Remorse, back in 2004.
Looking at all of their titles, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds Survivor, and Trine, it's easy to see a pattern emerging. It's clear there's a lot of talent involved and everything they build turns into an instant hit.
As usual, it takes a Humble Indie Bundle in order for the Linux platform to receive some great games, although we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, as the first Trine was ported to Linux in 2009, before any Humble Bundle initiative. Installation
Frozenbyte, the developer of Trine 2, provides a .run file that can be simply installed by double clicking it.
The installer is clear and users will just have to follow some simple steps. Keep the mind that the game is quite big, as it has 1.6 GB in size. Gameplay and Story
The story is somewhat related to the first game, so we’ll try to explain it a little more. In the first game of the series, our heroes, Zoya The Thief, Amadeus the Wizard, and Pontius the Knight, live in a kingdom where the King has died and an undead army has started to attack.
The Trine is a powerful artifact that seems to have a life of its own and that can hold three people at once. Moreover, the artifact actually binds their souls together. This means that the player has access to three different characters, each with particular attributes.
In any case, the heroes of the story track down the source of the undead, during their search for a way to be set free, and they end up facing the former dead king in a final fight.
In Trine 2, the three characters are once again reunited by the Trine artifact and they are sent in a mysterious journey. They will be facing goblins, an angry forest, and even a mighty dragon.
The catch of the game is pretty simple. Every level is constructed in such a way that the players will need all the characters to make it through.
Zoya The Thief is nimble, jumps really high, has a bow right from the start and can shoot a rope to get a grip on other objects. Amadeus the Wizard is slower but he has telekinesis abilities, and he's able to conjure mechanical cubes that can be used in a variety of ways. Finally, Pontius the Knight is strong, has a shield to protect him from damage, a sword, and can lift heavy objects.
Now imagine the complexity of the levels by combining all these attributes. Get past the falling ceiling with the knight by holding the shield above your head, jump over a great chasm using the thief and its grapple, and finally make the intricate mechanism work with the help of the wizard and his powers.
There are a lot more variations, as the developers have tried to keep everything fresh. If this is not enough, then you should know that the heroes gather experience during their adventure, which is translated in points that can be placed in a skill tree, granting them more abilities. Interestingly enough, the points can be used on either character, even if it was gained by another.
As for the engine, the game looks twice as beautiful as the first Trine. The backgrounds used for the levels have distracted me more than once, and all the effects are incredible. The physics is top notch, especially because it’s an integral part of the gameplay. The Bad
Trine 2 is a side-scrolling game and no matter how many details you put in the background, I expect it to run flawlessly on a high-end PC. I tested Trine on an Intel Core i5 CPU, with an Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT video card and 4GB of RAM. On the highest resolution, it ran really slowly.
It also lacks a window/fullscreen option, which I believe it to be necessary on a system that has Unity (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS). Maybe I’m waiting for an important email or I’m using a messenger to conduct a conversation with someone. The option should be there! The Good
The variety of levels will keep the players on edge, and the gameplay fresh. The ever changing scenarios and the beauty of the levels makes this a great pastime experience.
Trine 2 is a puzzle game, but it doesn’t torment the players with really hard puzzles. Sure, some are difficult, but the solution will be almost evident, even if you realize it will take a bit of work. Conclusion
Trine 2 is a game that keeps hope alive for all Linux users. Maybe someday a unification will take place, and developers will start treating the Linux platform as a hole and as a market. It's worth every penny, no matter the platform, but it’s even most precious because there are so few good games for Linux.