Trine is a throwback to those 2D puzzle platformers that you just don't seem to see any more these days. There's an emphasis on jumping between platforms, defeating enemies, and making it from one edge of a level to another, but to do so you'll usually have to solve a puzzle to open the way. In Trine there's an additional twist in that there are three characters in the game - technically three characters fused into a single body by magic - and that each one has a unique talent that must be used in concert to get through the game's levels. The mage can use his magic to summon blocks or move objects, the thief has a bow that fires arrows and a grappling line can be used to swing across gaps or to reach high places, and the knight has a shield for protection as he takes on attackers head-on. Since these three characters occupy the same body, you can switch between them freely. The only catch is that if a character loses all of his health, he can no longer be selected, and if all three characters lose all of their health, it's game over. The mage is more of a problem-solver, the thief is more action-oriented, and the knight is, well, rather boring and somewhat useless. The game's enemies aren't particularly difficult to deal with and consist mostly of a seemingly endless stream of skeletons. The other characters are not helpless against them, but the knight is not really suited for platforming or puzzle-solving. I rarely played with the knight if I could help it and when I was down to just the knight it was pretty much time to go back to the last checkpoint or saved game.
The game can also be played in a co-op mode in which the characters no longer inhabit a single body, and each player is given control over a single character. This changes the nature of the game in that you are no longer concerned with simply making it to the next screen, but need to get all three characters to that next screen. And, yes, the knight is even more of a pain in this mode, and you get an added issue to deal with in that players can wander off-screen if they don't stick closely together and death often comes to the no longer visible character.
Trine's gameplay has its moments, but it has its share of issues that prevent it from being something that I'd label a good game. Trying to control a platform game with a keyboard is not the best way to do so, and the game is fraught with frustrating near-misses especially when trying to make a precise series of moves with the thief. The dull and monotonous stream of skeletons hardly register as anything more than a nuisance, and the game is certainly hurting for some variety in the enemies that you face, any variety. On the positive side, the game's graphics are bright and colorful, and although the game takes place in two dimensions the game world and characters have a 3D look to them. The game also has a decent little physics engine under the hood that enhances the gameplay in ways that the 2D platformers of old could never do.
If you have a nostalgic itch for some puzzle-platformer gameplay, Trine may be worth checking out. Everyone else will have fun for a bit, but then a mix of frustration and repetition will set in and you'll begin to lose interest.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 68%. Trine is a near-miss attempt to revive the 2D puzzle platformer of old.