Have you ever wanted to just do your thing and be left alone, only to be lumped in with a group of people you don’t really like? While that could describe the holiday season for many (happy 2019, by the way!), it also describes the basic plot of “Trine: Enchanted Edition”. This evergreen indie darling has graced pretty much every single device that can run modern games (sans Vita), but how does it stack up ported to the Switch?
Well, to be quite honest, it’s great. It is, of course, the basic “Trine” experience: three different characters, with different abilities, get lumped together and must traverse a world filled with puzzles to defeat the baddy of the day. So, if the setup is not ground-breaking, what sets “Trine” apart from the dozens of puzzle-platformers on the Switch?
In one word: execution.
You see, everything in this game is done in a way that is somewhere between really good and perfect. The humbug story? There’s actually a ton of depth to the characters, and the voice-over narration is fantastic (it reminds me a lot of “Bastion”, actually, and that was my GOTY on the Vita when it came to that handheld!). You play as either a knight, a thief or a wizard. Each of these characters has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to use the right character at the right time to solve a puzzle and advance the story.
The platforming evolves gradually to a point where it is challenging, too, and I’m glad to see an ingenious use of different characters. The emphasis on cooperation is built into not only the gameplay but the lore of “Trine” making one its core mechanics go beyond nuts-and-bolts and becoming a moral lesson. Neat!
The graphics look nothing short of amazing, and I’m happy to report that the game runs extremely smoothly on the Switch. My particular unit got a tiny bit hotter than usual, but nothing to write home about, and definitely not as bad as some other titles.
The pacing… well, for some it may be a bit slow, but I found the stroll through the beautiful world rather relaxing; this is in stark contrast with other modern-day platformers, where pin-point accuracy and split-second decision-making are a la carte. While I do enjoy the latter style of gameplay, it was nice to simply roam about and solve increasingly clever puzzles.
What’s not to like, then? I think the major grip with the Switch version is that you are paying a bit of a premium for what is essentially a port of a years-old game that can be found even on Android devices. Sure, the graphics are great and the physical controls make all the difference, particularly with a platformer. But it’s always a hard pill to swallow to pay full-price for a game that already covered its development costs on other platforms. Also, we must keep in mind that immediate availability on other platforms for a lower price will always factor into a customer’s decision to jump into a new game.
At the end of the day, though, “Trine: Enchanted Edition” is an extremely well-executed puzzle-platformer and if you have not played it yet, the coop on the Switch version alone would make me recommend this as the first experience for newcomers. If you’ve already played through the game on another console, however, I see very little reason to double-dip.