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Once upon a Time...

I've been a bit sick over the last week. That hasn't been conducive to a lot of posting, but did mean some quiet gaming time. I should probably be tackling my stack of shame but, as often happens, I was tempted by shiny new experiences instead.

Firstly, I downloaded a copy of Trine, gladly snapped up on sale for $5 on Steam.

Trine is a game I almost love. I was charmed by its beauty and fairytale atmosphere. The graphics have a sort of intimate quality. Everything feels a little bit shiny and fantastical, but with a softness to it. The overall vibe really works for me.

Unfortunately, I soon became frustrated, especially with the combat. I keep wanting the skeletons to go away so I can focus on navigating the levels, which is really the better part of the experience. The controls felt just a little bit off and, having been a little fuzzy in the head recently, I wasn't well equipped to deal with them. In truth, I've only made it through a few levels so far.

For the unfamiliar, Trine is a 2D platform puzzle game, in which you swap between the three main characters to take advantage of their different abilities.

The Wizard is a sleazy character, who is normally more concerned with impressing the ladies than developing his magical aptitude. He can conjure or levitate objects, but has only very limited combat utility. The Thief fights using a bow and arrow, and has a grappling hook for swinging from wooden objects. She is the quiet member of the group, patiently biding her time and looking for an advantage. The Knight is our well meaning (but not very smart) melee-focused character. He has dreams of proving himself a hero, but isn't actually sure what "undead" means.

Yes, the characters are all classic archetypes. This is an unashamedly fairytale setting, and I don't think that diminishes the experience at all. I was enjoyed the initial game scenes, and was happy to be drawn into this decaying fantasy kingdom.

I really wanted to love this experience, but it falls just a little bit short. It feels like a great game in potential. I hope that when I sit down and try it again as a healthy person things will go better.