The Trine series is a bit of an anachronism on the Wii U. The first game we received, Trine 2: Director's Cut, was not only the sequel, but an expanded version of it. Over two years later we now receive an enhanced edition of the original in Trine Enchanted Edition. Chalk it all up to magical dimensional tiddlywinks if you wish, but this first game's place in the timeline should make it no less enticing for fans who enjoyed the second.
The draw of Trine's gameplay involves managing the talents of three characters to surmount a world of puzzle-platforming challenges. You have Amadeus the Wizard, who is able to levitate objects and conjure up helpful planks and boxes; Zoya the Thief, who can fire a grappling line into wooden platforms and fire arrows; and Pontious the Knight, whose sword and shield are useful for diving into enemy frays and avoiding traps. Switching between these heroes and making the most of their skills is the key to having yon happy adventure.
The “puzzle" elements of Trine are often not really the kind that have one set, planned solution. They take the shape of physics-based playgrounds, where there's more than one way to get from point A to point B. You might stack up some of the wizard's boxes and planks to get somewhere, or use the thief to grapple onto a moving platform instead - maybe even both! Everything for the most part flows smoothly when moving about, although once in a while the physics when controlling a character can feel a bit off, especially when jumping up against a platform. This rarely seems like a deal-breaking detriment, though.
Having multiple options will be most rewarding for those who like to explore and experiment. These kinds of players, in turn, are often rewarded by finding more experience points and treasures to upgrade the characters. It's also useful to find different ways of achieving goals as characters can get axed along the way and won't return until you hit a checkpoint (although these are often generously distributed). If, however, you just want to plow through and solve every problem by stacking magic boxes like Gandalf's Moving Co., things likely won't be as much fun.
While Trine's platforming elements brim with possibilities, its combat feels more lacking in variety. It's possible to take out enemies with any of the three heroes, and it's definitely satisfying to drop something on a skeleton's head as the wizard when possible, but timing and necessity often dictate switching to the knight and flailing away with his sword to clear some space if you don't want to die. It can be fun to hack around, certainly, but it doesn't share the same sense of accomplishment as navigating the levels themselves. The aforementioned skeletons are also the primary enemy type of the game and, although they get tougher and pick up one or two tricks, it feels like a bigger bestiary with enemies requiring different approaches could've been called for.
The “enchanted" enhancements of the Wii U's version of Trine over the original include porting the game to Trine 2's engine, and what an aesthetically lovely engine it is. Levels are lush with beautiful, detailed scenery that looks at home in any fairy tale. Even the most foreboding dungeons have their own devious charm to them, and the soundtrack wonderfully complements the sense of dark yet whimsical adventure.
The Enchanted Edition, like Trine 2, also allows online multiplayer in addition to local. Up to three players can take on levels simultaneously, which has a surprising effect on the way challenges are approached. Co-operating can be quite a lot of fun, while making sure everyone can get across safely makes old levels feel like nearly new experiences. At the time of this review, the online functionality does not appear to be getting used much at all, with rooms to join almost never found. That's unfortunate, but at least it's there if you have friends abroad you'd like to play with.
A few small factors aside, Trine Enchanted Edition is a gorgeous rendition to pick up for those who enjoyed the sequel. It's also the sensible place for newcomers to start, although the plot isn't really that deep. The game can be completed in less than 10 hours, but completionists can expect to lengthen this time seeking every nook and cranny. The way multiplayer refreshes the whole experience also can't be expressed enough. Those who love puzzle-platformers can Trine on their own, then pick up a friend or two and Trine, Trine again.