I’ve been a fan of the Trine series ever since the original game launched back in 2009, so it’s safe to say I’ve been eagerly anticipating Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy – especially since the last game brought the series back to form after the slightly disappointing third entry. I’m happy to report that it has kept that high level of momentum too, though it is a bit of a shame that more hasn’t been done to innovate the established formula five games in.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy sees players once again taking the trio of Pontius, Amadeus, and Zoya through an adventure made up of magic and mystery, with the villainous Lady Sunny unleashing an army of Clockwork Knights upon the land. She also tried to steal the heroes’ powers, but, after failing, sets them on a course to try and bring her down. Admittedly, it’s not the most exciting of stories to be told, but the game more than makes up for it with its vibrant setting and kooky cast.
It’s worth noting from the get-go that Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is an absolutely gorgeous game. The environments bring with them a myriad of wonderful sights to see that are full of colour and creativity, whilst the characters you meet along your journey all feel befitting of the game’s whimsical vibe. I absolutely adore the world of the game, with it feeling like it’s been lifted out of the most unusual fairy tale you could imagine. It looks great, and honestly, the screenshots don’t give justice to how delightful everything is to be a part of in-game.
“Sometimes you have to think logically, sometimes you have to be creative, sometimes you need good timing, and sometimes you just need a bit of luck – there’s often more than one way to solve a problem in the game, with plenty of room for both conventional and unconventional solutions.”
Gameplay-wise, not much has changed in Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy, with players once again switching between the three heroes as they utilise their powers in a variety of ways to solve the puzzles found in the 2.5D world. Pontius is all about using his powerful physique to deal with problems, meaning he’s able to charge into objects to move or destroy them – he also has a shield that can be used to reflect light or even act as a platform for another character. Amadeus uses his magical capabilities to conjure up boxes or move items in the environment, whether that’s when clearing pathways or even utilising some makeshift weights. Meanwhile, Zoya is equipped with a bow, meaning she can shoot arrows to hit targets or attach to objects in her surroundings. Admittedly, their skillset is a bit more elaborate than that and you’ll build upon it as you progress through the game by completing challenges, but that’s the basic gist of things.
What makes their abilities all the more interesting to use is the clever puzzle design of the game, with it offering some real corkers that’ll have players scratching their head for a little while before they figure out the solution. Sometimes you have to think logically, sometimes you have to be creative, sometimes you need good timing, and sometimes you just need a bit of luck – there’s often more than one way to solve a problem in the game, with plenty of room for both conventional and unconventional solutions. There were a few times where I’d felt like I’d broken a puzzle to overcome it, but it feels intentional in design and like it leans into the player’s creativity… well… for the most part at least (there will be one or two instances where you can exploit the physics a bit TOO much). Can the physics-based antics be a little glitchy at times? Yes, but it doesn’t stop the game’s puzzles from being a lot of fun, with players sure to feel like a real clever clogs by the time they reach the ending.
Check out some screenshots down below:
There’s an emphasis placed on co-op play too, with up to three players able to work together to tackle the adventure and use their powers in tandem. Whilst I’ll admit I haven’t tried it yet, I could definitely see the appeal, especially since a lot of puzzles in the game require the use of all three character’s abilities being used at the same time. The game adapts the puzzle difficulty depending on how many players there are too, which is a cool idea that’ll keep things refreshing even if you’ve played through once on your own.
It’s clear that Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy has a lot going for it, but it does feel like the series is running out of steam as far as gameplay innovations are concerned. It does have some fresh ideas here and there, but if you’ve played the previous entries in the series, you might feel a sense of repetition as you embark on this latest journey. It hasn’t fixed some of the more obvious issues players have complained about either, such as the underwhelming combat (though some encounters here do feel a bit more exciting) or the fact that it’s a little bit too easy to break some puzzles. It doesn’t stop the game from being fun, but expect to fall into a familiar pattern of gameplay if you’re a Trine veteran.
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy Review
Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy offers a wonderful world to explore and some clever puzzles, but it might feel a bit too familiar for those who’ve experienced the previous games in the series. Don’t get me wrong, it does introduce some new ideas here and there, but it still follows the same formula players would’ve seen four times already.
Still, a bit of familiarity certainly doesn’t make Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy a bad game, and it didn’t stop me from having a ton of fun playing either. It might be more of what you’ve done before, but this latest escapade with the trio of heroes still offers plenty of brain-teasing amusement across its beautiful world.
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch