The first thing you'll notice about this game is that it looks magnificent. It takes a super-saturated rainbow as its palette and spatters a fairy tale world with it. But the world of Trine 2 isn't just pretty. It's a clever, amiable puzzle-platformer that won't test a genius but will give a constant warm glow of achievement and progress.
In the single-player mode, you can freely swap between Wizard, Thief and Knight. The Wizard can levitate items and conjure boxes. The Thief can fire arrows and use a grappling hook to reach certain ledges. And the Knight can use brute force on enemies and some of the frailer structures in the world.
These abilities are combined to deal with an array of puzzles that you'll solve with physics, portals, exploration and observation. The same levels are all available to play in multiplayer mode, too. In the default scenario, only one Wizard, Thief and Knight is allowed at any one time. This means that you can't swap when there are three players. It's not ideal, for two reasons: the earlier levels become too easy, as the Wizard is suddenly able to levitate things that friends are standing on.
Secondly, the Thief is a bit of a spare wheel. The Wizard gets the cleverer puzzles and the Knight gets the combat - all too often leaving the Thief to swing gloomily around in the background. The solution is perfect: just enable unlimited mode, and there's no limit on the characters. When all three players can be whoever they want, the wealth of good-natured satisfaction that Trine 2 has to offer floods right back in.
Three Wizards conjuring planks and floating each other around won't solve any puzzles, but it's a great way to waste a couple of minutes. And during boss battles, the Wizard isn't reduced to loitering by the respawn orb, letting the Knight regenerate.
Trine 2 is a vivid and stunning game that spins the colour wheel on nature. It's completely absorbing as a single-player experience and bawdy puzzle fun with company. Just remember to turn on the unlimited mode and get stuck in.
Trine 2 is yours for 1200 MP. You can queue it up here.
A sweet and almost perfectly realised idea