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Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy Review - Another Great Entry

  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Great co-op support
  • Creative and varied puzzles
  • Fun skill tree to progress
  • Story is inconsistent
  • The lack of new characters is disappointing
  • Some graphical bugs

An Xbox Series X code was provided to SVG for this review. "Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy" is available now for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Once upon a time, there was a video game series with a dedicated cult following of fans that adored its whimsical setting, pervasive humor, and intricate physics-based puzzles. It was a happy series made by the dedicated developers at the Danish studio, Frozenbyte. The series followed the adventures of three unlikely heroes — a nefarious thief, a nebbish wizard, and a portly knight — who teamed up to save their quaint kingdom time and time again. That series is known as "Trine."


Now, a new foe has arrived to threaten the kingdom once again, forcing the heroes to come together to save their beloved home in "Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy." As the first next-gen game in the series, "Trine 5" has a lot to live up to if it wants to avoid disappointing its dedicated fanbase. Thankfully, the game's story is sure to be one with a happy ending thanks to how it keeps the series' spirit alive while sprinkling in gorgeous visuals and a few fun additions. 

The heroes return

Cute nods to the series' classic narration aside, "Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy" continues the series' strong history of accessible yet deep puzzle platformers. It all starts with its three playable characters and protagonists: Pontius the Knight, Zoya the Thief, and Amadeus the Wizard. Each comes with their own unique abilities and can unlock more by finding experience throughout the game's levels. 


Pontius has a shield to block and ram things with, Zoya has a bow and grapple hooks to navigate and hit triggers from afar, and Amadeus is capable of conjuring items and navigating them with telekinesis. Each character adds a fun layer to the game's puzzles, especially after you get through the tutorial and are able to mix them together. 

While playing alone, players are able to mix their abilities together by switching between the characters at any time, but the experience is even more fun when playing with friends in local or online co-op. Playing with friends is a blast and feels like the true way the game is meant to be played, although there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had playing alone as well. It would have been fun to see a new character thrown into the mix for the first time in the series, but only the original three being playable is still plenty.


Puzzles on puzzles on puzzles

The characters in "Trine 5" are a ton of fun, but the real meat and potatoes of the series are its puzzles, and "Trine 5" delivers them in spades. It is easily the longest game in the series, taking around roughly 15 hours to finish while "Trine 4" took closer to 12


One of the more impressive aspects of the game's puzzles is how they change and grow throughout the game's campaign. Even in each character's tutorial level, there are multiple iterations on their basic move set that really make you feel like you're entering a massive experience. Thankfully, the game doesn't disappoint on that feeling and continues to expand in scope and variety as it progresses. There are water puzzles, combat puzzles, rope puzzles — almost anything you can think of, and they only get more fun with some friends helping out.

The skill system of "Trine 5" also stands as a testament to its puzzle design. Each character has multiple skills to unlock in their own skill tree, but they are remarkably well balanced to ensure that none feel too overpowered or too niche to be very helpful. Finding ways to use them to navigate puzzles is an absolute blast and speaks to how finely tuned each and every one of the game's many puzzles are. 


A gorgeous world to journey through

"Trine 5" takes full advantage of its access to next-gen hardware to bring its world to life like never before. The series' world is one of whimsical and ridiculous fantasy that clashes elements of necromancy with vibrant beach resorts, clockwork automatons with giant pink hedgehogs, and everything in between. There is a variety of environments that players travel through during their playthrough and each is beautiful with character-filled animations, exciting details, and fun surprises. 


Unfortunately, there are a number of graphical issues that pop up throughout the game, particularly when it comes to the game's environments. No bugs disrupted gameplay during our playthrough, but some animations in the environments would glitch out or certain textures wouldn't load right. It didn't ruin the playthrough, but they were distracting and it was disappointing to see them detract from the great work of the game's artists. 

The world of "Trine 5" is also let down by the game's story. Narratives have never been a huge part of the series and this one is detached from its predecessors enough to be accessible to newcomers, but it would have added a lot had its story felt like more than filler. There are plenty of fun jokes and gags throughout it, but it does a woefully poor job of building up its villains or doing anything particularly interesting with its world that isn't done by the game's environment team.


Ultimately, "Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy" brilliantly continues the series, presenting a captivating next-gen experience. The game shines with its deeply intricate puzzles, delightful character dynamics, and enhanced co-op gameplay. With a nod to the series' classic narration, it showcases breathtaking visuals and introduces fresh gameplay elements, making it an absolute joy, whether playing solo or with friends.