Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is a wonderful entry point for a series that keeps evolving and improving

Despite being number five in a series, I’d argue this is a perfect entry point into the world of Trine.

For those who’ve never been on an adventure with Pontius, Amadeus and Zoya before, you play as three very differently skilled adventurers – a fighter, a wizard and a thief – who must use their combined abilities to solve taxing puzzles and defeat a variety of enemies.

The Trine games have appeared on just about every format known to humankind. It’s all very cleverly designed from a side-scrolling, platforming perspective and much like it has many times before, plays out in a familiar way. Zoya can fire arrows and create rope bridges. Pontius is a large, brawling knight with a sword and shield who can fight, but also dive through floorboards and break through fragile walls.

And Amadeus the Wizard is a master conjurer, who can make boxes and planks appear out of thin air, while also causing other items in the world to levitate.

Trine 5 does an expert job of introducing you to its cast from the beginning, even if you know them inside and out at this point. This is a good way of getting you to grips with the game, while giving you an entire level to experiment with their abilities and get comfortable with them.

And before long they are adventuring together, exploring a variety of vivid environments, using their unique skills in a plethora of ways.

This time, though, the depth of the environment is quite breathtaking and the artists have done an incredible job of making you feel part of the experience, almost like diving into a picture book and surrounding you with picturesque detail.

Water is freely flowing, ropes and trees wave in the wind, birds fly on high and the sky gleams. At times, you feel like stopping and taking in a big gulp of fresh air. It’s all so beautiful and relaxing, but equally immersive. At times, you can walk inward toward the scenery, which sometimes causes the camera to tilt, altering your perspective slightly

Not to mention the game now has real, honest to goodness cutscenes, which allow the Trine heroes to shine but also to introduce us to the villians of our story and some unlikely allies. It also means the story is a lot more of a focus and stands out more than previous games. It all plays out like a sort of storybook, with some minor connections to previous adventures.

Basically, it’s the most stunning Trine to date and also the most ambitious. You can now have 4 player co-op, with one person able to control each of the titular characters, but also a fourth to support with a character of their own choosing.

And to feed into that, there’s a last hero standing mode where, if you’re fighting one of the bosses, the entire team’s survival hinges on you. No pressure! I didn’t get to try out much of the online portion due to playing pre-release but can attest to having a brilliant time with my young kids in local co-op. They took to the controls and gameplay like a glove and couldn’t put it down.

I’m impressed by the way Frozenbyte have been able to iterate on their known and trusted formula so much already, between new types of puzzles blended with old – create box, use it to jump to platform, to throwing exploding boxes at certain areas to make progress. But they’ve expanded this even further with a talent tree.

With it, you can evolve individual characters from orbs you collect in each level, converting XP, then spending on unconventional abilities, some new and some familiar. You can also upgrade existing abilities, for instance, Pontius’ stamp can actually evolve into a double stomp, one light, one heavy. Amadeus can also have an exploding box that does damage to enemies. He can even send them sailing off the grid through levitation.

It’s up to you how you order this, of course, with the key abilities unlocking over the course of the game, but this can add a bit of customisation to your playthrough as you work out the best things to spend your hard earned wealth on, while also encountering some fun, unexpected and different ways to really make use of the game’s engine and try different approaches to puzzle solving.

And let’s face it, the Trine games have lived and breathed on their fun physics and this one really does push the boat out in terms of making you deftly place certain objects or time your approach to perfection. The rhyhtm and flow is good, still a little shaky at times, but it feels more high budget here, less glitched and more responsive.

The reason I felt this was a good entry point is because of the co-op nature, the visuals, the way the formula has been iterated upon and crafted to perfection, but equally the story which sees the three heroes of Trine called to a party to celebrate them.

Of course, this is a trap and it sets off a sequence of events that really give each character a chance to establish themselves but also to develop across the course of the game.

True, it’s not a tour-de-force and won’t be rivaling Baldur’s Gate anytime soon, but it serves the game, its characters and menacing clockwork army wonderfully and it gives you enough to keep the journey going, finding your way forward through an endless onslaught of puzzles.

Also new here is customisation, which is always a fun way to explore the game. You can change costume color, hat types, even backpacks as you unlock new collecitbles and tidbits in the world.

Trine 5 is the best of the series so far, no question, but there were a few hiccups along the way. A couple of puzzles I was able to glitch through a wall or piece of scenery by jumping at the right spot, despite not completing the objective I was tasked with.

I did also find some of the physics a little fiddly and frustrating when trying to position things correctly. And unfortunately, as is the case with most Trine games, it does get a little samey towards the game’s middle and end. Levelling up individual characters offsets this somewhat, but it does all start to become a little over familiar and repetitive.

But whether you’re a series vet or a first timer here, Trine 5 is a solid puzzle adventure with that all-too-rare co-op experience that is both satisfying and enjoyable to be part of.  Even if you’re playing this by your lonesome, minor physical grievances aside, you’ll have a great time sending arrows sailing and bouncing back projectiles with your shield.


Trine 5 is the absolute best installment in the series to date. The higher production values, expanded co-op, customisation and indivdual talent trees, coupled with the fiendish puzzle solving and expert physics Frostbyte are renowned for compliment one another brilliantly. Minor glitches aside, the game still falls into the same trap as its predecessors of being a little too repetitive late on, but whether you’re on your own or with a family, you can have some great fun with this one. 


+ Beautiful, vivid art
+ A fun co-operative experience as good as anything out there
+ Tricky puzzles that will make you think
+ Successful additions expand the Trine formula with individual talent trees and unique customisation


– Can glitch through some puzzles and areas
– Gets a bit repetitive over time

Trine 5: The Clockwork Conspiracy is out now on PC, Xbox, Switch and PS5

Code Kindly Provided by THQ Nordic for review purposes

Played on PS5

About the author

Sally Willington

Sally is relatively new to gaming since a newfound addiction to Nintendo Switch. Now they just can't stop playing, anything and everything. Sally especially loves a good RPG and thinks that Yuna may just be one of her favourite characters ever.
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