A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a fantasy-themed action/adventure game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. This is the latest installment in the popular Trine franchise. Players control three characters, using their unique abilities to overcome various obstacles and defeat enemies that stand between them and saving their realm. The game features strong themes of teamwork, cooperation, and friendship. While there's violence in the game, with players fighting monsters, skeletons, and other creatures, parents should note that there's no blood or gore. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
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What's it about?
TRINE 4: THE NIGHTMARE PRINCE begins with the trio of heroes Zoya the Thief, Amadeus the Wizard, and Pontius the Knight, who have all gone their separate ways. They do their own adventures until they're yet again called into service for the greater good of the kingdom. It seems that young Prince Selius, determined to learn spellcraft, has unfortunately tapped into forces well beyond his control. Since that moment, the prince has been plagued by dreams of dark creatures and the destruction of the kingdom. Now, these shadows from his nightmares have somehow managed to cross from the veil of dreaming into the real world. Making matters worse still, the prince has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. This leads to our trio of heroes being called back to action one more time, tasked with recovering the missing prince and finding a way to drive back the darkness trapped within the prince's soul. It won't be an easy task, but together there's nothing these three friends can't accomplish.
Is it any good?
"Teamwork makes the dream work." That's the best way to sum up Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, with your trio of intrepid adventurers working to defeat literal nightmares. And with its fluid controls, colorful visuals, and stellar sounds, Trine 4 is a dream to play as well. The game seamlessly blends classic platforming with wonderful puzzle elements that force players to think beyond basic button mashing or hack-and-slash action. That's not to say Trine 4 doesn't have its share of action, including some tough boss battles. Those moments of action are great, but it's utilizing the full range of your team's abilities and coming up with creative ways to overcome obstacles that feels most rewarding. Every victory is one you feel you earned.
As rewarding as Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is, there are a couple of spots where it gets in its own way. For example, the game is colorful and the world is rendered beautifully, but there are times where certain key items or enemies blend in and get lost in the environment. It's a very minor gripe, though, and more a testament to just how much detail and effects get packed into the game's visuals. The game's co-op multiplayer can also be a bit frustrating, but that's generally determined by how well you can communicate with your friends. There's nothing worse than arguing with someone about the best way to get through a particularly difficult area, only for them to try to leave you behind once you do. Trine 4's co-op is most effective when you're playing with a bit of patience and camaraderie, working with one another like the heroes of Trine instead of against one another. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is a testament to friendship and cooperation, and a beautiful adventure that's easily the best entry in the series to date.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork and cooperation. What are some ways that people can work together to overcome obstacles? How can people with different personalities, backgrounds, and beliefs learn from one another and become better as a team?
What are some of the ways that video games can help to improve both critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and how can those lessons be applied in the real world?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Modus Games, LLC.
- Release date: October 8, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: October 16, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.