Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy – PC Review

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Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy is the latest in the Trine series, the first being released in 2009 by developers Frozenbyte. The game was released on 31st August 2023 available on all platforms. We received an invite to see what makes the game tick so we jumped at the chance. Let’s delve back into the Trine universe and see what’s in store!

Wakey, Wakey. Rise and Trine!

When Trine was released in 2009 I remember it being a well-made side-scrolling action adventure. This game however had a unique feature – the ability to control all three characters consecutively. The ability to swap from agile thief to lumbersome but tough knight instantaneously had me excited at the time. Who else remembers the previous games from the Trine series? Leave a comment below with your memories of the games.

three colourful fantasy characters pose side by side - one is a knight, one is an assassin and one is a wizard
Time for the pre-adventure photo op


Trine 5 pits the much-loved Trine heroes against a new foe (there’s always someone wanting to be a party pooper). This time it is a clockwork army led by a dastardly and duplicitous enemy. This clockwork army was made to serve and protect but, their makers have other ideas. You are introduced to the main characters, who have already saved the day in previous games. They are praised throughout the lands and are leading their own lives separately. They are all invited to a special gathering which brings them back together. In this game, playing solo, you rely on switching between each character using their talents and skills to advance. I remember being introduced to the switching of characters’ mechanics initially in 1985’s Gauntlet. It was great to use it again in this modern game. To review the gameplay it is probably best to do it through the characters themselves:

Zoya the Thief

We first are introduced to Zoya, a stealthy thief. She relies on her agility, grappling hook, bow and arrow, and silver tongue to escape most situations. We join her as she is attempting to steal a map leading to a hidden treasure. I found that I was able to start traversing the levels easily due to the intuitive and easy-to-learn controls. As you progress through the game Zoya is normally chosen to use the grappling hook to pull doors, ledges, or platforms. Sometimes the rope can be used to link up these items to make progress easier. Her bow is extremely useful for taking out enemies and hitting far-off targets. Zoya’s ability also means you can reach hard-to-reach places. Using a basic skill tree, Zoya’s, and indeed the other two heroes, can upgrade their abilities to help you out when coming across harder-to-beat enemies and puzzles.

a fantasy scene with a character aiming a bow at a green collactable
Aim, shoot, collect!

Pontius the Knight

We are first introduced to Pontius as he is tracking down a necromancer causing trouble by attempting to raise the dead. He seems to have maybe put on a bit of extra weight since the last Trine outing making his actions seem even more lumbersome and heavy. During his introductory level, we find he excels in using his sword to destroy things blocking routes like wooden boxes, vines, and enemies. He comes equipped with a shield that he can use for a devastating fast shield bash attack which also is useful for bashing barriers to move platforms. A part of the playthrough with Pontius which was unique and fun was his ability to redirect falling water with the shield to fill up buckets activating levers to allow our party of three to continue on. Using his weight well, Pontius can also ground pound the floor to help traverse the levels.

A knight stands on a box redirecting water with his shield in a gloomy fantasy land
Water way to puzzle solve!

Amadeus the Wizard

We are first introduced to Amadeus living in a paradise. He is surrounded by blue waters, tropical trees, and bathing baboons. He too receives an invite and is reunited with the Trine heroes. Amedeus can conjure up platforms and blocks to use when getting across the levels. He can also move certain objects already lying around to good effect. Moving the wizard around seemed like a midpoint between Zoya and Pontius in terms of agility. I found solving puzzles with him to be challenging and also gratifying if done right. Any platform conjured up can be rotated and sometimes used to reach hidden areas that could be easily missed. Out of all of the heroes I enjoyed playing as Amedeus the most due to being able to manipulate and create items to use in puzzles.

A wizard walks on a beach ball over a pool - the background is a vibrant, sunny paradise
Havin’ a ball in paradise!

Graphics & Audio

The graphics are simply Stunning. The attention to detail in every scene down to its smallest item sets this game apart from many others of the same genre. The use of lighting and colour at every level is a pleasure to look at. The game overall has a cell-shaded look to it giving it a cartoonish feel but still manages to make it feel reel with realistic water, intricate designs, and realistic object physics. The animation of the cutscenes and the actual gameplay too feel well-polished and articulated. Compared to how the Trine series started out the overall quality of the graphics is up to date and excels over the competition in this game genre.

The score of the game changes tone and intensity with each level and encounter fittingly. I found it to be better than the average fantasy music, however, for example, providing quirky flutes and sounds to fit the funny moments. The voice acting from the characters and narrator was very well done too. The effects throughout too were expertly done from the clanging of armour to the noise spells make when conjuring up an object. The music and sounds brought you into the game and served as a tool to heighten the gameplay.

A hooded character stands in the foreground as another chracter stands with a weapon behind
Caught red-handed!


I could easily spend a good few hours playing through this solo using all three characters to journey through these vibrant and exciting lands. That time playing could then be doubled with another playthrough with others either online or local co-op where they can play as one of the other characters or play as the same character in one of the other modes. I can only imagine playing with others would step the game up to another level relying on each other to fight, puzzle, and adventure through these awesome lands.

Final Thoughts

Wow! From the get-go, I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the vibrant and detailed lands utilising light and colour well. I thoroughly enjoyed playing as the three quirky characters solving what came to be challenging puzzles only able to be solved by a combination of them all. As stated above I can only imagine the game is ten times as enjoyable playing with others. Little has been done to change the characters and their skills but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Overall, it is a masterclass in how side-scrolling 2.5d platformers should be made and it is above and beyond all out there at the moment. 

I award Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy Thumb Culture’s Gold Award!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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