Trine 2

 photo trine2.png

Trine 2 Official Trailer:

Trine 2 is a side-scrolling platform game that focuses on solving puzzles to complete each level. The story revolves around 3 heroes, a wizard, a knight and a thief, who wants to save their world from danger.  Players can choose to control any one hero at any time to solve the puzzle. Each hero has unique abilities which provide a wide variety of game play scenarios.

Lens 24: Action

  • Innovative way of controlling actions of 3 different characters. The wizard is able to draw boxes and planks to summon them. Players can use the objects to cross obstacles or as a ladder to reach certain areas. The thief can shoot arrows and hang/swing on platforms. The warrior can break rocks and block projectiles.
  • Attack enemies in multiple ways. For example, trapping the enemy in boxes drawn by the wizard, swinging a sword, or freezing it with an arrow. This provides a diverse range of actions that can interact with the environment or enemy.

With 3 different characters, players control a wide range of actions that can be applied to different puzzles. Each action is accompanied by beautiful graphics which enhances the player’s experience. It also creates a high level of interactivity as player’s have the option to play with the environment while thinking about how to solve a puzzle.

Lens 6: Problem Solving

  • Robust physics engine used to solve puzzles. For example, dropping a box to shift the hands of a statue unlocks certain mechanics.
  • Different characters have different abilities to be used in different scenario. This creates many solutions to a particular puzzle which allows more room for creativity
  • Objects are also provided to create greater diversity in puzzle solving
  • Secret paths require exploration and provides rewards for the player
  • Harder puzzles build upon previous knowledge of solving an easier puzzle

As a puzzle game, Trine 2 has designed a wide variety of puzzles to challenge players. By controlling characters with different abilities, players have a wide range of tools available to solve a particular puzzle. This allows players to explore different ways to solve each puzzle. In addition, players will not feel restrained as they have freedom of control over their play style. However, the puzzles in Trine 2 are static and do not have replay values. It follows a story progression and once the game ends, most players will not be motivated to play it again. 

Lens 35: Heads and Hands

  • Contains elements of hack and slash by killing enemies which adds a new variety to reduce the stress on the brain from puzzle solving
  • Fighting style is simple and fun to play. It involves fighting enemies while solving puzzles.
  • Must move fast to dodge projectiles as well. This requires proper timing before jumping across some obstacles.
  • Using both dexterity and brains creates a good balance in player experience

Apart from puzzle solving, the game also requires good hand eye coordination. To reduce the draining effects of puzzle solving games, fighting and dodging mechanics were cleverly included. These mechanics complement the story and engages the player.

Lens 31: Challenge  

  • Challenged to solve puzzles with the given tools. For example, the picture shows a solution to climb up a cliff. Use the wizard to create a box to ride up the steam. To defend against the fire, switch and use a warrior’s shield.
  • Players are challenged to switch characters to adapt to the situation
  • Wide variety of different puzzles provides a different challenge. Difficulty of puzzles increases as the game progresses
  • Difficult challenges occur when a boss appears. Increases the tension of the game and creates a greater sense of satisfaction after defeating the boss

Challenges are consistent throughout the game to create tension. They are also challenged to balance both puzzle solving abilities with fighting skills that are required during some parts of the game. The game design ensures that players will not feel bored while playing the game.

Lens 37: Cooperation

  • Players can play with up to 2 friends to enjoy the full experience of the game
  • Very special cooperation mechanism where player can swap character control depending on the situation
  • Multiple character are controlled when in cooperation mode which creates more options to solve the problem
  • Game experience is enhanced as teamwork will create new opportunities to explore new places
  • Synergy between players when they work together allows them to complete each challenge faster

Trine 2 truly shines when there are 3 players in the game. In single player mode, players can only control one character at each time. However, when multiple characters are controlled, abilities can be used simultaneously. This allows infinitely many strategic team plays to solve puzzles. Players will feel motivated when they discover a new way to perform a specific action.

Trine 2 creates a fantasy world that provides player with a high degree of freedom. They choose from 3 unique characters and decide how to use them to solve a wide variety of puzzles. It is delightfully open-ended as there are many ways to solve a puzzle. Although it loses out in replay value, it makes up by providing players with an unforgettable experience in this magical world.

Temple Run

Temple Run is a game developed by Imangi Studios that is played on mobile device such as iOS and Android operating systems. The gameplay is rather straight forward, keep the character, which is you, running without falling off, banging into obstacles or caught up by the monster chasing after you.

Lens 3: The Lens of Fun

Overall I do find Temple Run fun as it gives me the thrill when encountering obstacles as it require fast reaction as well as the excitement when the tempo increases.

After playing the game for about a month or so, the objective of the game seems to be based on the time spent playing, which is less appealing to my taste, and it would be more fun if there are more new running paths and obstacles appearing as the gameplay progresses.

Lens 4: The Lens of Curiosity

What questions does Temple Run put into the player’s mind?

What will obstacles will I encounter next?
Shall I turn left or right, jump or slide, tilt left or right? Shall I use my special skill now or shall I wait for later? Which skill shall I level up first to improve my score?

What is Temple Run doing to make them care about these questions?

Death penalty if failed to react correctly.
Placement of coins and obstacles.
Sound indicated whenever special skill can be triggered. Number indicated whenever skills leveling is able.

What can Temple Run do to make them invent even more questions? By adding more obstacles and maps.

Lens 5: The Lens of Endogenous Value

What is valuable to the players in Temple Run? Coins and distance travelled.

How can Temple Run make it more valuable to them? For skills’ leveling and complete objective.

What is the relationship between value in Temple Run and the player’s motivations? Increase overall score for ranking.

Lens 7: The Lens of Elemental Tetrad

Mechanics: The gameplay mechanic are the jumping, sliding, turning left or right and moving left, right or center when encountered with obstacles. Since there is no end to this game until you die, the tempo increase gradually as you play.

Story: A simple story of an explorer who stole an idol running away and being chased by a monster.

Technology: Using mobile devices touchscreen and gyroscope to maneuver in the game.

Aesthetics: 3D graphics are used to project the obstacles.

I feel that overall Temple Run’s elements are well balance.

Since the story does not really affect the gameplay as it is used more for the setup of the environment.

Lens 14: The Lens of Risk Mitigation

What could keep this game from being great?
The lack of additional obstacles and maps and the never ending run.

How can we stop that from happening?

Using stages of different temples to run away from could add different of obstacles within each maps and each maps can only be enabled by passing a certain objective within the previous.



Game Play Demo:

Lenses Used:

1. Flows
2. Chance
3. Challenge
4. Cooperation
5. Griefing


  • Goal in this game is reaching maximum level as fast as possible and player versus player (PVP) where user can get different karma
  • Hardly there is not much difference in player’s goal and developer’s goal. If players start to move away from the desired goal, developer will introduce new stuff to make the player focus back.
  • This game does not really have parts that can distract players till they forget their goal. Players usually do stuff that helps to achieve their goal in a better way.
  • This game does provide a steady stream of gradually increasing challenges. There will not be something cases where all the sudden players find it impossible to complete.


  • Drops in this game are truly random which some item drops from all monsters in the game.
  • Randomness will give players both positive and negative feelings. Feel good if is something rare, and feel bad if it is junks.
  • Slight change in probability distribution curves is good. Too much will render some stuff useless.
  • Enchanting is an interesting risk activity. Weapon is destroyed when failed and nice boost in damage if success.
  • The relationship between chance and skill is inverse proportional. Lower chance means need to work hard to improve skill.


  • Some challenges in this game are leveling skills and dungeons.
  • For each dungeon, there will be three difficulties to suit each player capability.
  • Challenges in this game depend on gears more instead of skill levels.
  • Time taken to level up a skill increase by a each time player succeed in leveling one level.
  • The variety of challenges in this game is just nice. If there are too many challenges, players may find the game too hard.
  • Maximum for dungeon is 3 and skill is 10.


  • Have hero band (similar to guild in other game) but only limited to same clan.
  • Communication can be improved if different clan can join the same hero band.
  • Most players started as stranger. To help break the ice, developer can create quests that required multiple players to finish.
  • It will be synergy when players work together. Most of the time in this game, players in a party help each other till all of them get the same benefit.
  • Usually in this game different role are required in a party. For example, they will have tanker, healer, and damage dealer.


  • Player killing is the most common griefing method in this game.
  • To make griefing boring, penalty can be imposed for killing the same person again within a certain time.
  • No loophole shall be ignored as griefing can cause unhappiness in players.


The Game

The game to be analysed here is “Fieldrunners-2”. It is a cross-platform tower-defence game, and the Steam version will be used. The URL of the website of this game is


5 Lenses

  • Challenge(31)
  • Visible Progress(49)
  • The Puzzle(52)
  • Punishment(41)
  • Freedom(71)



The challenge in this game is to build towers appropriately to stop the fieldrunners. The game offers three difficulty levels – casual, tough and heroic, which can accommodate a wide variety of skill levels. New maps of higher difficulty will be unlocked as the player finishes the relatively easier ones. The game also has endless mode for all the 25 maps, where the difficulty will increase as the rounds goes up, with no upper bound. The benefit of this is that players who are really interested can explore various possibilities and find better plans. Such design is easy to implement, and at the meantime, leaves a wide space for the players to attempt. There will always be challenges as long as the players want.

Visible Progress

There are four kinds of visual progress in the game. The first one is in the world map view, the flags indicate the maps that have been finished, and from the number of stars on the flags the players can know the highest difficulty level that they succeeded.

The second one is for each map, there is a highest score.

The third one is the card view, in which the player can see the achievements they have made.

The last one is the tower view, where the information of the unlocked towers will be displayed.

All these representations are quite direct and easy for the players to see.

The Puzzle

Among the 25 maps in this game, 5 are puzzle maps, in which, the players will be reminded of some rules of the game, as well as be given hints on how to make use of the rules in the game. The five puzzles almost cover all the tricks that the players can play. They are purposely designed as an introduction to advanced levels. From the world view we can see that the puzzles are in a separate area, which indicates that other maps have no dependency on the puzzles. If the player find the puzzles are too difficult they can just ignore them, and maybe they will learn the skills in the process of playing.


The game has only one type of punishment – every time the player sells a tower, 2500 points will be taken away. In this kind of strategy games, players should have a complete plan before the game starts, so although selling towers – or changing plans—is allowed, the player will receive punishment. In this case, I do not think there is a better way the change this punishment to rewards. The punishment of 2500 points is used delicately that it will not affect the final score very obviously, but it can distinguish the players with better plan. This is more like a reward for the good planners than a punishment to casual players.


Except for the five puzzle maps, the players can choose any unlocked towers and place them in any way they want. The game offers perfect freedom to players. The players only have to follow two rules – buy whatever you can afford and place it any one of the green cells. Beside the rules, what matters will be the imagination of the players. Such freedom is very easy to achieve in terms of game design, and can lead to players to explore. Given this freedom, the players are not so easy to get tired of the game. Only one suggestion for the game – if the players can create maps themselves and share to others, maybe more players will enjoy this game.