Legend of Zelda Triforce Heroes review: Linking up to solve puzzles
Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes (Nintendo 3DS); rating: 8/10; age: 7+
A PLAYFUL, humorous offshoot of the classic Zelda series, Triforce Heroes serves up short, simple puzzle dungeons where the key is cooperation between three characters.
Yes, the princess is in peril again, only this time from the threat of bad fashion. No, you’re not meant to take it seriously. In fact, Triforce Heroes is one of the funniest ever Zeldas, constantly poking fun at itself and its hallmarks. Even Link, usually the hero, is the butt of a running joke that excludes him from any involvement.
Instead, you and two other Link-alikes tackle familiar-looking temples with the customary puzzles based around switches and monsters. But what makes Triforce different is the requirement for cooperative play – either via online or local multiplayer. Happily, local download play is also supported, meaning you need only one copy of the game for three players.
Solo play is entirely possible but it’s a tedious affair, obliging you to control each of the three characters in turn or actually carrying the other two on your head in the style of a totem pole. What begins as merely an encumbrance later becomes frustrating when puzzles require tight timing and multiple actions.
So Triforce lends itself to a much more agreeable experience when two other players join you in the online lobby. Alas, the game doesn’t support voice-chat, just a very limited form of emoji, which isn’t much help when you’re confronted with knotty problems and tricky bosses.
Sometimes, two of you must be carried aloft by the third player so you can reach a high spot or fire an arrow at the weak spot of an enemy. It can be spirited, frantic and hilarious all at once, so long as you all work as a team instead of running around like headless chickens.
Anyone expecting a full-blown Zelda epic will get short shrift from these bite-sized chunks of dungeon-lite. Yet if you can find a couple of competent pals online – or better still in the same room – then Triforce Heroes offers an amusing blast of adventuring.