Review: Trove (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Trove
Format: PSN (1.0 GB)
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Trion Network Inc.
Developer: Trion Worlds Inc.
Original MSRP: Free
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A full DLC Pack for this game was provided by the publisher.
PS Nation Review Policy

I have seen Trove here and there, received the occasional email about it, and noticed the Beta on the PlayStation Store, but always considered it as just another Minecraft clone. I then realized I was acting like the consumer that I dislike, the one who jumps to conclusions without giving something a fair chance.

So I took it upon myself to download the game and give it a try once I had got a few reviews done and dusted. Before I had the chance to do that my kids started playing it, obsessively so. I had to see what all the fuss was about as it wasn’t just my kids who dove into the Beta, but close to five million players.

Is this free-to-play, voxel-based action-adventure MMO any good? I occasionally had to wrestle the game away from my daughters to check it out for myself.

Gameplay:
What captured the hearts of my two girls is the fact that you can acquire, and fly on, dragons. Plus it looks like the other game that I naively compared it to earlier.

What first grabbed my attention was the distinct look of a PC game with small menus and text littering the sides of the screen. I assumed this would be quite daunting for my kids, but I underestimated their tech-savvy minds and it made me feel a little old.

The story of Trove is a simple one. With only a cursory glance at the introductory video I heard something about a mischievous Moon goddess ruining all the hard work the Sun goddess had done. Darkness has spread throughout the realms and it is up to you, and many others, to restore order.

Fourteen unique classes can be used once you buy them using the in-game currency. You are allowed to try each one before putting down your hard-earned credits. There’s always a small chance of unlocking a character or mount through other means but the desire to have some things can be very tempting indeed, just ask my two pleading children once they found out you could have dragons.

… distinct areas with particular weapons, armor, hats, items, and more …
There’s also an abundance of other things to strive for in the store with everything from costumes, flasks, gems, and loads more. Like kids in a virtual sweet shop, my two have sat wide-eyed at the possibilities of all that they could have and I could swear my wallet gave a despairing whimper. Although understanding it will take some doing as there are credits, patron passes, golden keys, dragon coins, and even a thing called a Heart-a-Phone.

Before you need to worry about any of that, I would suggest jumping straight into the first and easiest portal you can and taking out some bad guys. When I write guys, I really mean evil mushrooms and sneaky spiders. Every hit, bash, smash, and strike of your weapon adds to your experience meter and before you know it, you’ll have leveled up. You’ll unlock more skills and claim lots of loot to get even stronger so you can try the next difficulty. Remind you of anything?

The higher your level, the more portals you can access. There are distinct areas with particular weapons, armor, hats, items, and more found hidden in the flora and fauna. These items are needed to craft and build the many things you need and want in the pleasant land of Trove.

There are plenty of minions and small lairs to face on your own and you will merrily clear a ton of castles with minimal of effort. You will need the help of some friends and some cool weapons if you want to stand a chance later on in the game.

… there are still countless things to get …
You can build all manner of things, from portals to grand effigies of your own ugly mug. You even have the ability to make your own club worlds for you and your friends to mess around in and destroy. People have spent an absurd amount of time constructing towering statues of iconic computer and comic book characters and some of the areas are wonderfully detailed. My daughters spent ages on a huge and complex mag-rail roller coaster that weaved around giant spiders and other creepy things.

I have spent hours building and altering my house. It can be instantly rebuilt in any empty plot throughout the realms which is a blessing when I’m low on health or worse when my character dies because instead of respawning at the portal I reappear at home.

My oldest daughter quickly took over my game and had access to the credits and chaos chests on my account. With very little help, all of it was spent but I now have loads of mounts, a cool boat, many characters, and plenty more. Even after all of that, there are still countless things to get.

My youngest daughter used a different account and has not spent a dime but has still enjoyed the game without complaint. With a few excellent mounts and a cool house she could not be happier, especially when she managed to get a rare dragon that neither had seen before but both fell in love with.

Since the Beta, I have lost connection to the servers on several occasions and suffered a few strange glitches but overall the experience has been a good one. There are always plenty of other players, mostly of a younger age group, but that’s not really a bad thing as this game is obviously geared toward them, just take a look at the visuals.

… walking cakes and puddings guarding their jelly and sweets castle …
Visuals:
Voxels are everywhere, I just completed another review for a game that made very good use of the blocks. Trove also uses them in some very interesting ways and with a surprising amount of detail. Blocks of varying shapes and sizes come together to form expansive and very colorful worlds. Some excellent lighting, fire, smoke, glass, and water effects gave the experience that extra level of quality that other games in this style sorely lack.

With a wide variety of areas, it’s doubtful the younger players will get bored, with dungeons themed around cakes, castles, tree houses, and almost anything else you can think of. Even the enemies have themes, like the walking cakes and puddings guarding their jelly and sweets castle. It was almost too much for me and I nearly slipped into a sugar induced coma.

Even I could not help but enjoy the large waterfalls and tiny fireflies buzzing around the trees and colorful flowers as the sun slowly set. A short trek into another area as the moon crept out from behind some clouds and cast an eerie glow over the dry rocky landscape that reminded me of Death Valley.

Audio:
Trove is happy and fun, even when you are fighting a horrible, but still jolly, monster. Music is good and the sound of a chest appearing seems to release a drop of endorphins. Overall, there is nothing special here. It seems to be perfect for the background of a party chat, which is helpful since the main part of the game is the multiplayer.

Online/Multiplayer:
This is an MMO for kids. It has taken some great ideas from popular games and crammed them into a free-to-play experience. It’s easy, once you figure out the menus, to join your friends if they have their own club or the server isn’t full.

… I can see the game soon losing its appeal for me, but I’m not the target audience …
Playing with a friend or two makes this game much better, especially when you all brag about the new mount you just obtained or laugh at the silly ears you just picked up. You can trade many of the items with the community, but be careful as it’s surprising how many kids try to swindle you out of things.

It pays to be mindful of the chat as people inevitably find ways around the profanity filter. Once I turned off the global chat it was okay. You can just ignore and report the obscene users that are few and far between.

Conclusion:
Trove succeeds in many areas but is not without its faults. You have a reason to do things, places to go, and enemies to vanquish. You can just chill out and build things but you’ll definitely enjoy going on adventures with your friends and family. More importantly, you’ll love the shiny loot.

I can see the game soon losing its appeal for me, but I’m not the target audience. It’s like catnip for kids and once they understand the format, I doubt you will get them to play anything else. There’s tons of fun and freebies to be had but the kids will eventually pester you to get them a patron pass or a credit pack. It all depends on how long you can hold out.

I was going to score this game slightly lower, but then my children got involved and I was threatened with the loss of hugs. Just kidding, although it did happen, that was not what made me change my mind. It has been their love for the game. My oldest even got up early and dressed, ready for school, just so she could play for a little in the mornings.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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  • “Being threatened with a loss of hugs” is probably one of my favorite lines in a review I have ever read! This sounds great for kids. My nephew loves Minecraft way too much and all he wants to play is split screen that, I might just have to point him to this instead to mix it up.

    • ChazzH69

      Thanks Gruel.