Trove: The whiney middle child between Minecraft and Terraria
Trove is a MMORPG that quite literally takes pages out of the playbook for Minecraft and Terraria. It prides itself on offering a great range of content that is very accessible. While it mostly succeeds in this endeavor, sometimes the developers try to do too much. You’ll see evidence of this throughout the rest of the Trove review. The focus of the game centers around managing your own plot, like Minecraft and questing through action packed combat to score loot and upgrade your character/environment. There’s a lot of emphasis on public questing (it is an MMORPG after all) and getting together with other players is essential for success. Once you do complete dungeons and score loot you can build your house on your plot, upgrade your character based on what kind of class you chose, or even create your own dungeon. I found the last bit to be a nice touch.
Gameplay is action packed with commands being easy to execute quickly, but with combat variety lacking. There’s a lot of hacking and slashing to be done which feels satisfying as you rip through enemies, but it does get a bit old. You’ll enter dungeons to fight; these are marked on your map with waypoints. Once inside you’ll navigate and fight with other players whom you need to spread out the damage. This is especially true when it comes to the heavy hitting enemies. The combat reminds me of a pixelated version of God of War or Bayonetta and keeps the action moving along briskly.
If you do take on a lot of damage you’ll discover just how dependent your character becomes on potions. Which means your success rate in dungeons is really determined by your preparedness in that department and by the number of players grinding through alongside you. This can be a bit frustrating at times.
The game also has a well-intentioned system of allowing players to enter a dungeon at any point prior to its completion and receive credit. For the most part this is a welcome relief from games that require you to be present at the start of a quest. Although this alleviates some tedium, you will find players simply wandering the overworld map and jumping into dungeons right at the end. They can then claim credit for the efforts of the entire party without helping the party progress through at all.
When you aren’t questing you’ll be making use of the massive collection of loot the game gives you. This is appreciated as there is a lot to use it on. You have recipes, crafting materials and of course gear. You’ll find you are constantly motivated to look for more gear in Trove. Review the stats for your weapons and you’ll find you usually feel you can upgrade or do better.
And then there is build mode. Oh how I love and hate thee. You’ll want to use your loot to earn blocks which in turn open up more options to build your home such as new color schemes. The problem is that it’s hard to track down the right combinations of loot to open up more choices. Too much looting to do in Trove? I daresay yes at times.
Overall this is a solid platform that does enough to differentiate itself from the two games it most closely resembles, Minecraft and Terraria. I called it the whiney middle child because some of it flaws make an otherwise smooth experience seem rough. It’s still fun though, and that’s the bottom line about games. Go grab a Trove STEAM key and see for yourself.