This past weekend, Trove had a $5 sale on their instant alpha packages. I’ve kinda eyed Trove on and off — wasn’t particularly wowed by the style, but was curious about the gameplay. So I took up the sale and puttered around in the game a bit over the weekend, having no prior knowledge of the game at all.
What is Trove?
It’s a MMO voxel-based building and adventure RPG game. You have the ability to build, similar to Minecraft, fight monsters, gain levels, equip items, explore mini-dungeons, and lots more.
The style is blocky with a heavy dark outline around objects that give it a animation feel. I couldn’t help but think “this feels like a kid’s game” while playing it — and I don’t usually dismiss art styles that way.
Honestly, despite my initial feelings on the style, it’s a game probably aimed at a general audience. Some of the challenges I faced were tricky, and not crafted for younger players, especially not if they are exploring solo. The crafting system isn’t super difficult, but does take a little thought. So while it’s easy enough for a younger player to pick up, I doubt it’s made to be specifically a “kid’s game.”
I’ll note that I didn’t get into building yet, and haven’t used the free club pass I have, so I haven’t yet engaged with the part of the game that may turn out to be most interesting to me. I went through the tutorial, which was easy enough to get me started, dropped into the hub world, and found my way to the class picking table. Not sure why we didn’t pick a class sooner, but I suppose that’s a work in progress.
Naturally, I picked the new class, dracolyte. While I’m not normally a ranged player (that’s been changing lately), I couldn’t resist the cute little pixel dragon companion.
I entered the level 1-3 area and quickly learned how to roast enemies, build up flame for my companion, and roast the enemy even more. I only have one skill right now (not sure if this changes over time), so battle was somewhat redundant over time. I did find new equipment and weapons that helped me along, and changed my avatar over time.
The thing about Trove I ran into quickly is that, like sandbox games, you’re tossed into the world and told “do whatever you want.” I guess there’s a lot to do between exploring, leveling, checking out dungeons and building. But for some reason, I kept feeling myself at a loss to know what I should be doing, even early in game.
Once I got the hang of it, I explored a while, gained some levels, and discovered a free cornerstone in Firefly Party. So I plopped my claim down there, which came with ye-olde standard block house. I didn’t have anything to really build with at that point, so I explored some more, and eventually accidentally warped back to the main hub.
I’m under the impression that each time you jump through the portal to the leveling areas, you can get a randomly generated map. I spent forever trying to find my way back to Firefly Party to find my Cornerstone. Never found it. After a bit of research, I found that you could just plop down an exact copy of your Cornerstone at any open Cornerstone spot on the map.
I’m not sure why, but this somewhat bothered me. If that’s really how it works, then (at this point), there’s no real feeling of consistent place to call home. On the other hand, maybe that’s not at all what they were trying to design for. There are “clubs” that — I think — work as a more permanent area to build. But I haven’t tried to make one yet.
On the second day, I picked up the Sebastian mount. I have to say, for a blocky game, the animations are amazingly smooth. They’re not out of place, but not what you’d expect from the art style (in a good way). Having a mount made it much easier to move around and explore. I tried to complete some dungeons and I made it up to level 4.
This is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. As long as you keep fun in mind, you’ll probably find it fun for a while. I still need to explore other people’s clubs and such, and see what it’s like to build my own, so I know there’s a lot left for me to do.
The game is in alpha, and while I didn’t run into any show stopping bugs, I feel that it has a lot of room to grow still. I’ll be popping back in to see how it changes over time!