Why Loads Of People Are Playing Trove (& Why I’m Not)

“We should look at Trove,” mused RPS’s Dark Gods. “Hundreds of thousands of people are playing it, so there must be something interesting about it. You, Thrall Meer, go investigate.” I gazed at Trove’s key art, sneered at how it looked like someone tried to remake Minecraft out of fossilised blancmange and then stuck 1980s sweets all over it, and despaired. Then I went in, and I found out why it’s so popular.

I won’t keep you waiting: the answer is “free, massively-multiplayer Minecraft in which you get to hit a lot more stuff and are constantly showered with rewards.” Trove is very obviously designed to be catnip to kids: all that oh-so-simple collaborative freeform building, paired with near-instant spider-bashing whenever you fancy it, a simplified WoW-like quest structure and classes, and a constantly expanded range of ridiculous hats to find and wear.

It’s monstrous, but it’s ingenious. In the games industry’s ongoing determination to flood the market with Minecraftbuts, Trove is the most logical: building + loot. Sadly this means that the creative side of the game is being overwhelmed by the greed side: there are some marvellous co-operative constructions to be found in the ‘Clubs’, a sort of Guild/private shard hybrid, but mostly everyone’s running very similar dungeons over and over in search of experience, coin and gear. Want want want, gimme gimme gimme, never get off that hamster wheel. It’s everything people who hate World of Warcraft think World of Warcraft is, but without any of the world-building, roleplaying or even much sense of community.

Trove is an assault of visual noise, this explosion of colours and mismatched shapes, like being trapped inside Pat Sharpe’s worst nightmares. In fairness, kids’ birthday parties are like that, so the messiness and garishness is probably giving its intended audience what it wants. Underneath the chaos are the spectacular cuboid landscapes of Minecraft, some spun into newer forms with fancier graphical effects, and sometimes these are striking, but entirely absent is the purity and strangeness of Minecraft. This is like all the world’s theme parks mashed together, and I pray that never gets quoted out of context to sound like a recommendation.

I looked back in on Mojang’s era-defining game for the first time in years the other week, and I was struck by how sombre and odd it was, how entirely anti-populist it is even though it has come to be the very avatar of populism. Clearly, shared servers, especially the ones loaded with mods and texture packs, are a different affair entirely, but played solo it’s so wonderfully lonely. Those dim and misty mountains, the skeletal C418 soundtrack which sounds like a slow-motion existential crisis, the brutality of the night-time monster invasions before you’re anything like ready for them…

Minecraft has, in its vanilla form, atmosphere coming out of its square ears. Trove, by contrast, is a cacophony, an out-of-tune orchestra on a perpetual sugar rush. Of course kids love it. If Minecraft is presenting us with a bottomless box of classic Lego bricks, Trove offers a similarly endless tub of minifig legs and hats and rayguns and dragon wings. Of course kids love it. Combat is easy to control, combat is big, rewards rain down.

Probably because of this, I couldn’t see any signs of real community: chat is just filled with people asking for numbers to join harder dungeon runs, to help them scratch their itch for more, more, more. No-one seeks information because no information is needed, no mysteries await: everything’s right there, you just need to obtain enough components to build it, or you buy it.

All that said, initial loathing gave way to a very gentle fixation on progression. I could level up by hitting things, I could gain new wands and masks by hitting things, I could spend my winnings on building machines with which to build other machines or convert blocks to other colours, I could slowly expand my ‘Cornerstone’ persistent base in order that it could contain all these devices, I could hit things and hit things and hit things, and AND not too far in I could press the number 2 and turn into a bloody great dragon for about 10 seconds.

Even now, even as I write about how cynical and hollow it is, something at the back of my skull itches: “go back, get a better weapon, run another dungeon, find a faster mount.” Self-loathing stops me, but if I wasn’t a grown man who thinks himself above such things even though he plays games for a bloody living, I probably would go back. Trove offers a hell of a lot for free, and if it wasn’t for the start-of-game menu so laden with screamy promotional messages and store links that it’s almost painful to look at, you might never know that it’s got baked-in monetisation everywhere.

It really, really has, of course. Almost everything – from costumes to classes, from mounts to treasure chests, from potions to in-game currency, can be bought, bar the basic and fundamental systems of progression and construction. It’s this latter which is most key to Trove’s success: if you want to have the foundations of the Minecraft experience without paying, here you go. You can either do it in public, in the quest zones through which both players and monsters pass, or you can setup a Club of your own and invite friends, or be the only member.

Whether together or alone, toiling away at fabulous structures is something you can do as much as you like, without spending a penny. Only you might, because you want a pet or wings or a speeder-bike. For that reason alone, Trove is one of very few Minecraftbuts which could possibly take even the smallest chunk of out Minecraft’s revenues.

It’s a game for children, and it’s a game designed to eke money out of children (or at least their parents). It’s working. It’s not entirely without appeal for adults, depending on whether you give yourself so freely to the salt-lick compulsion of a Diablo or Warcraft that you simply don’t mind how unlovely the game which contains it is, but unless you consciously eschew all the Skinner box dungeoneering in favour or unalloyed creation, I can’t see how it would feel even remotely meaningful. I absolutely understand why Trove is a hit – and probably a signpost to the next few years’ worth of seemingly out-of-nowhere hits – but I hate it. It’s not for me, of course. Your kid will probably love it.

Trove is out now.

107 Comments

  1. SomeDuder says:

    It’s okay to pass up on this stuff folks, you don’t look at “edutainment” games either, so this thing which is obviously targeted at the 12-year old market (or neckbeard cartoon-watching manchild crowd) shouldn’t bother you too much

    • Dimsey says:

      I’m a neckbeard cartoon watching manchild and nothing about this appeals to me in the slightest.

    • Freud says:

      The games industry is a highly derivative one, so anything that attracts gamers is worth paying attention to because sooner or later it’ll affect games you care about.

      • Xzi says:

        That might have been true back when CoD and WoW were the only major players in town, but now there are a million different genres appealing to a million different tastes in both the AAA and indie markets.

    • gwathdring says:

      I watch cartoons that have better word building, character development, storytelling, “cinematography” and looks than most big-budget films and pretty much all of the rest of television. Some of them also happen to have dialog that can be a little too kid-focused for my taste (because some of them are more directly targeted at kids than others) but it’s frequently worth it for all of the good stuff.

      This whole “adult” shtick can be pretty stupid and immature. One need not have hair on their neck or be immature/childlike in any sense meaningful to their success in the adult world and their ability to associate sociably with other adults in order to enjoy things that were designed for kids.

      Next you’ll tell me stuffed animals, legos, puppies and SNES games are for “manchildren”.

      • bananomgd says:

        A single season of Steven Universe has more of all those things than pretty much all of Michael Bay’s filmography.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          That’s not a fair comparison. Michael Bay films specifically target two groups: teenage males, and grown men who want to nostalgically revisit the years they spent as teenage males. Holding up his filmography up as an example of an artist failing to deliver content tailored for adults is like calling out Kim Kardashian for failing to make great strides in the field of theoretical physics.

      • LexW1 says:

        Sure, but those cartoons are by adults who grew up on cartoons and are making cartoons specifically so that they have a strong appeal to adults and actual meaning for adults.

        It is not some sort of accident. It is not the product of them being cartoons (aside from that it’s cheaper and less risky to make them than some shows). Gravity Falls being better-written than, say, CSI isn’t because CSI is aimed at 30-60 somethings, it’s because the Gravity Falls writers have have more freedom and less pressure on them.

        So don’t get confused and start thinking that stuff that’s aimed solely at children is good, because it isn’t. Anyone who lived through the ’80s and early ’90s OR HAS CHILDREN NOW knows this very very well.

        There are two kinds of show here:

        1) Shows that are aimed at a general audience, usually with simple stuff to satisfy kids, and complex underlayers/meta humour etc. to please adults.

        2) Shows that are aimed 100% at kids and which are usually brain-damaging and certainly appeal solely to adults who want to think like kids (these are the Michael Bay equivalents).

        Trove is clearly 2. I speak from having played it a lot. It has zero intellectual content, zero subtlety, and zero appeal to anyone who isn’t just trying to be a child (which can be a valid goal, from time to time).

    • MariahGreer says:

      Well, Im sorry but I disagree with this article. I am a grown woman (yep, just turned 40) and I love this game. Yes, there are a tons of pre-teens playing it, and they come with there attitude. But if you find the right club or develop one yourself, it’s pretty fun. I love how it lets you be artistic :) You can develop your world and put whatever you want into it. And there are some amazing ones out there.
      The new challenges are fun.. However, because there are so many people all at the same time doing them it creates a massive lag and rubber-banding.
      You could play this game without spending a dime. You just got to know how to work the trading end of it. The people who spend a lot of money are the ones who are impatient and want something right away. Now I am a patron, but thats because I play a lot and I like supporting games I love :)

      • fenghuang says:

        But you haven’t addressed the main point of Meer’s article – Trove is a combination of Minecraft + Diablo 2. Meer was specifically saying that a generation of gamers who played “hamster wheel” grinding games before, will find Trove to be exactly that and see it for what it is.

        • MariahGreer says:

          I got that part, i was addressing that it was geared towards children… People forget that my generation were actually the ones who started playing them. And personally i cant stand, WoW or LoL.. and im not big on Minecraft. I did however like the Diablo series. Trove kinda reminds me of my fav game which was COH/COV. Since they added the challenges. It had the clubs in it but the way you built it was different, you purchased units of space , you didnt build it block by block.
          Truthfully what makes the game are the people you play with. If you get stuck with a bunch of whiners you wont really enjoy it. I’m lucky i belong to a few clubs with helpful people :)

  2. Zankman says:

    TIL Trove is marketed towards… Children?

    Also, these assholes in the comments. Oh lord.

    • Xzi says:

      Is it somehow surprising to you that it’s marketed toward children? I could’ve told you that without reading this article. The mechanics of it even more so…constant flow of rewards so their child brains/ADD never kick in and make them want to play something else.

    • EvilG says:

      Amen brother, amen.

  3. jonfitt says:

    It’s good that you’ve looked at it, and I would be fine with this being the last coverage of it on RPS. It sounds like it’s not for your “target audience” even if it is popular.

    There never has really been a game site that has covered all PC games, from young girl pony caretaking games, to grindy Korean MMOs, sites have always decided to discount certain regions of gaming. It is interesting to peek over at what’s out there occasionally which RPS does.

    In a unrelated personal note, I would be fine if RPS pretty much ignored DOTA-likes aside from big announcements. I wouldn’t miss reading about them. They’re such an impenetrable niche that, to anyone not into the scene, the in depth articles sound like gobbledygook. I can happily parse articles about a CS:GO tournament, the deep end grognard games, or football sims without being a regular player, but not the DOTA-likes. They’re so specialised that they warrant their own site which is wizards 24×7. Perhaps Rock, Paper, Wizard?
    Although I of course I recognize that there is a significant portion of the RPS’s target audience that loves DOTA-likes, so I don’t expect that to happen.

    • Baines says:

      More to the point, RPS hired people to cover DOTA-like news, so that coverage isn’t going away.

      • JFS says:

        … which propably comes in 2nd place at the “Not Their Finest Hour” awards ceremony.

        • JFS says:

          Probably. I meant probably. Sorry.

        • Jakkar says:

          Can’t help but agree on this. Loudly.

          RPS for me is that place where intelligent gamers with taste share and discuss interesting computerised entertainments present, past and future.

          … then it began spewing unsettling quantities of MOBA, and cess-pit of gaming, along with a recent trend toward FPS tournament coverage. Also indepth hardware breakdowns.

          Any PC gaming news site can tell me about monitor resolutions. Any one might be so cruel as to suddenly inflict creeps/lanes/dps on me without warning.

          RPS is about… Not being that. Or was. Wasn’t it? For… Many years?

          • wondermoth says:

            Yay, snobbery!

            If only there was a site which exclusively catered for my tastes – which are objectively the correct tastes, anyone who doesn’t share them something something cess-pit – thereby ensuring that I never have to click on something about something I don’t already like. Maybe I should write that site myself?

        • pepperfez says:

          If hiring experts on one of the hottest areas of PC gaming is the second-worst thing RPS has done, I’d say they’re hitting it out of the park (Unless #1 was, like, “Invent cancer.”).

          • JFS says:

            Number 1 would be, in my opinion, the “visceral” Shotgun part of the new logo. We’re thusly quite far from blaming cancer on any of the guys and girls. I hope one is still allowed to voice their feelings on what RPS stands for, or at least on what one believes they stood or stand for.

          • pepperfez says:

            Yeah, that logo is pretty awful.

      • alms says:

        Just to add one more reason: DOTA/MOBA coverage has brought an explosion of traffic.

  4. daphne says:

    I know this isn’t fair, the message of the post would be better received if its author didn’t admit to being hopelessly addicted to the much more thoroughly brainless Adventure Capitalist…

    • Xzi says:

      There’s room for both games to be utter garbage.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      I think the issue is that Adventure Capitalist is a fairly ‘good’ idle game, whereas Trove is a fairly bad MMO/Minecraftbut.

    • Alec Meer says:

      I don’t defend playing AC (and thought I was pretty clear about my self-loathing; also I have now stopped playing it, I’m glad to say) but yeah, I did feel like it was exploring something (whether for financial gain or design curiosity I’m honestly not entirely sure) as well as very consciously being a hamster wheel. Trove, by contrast, came across as throw enough poo at the wall and see how many children stick to it.

      • alms says:

        Glad to hear you’re weaned off that addiction, afraid that time has not come yet for me (though I’m really playing like 1 minute of AC per day, and sometimes I forget).

        FWIW, and to burn a few more of my time on the Earth, whence you were coming from was very understandable to me even though I thought you were still playing AC.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        “Trove, by contrast, came across as throw enough poo at the wall and see how many children stick to it.”

        Thank God I’m not the only one who plays that game.

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    [quote]Trove offers a similarly endless tub of minifig legs and hats and rayguns and dragon wings. Of course kids love it. Combat is easy to control, combat is big, rewards rain down.
    [/quote]

    Kids? You just described the ideal game for lots of mmo adult players, lol.

  6. camdenbuzard says:

    Seriously? In my opionion, Trove is a fairly humanist version of the normal f2p cycle. You could just have easily been describing any modern MMO in the same terms. I’ve read this review before, only it was some other journalist, some other year, bashing WoW for it’s constant ADD shower of quests and loot and rewards.

    And, yeah, coming from someone who is addicted to AdVenture Capitalist, the criticisms come across as very hollow indeed.

    It’s a great MMO to play with your kids, it plays very well, the gameplay loop is solid and fun.

    • Xzi says:

      I wouldn’t recommend playing something that has no end with your kids. They’ll get addicted to F2P mechanics and soon your bank account will be emptied out entirely by shitty iPhone games.

      • camdenbuzard says:

        OR, you could be an actual parent, and use those endless F2P mechanics to demonstrate abusive game mechanics to your budding little gamer while they’re young. Hopefully, this will lead to less emptied bank accounts when they’re adults.

        • Xzi says:

          Sure, but it doesn’t take long to demonstrate that and then move on to showing them what a good, well-designed game actually looks like.

        • melnificent says:

          If it constantly asks for money to do things, stop playing, remove it and move on to another game. Both my children have grasped this concept, but it seems there are lots of people that don’t.

          Oh and while Adventure capitalist is light on gameplay it is extremely light on IAPs too. It designed around getting you to view a single ad every few hours to generate revenue for them… this is achieved by a temporary in-game speed boost.

  7. baozi says:

    Minecraft has, in its vanilla form, atmosphere coming out of its square ears. This.

  8. HopperUK says:

    It’s a cute game. The combat is easy. The pre-build dungeons are clever and fun. Make a club with your friends and build in your club world, there’s your sense of community. There’s absolutely no need to spend real money; I think the F2P structure of this one is actually pretty solid. What a strange, sneering article.

    • Baines says:

      I can’t help but feel the article was so negative because the game looks the way that it does. If it had looked high-poly grimdark, it wouldn’t have been so completely dismissed for being a “kid’s game”.

      • Alec Meer says:

        No,see minecraft comments. Trove, aesthetically-speaking, is profoundly ugly because it’s a) a cynical rip off of someone else’s art style without a clear guiding vision and b) trying to include absolute everything in the hope some of it attracts nippers. And yes, that’s a turn off for me, in terms of enjoying this as an adult. Almost as much as rote grimdark is.

      • Xzi says:

        Or perhaps if there was ever any risk of failure. Or a decent story. Or an endgame to it. It’s a kid’s game because I’d feel sorry for any adult who genuinely enjoys such blatant Skinner box mechanics.

    • JFS says:

      When I was young, we’d make real clubs with our friends, and build real things. However, as I gather the demand for the so-called real world is in a steady decline.

      When I hear about games like the above, and about YouTubers, I feel really really old.

      • Jakkar says:

        We made clubs, too. Then we hit each other with them. It was the best of times.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        I’ve seen the real world.

        It’s rubbish.

      • Premium User Badge

        teije says:

        My kids love video games and also have an active life outside them. It’s possible to do both – the sky has not fallen, my friend.

  9. teppic says:

    I don’t play any Trion games because of the way they conduct business. I find them repugnant.

    • WarOnGamesIndustry says:

      This. After Alpha and Beta testing End of Nations and seeing how they keep pushing the game into being a mediocre MOBA clone until finally taking control of the project and outright removing any hope of it being unique RTS with personality.

  10. Chirez says:

    I wonder if the condescension dripping from the phrase ‘It’s a game for children’ comes from Alec’s own relation to the game, or the expectations of the readership of RPS?

    To be clear, I appreciate the article, it tells me more than enough about Trove to convey the right impression. I just think there should be a better way to look at games like this than regarding them as childish. It’s not like we’d dismiss the lego games as ‘games for children’ even though they are unquestionably games for children. It’s a real shame that ‘childish’ can be used as shorthand for ‘shallow and trite’. Kids are neither of those things.

    Maybe I’m just getting old.

    • Alec Meer says:

      This is what I meant with the minecraft points though. You can be a very good game that children enjoy without being first and foremost a game very blatantly only designed to siphon cash from children. The Telltale Lego games are a good example of working hard to be more universally entertaining, rather than simply trawling.

  11. geldonyetich says:

    I share Meer’s General disappointment that a massively multiplayer take to Minecraft could so ultimately miss the true appeal of the original whilst cashing out to the lowest common denominator by jamming the loot hook directly into the frontal lobe and devising means to forever reel. I hardly blame Trion for being desperate enough to resort to this, but it is a fair sacrilege they had talent enough to succeed so utterly. T’would have been nobler to have made one more run at a good game before the monstrously unappreciative forces of 21st century capitalism disbanded this once great house once and for all. Water under the bridge, I suppose: where next, Trion?

  12. Frisco says:

    I’m used to people comparing every voxel game ever to minecraft, but I didn’t expect to see THAT many comparisons in one review :O Did you even look at a single aspect of the game without immediately comparing it to something similar?
    You got some interesting information in your article and I agree on several points, although I personally find it very annoying to read if there’s a comparison to Minecraft or even WoW every 2 sentences. You can easily say the visuals are noisy and shouty without saying how Minecraft did a better job at it right after.

    • shadybearfaced says:

      This game is so blandly unimaginative and derivative that it’s kind of impossible to talk about it without making a comparison. Hell, the game itself is just one big comparison. It’s whole shtick is “Look at me, I’m Minecraft but Diablo 3 also!”

    • smgoodguy says:

      I agree, there are 2 things Minecraft and Trove actually share, voxel art (alot of games have this) and building (alot of games have this) im shocked he didnt say anything about Legos. So because this game has leveling and quests and WoW does too, its a similar game? Thats absurd! What if i said Far Cry and Hearthstone are the same because they both have bow and arrows? What if i said Call of Duty is similar to Trove because it has guns? Really come on

  13. Gibster says:

    I really liked the paragraph on Minecraft, it makes me want to see another RPS article look at the vanilla single-player survival mode, as I felt similarly last I played it. “Those dim and misty mountains, the skeletal C418 soundtrack which sounds like a slow-motion existential crisis” Beautifully written to say the least.

    • alms says:

      Yup, loved this post. Even though Trove is something I’ve never played and probably never will.

    • Marr says:

      “Slow-motion existential crisis” is also a pretty good description of Notch’s existence as a public figure.

  14. SchaebigerLump says:

    Very dissapointing review.

    This game is just for kids? I am 33 and i am having tons of fun with the game.

    Maybe you are to “mature” (i guess you are 20-25?) and to cool for this kind of games.

    • Fonzy420 says:

      wauw, you even called this a review, isnt this just his opinion and a hate speech cause he did not like the game in person. AKA the worse thing a reviewer can do, he didn’t look at it in a professional way, just a personal way.

      • Avelton says:

        Same tactic Alec has used in a lot of his reviews. The same kind of thing has been quite a blow to Piranha Bytes, which I find personally sad. I think he panned the voice acting in an article about one of the Risen games while in the same review admitting that he never really listened to any of the dialog. For some reason all the Meer fans took up the bad voice acting banner and I remember quite enjoying the acting in that particular game…. to the point I actually listened to the dialog.

      • shadybearfaced says:

        “hate speech” Rofl, this guy.

        I dunno, to me the review seemed to state a lot of objective facts alongside his opinions. Obviously Alec’s views and biases come into play, but it seems like this game has objectively so little going for it that it doesn’t really matter if the review is colored by the author’s opinions.

  15. Fiatil says:

    I have no problem with Alec calling a cynical ripoff out for being what it is. Yes, it can be annoying when every voxel game is compared to Minecraft, or when every MMO is compared to World of Warcraft. I think you’re being willfully obtuse if you can’t see that this is exactly what he’s describing; a cynical mishmash of the most addictive and “easy” parts of Minecraft and World of Warcraft, very much focused on a younger audience.

    That’s not to say that it isn’t fun. I enjoy a good flashy grind from time to time, and there are some days I come home from work and really don’t want to have to think too much while I’m playing a game. It clearly has its place, but that doesn’t change this game’s highly derivative nature.

  16. TheEvilBlam says:

    I really feel like that the whole “Review” is him complaining about how it looks like Minecraft blah blah blah etc. etc.
    I am entitled to this opinion.

    • TheEvilBlam says:

      Let me restate it, not exactly complaining, but a little more like the reviewer was referring Trove to Minecraft a little too much.

      • Fonzy420 says:

        this kid is not a reviewer, he is just a hater stating his opinion that doesn’t even know what Voxelization is -.- If this is a Review now, then I will be a reviewer soon too, cause this stupid kid doesn’t even play the game right, let alone know the terms to be a good game reviewer, he just states his opinion, which you can NEVER do in a review, unless you say so, but he still has to look in a professional way, without having any opinions or so. Not a review, just a Opinion and a Hate Speech.

        • OldMacRonald says:

          “he just states his opinion, which you can NEVER do in a review, unless you say so…”
          This is the exact opposite of a review. Reviews are opinions. Period. There is literally nothing else that they can possibly be other than opinions. Lists of objective facts about a game are not reviews, never have been, and never will be. There never has been, and never will be, ever, in the entire history of this or any other universe for all eternity, a review that is not an opinion.

          • pepperfez says:

            Surely that comment was some kind of broad parody? I mean, outright forbidding opinions from reviews is obviously a joke. Right? I hope?

          • Fiatil says:

            Despite his name being Fonzy420, it appears to be completely sincere.

        • Marr says:

          Of course you can be a reviewer, all you need do is find someone willing to pay you to write.

  17. SaintAn says:

    It’s F2P garbage that is run by Trion. Trion is a very very very bad company that is on par with terrible phone game makers in their greed and incompetence. The ruined the mediocre Rift and destroyed one of the best MMO’s to come out in a long time, ArcheAge. I mean they really ran that game into the ground and abused the crap out of those players that gave them money. Don’t ever play Trion games.

    • Marr says:

      Truth. Trion ruin everything they touch, and that’s not an accident, it’s their business plan.

  18. Jawn says:

    I bounced off of Trove pretty hard the first time I gave it a shot. Later, bored, I came back to it and found a lot to like.

    My initial impressions were similar to those in the article, and there’s no doubt that there’s definitely a pretty strong reward/compulsion loop in the game. I play a lot of MMOs, so maybe I’m trained to enjoy that type of system too much, but I didn’t find it offensive in Trove.

    Two things really opened up the game for me. First, each world is newly created when you zone into it and they’re randomized. It’s not a huge amount of randomization or anything, but I found it compelling enough to really push my explorer buttons. I enjoyed exploring caverns and discovering the eccentricities of all the different biomes. Minecraft holds a similar appeal to me. Trove worlds may initially be crowded when they’re created, but if you stick around long enough they empty out and you really get that quieter, Minecraft type experience.

    Second, there is a certain level of mastery to learning all the little dungeons. Some of them are kind of tricky and I enjoyed finding all the secret passages. A lot of them use the same general layout, with minor changes, but new dungeons are added every patch.

    Admittedly, some of these things changed in the latter days of beta. The addition of dragons to the game really changed things up, although I doubt Alec got far enough into the game to experience that. They allow you to easily blast your way into dungeons with their fire breath. That’s kind of cool, but takes away from the feeling of mastery. Also, the hourly timed events where you can earn the currency (at a very low drop rate) to get a dragon really change the pace of the game. It can be fun in its own way, but it’s closer to what Alec describes above: rush, rush, rush, treasure, treasure, treasure.

  19. Xetelian says:

    Trove is very basic and lacks a lot of depth at the beginning. Choose world, find tower, kill boss, loot and repeat. No story no ‘quests’ but still offering a decent amount of game for free.

    I give it a 6.5/10 and I think this article is a little unforgiving considering it is free.

  20. QuestionsForALl says:

    I would just like to know how many ours exactly you have on this game. Maybe you have under 30 which means you should just leave. IDK which is why I’m asking. And also, so? This game is similar to Minecraft with blocky characters and some graphics. SO? What’s wrong with that? Its a voxel game like cube world and some others. What’s wrong with that? Oh, and just poking fun at whoever said this game was pretty P2W, about 80-90% Of the game items can be gotten absolutely for free and would be eventually acquired to those who spend money. The rest of it can simply be gotten by trading with those who were unfortunate enough to spend money, not be content with the money they spent and want an equivalent of it. Once again this is a game for kids like you repeated multiple times so talking about the simple game mechanics and the presentations is a big no no in this Review. I hate to be that guy who prowls websites and forums for stuff like this and just has to say something. Allot of the stuff you said was true, but you were pretty much hinting that you though this was a crappy game for anyone but kids.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Except he’s not saying that. He’s saying that the game is cynically and blatantly designed to subconsciously appeal to children and keep them spending (or trying to spend) their parents’ money. It’s like peddling drugs at a rehab center or marketing cigarettes towards children… confronting a vulnerable market with an addiction it, in general, can neither comprehend nor easily reject, is pretty despicable.

      The argument can certainly be made that the burden of responsibility is on the parents to ensure that their children aren’t able to make purchases online, and I strongly believe in that, but it doesn’t change the fact that Trion has essentially released a program intended to separate children from money as efficiently as possible.

      • Fonzy420 says:

        you are stupid? forgetting Trion is a Company? also, its all the parents there problem, if you have a good kid, like we where, they never bitch about having stuff, say things like “mommy, mommy i want this” would make my parents simply say “there is nothing for you to want” end of discussion. freaking blaming a game for sucky parents, real weak.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          I’m sorry, but if you put “420” in your profile name, you lose all right to call anyone else stupid. Also, demonstrating some basic knowledge of sentence structure would make your case a hell of a lot stronger.

          Besides, who said anything about forgetting Trion is a company? Just because an organization is incorporated doesn’t excuse them from all moral and ethical concerns. Alec wasn’t saying that Trion shouldn’t be ALLOWED to release the game. He said that its business model was pretty despicable, which is true.

          Also, I’m looking forwards to the day when you have kids and discover that there’s no such thing as “a good kid, like we where, they never bitch about having stuff”. You’re in for a nasty surprise.

          • agoddamnedbear says:

            “I’m sorry, but if you put “420” in your profile name, you lose all right to call anyone else stupid.”
            I’m sorry, but if you put “hobo” in your profile name, nothing you said can be taken seriously because all homeless people are scum. (please note that this is sarcasm and I don’t actually believe that homeless people are scum)

            “He said that its business model was pretty despicable, which is true.”
            You click the little X when you boot the game up, the store goes away. Nothing in this game needs to be paid for with real money, except visual changes. Maybe you buy your kid a costume as a treat if they are well behaved. Yes, that is very despicable.

            “Also, I’m looking forwards to the day when you have kids and discover that there’s no such thing as “a good kid, like we where, they never bitch about having stuff”. You’re in for a nasty surprise.”
            My parents said this to me all the time, and hey, my kids are well behaved and listen to me because I pay attention to them and limit their time on the computer/xbox/wii/whatever.

      • BastardCookies says:

        Actually, you’re wrong. Every single core element is free. You earn enough in-game currency that buying anything is entirely optional. Spending money doesn’t get you super mega badass weapons. It gets you cosmetic items. Woo. If you choose to spend real monies on a mount? It goes the same speed as every single other non-starting mount in the game. Wanna buy different colored wings? Just a cosmetic change. They’re not telling you that you have to spend money or wait 6 hours for something to finish. They’re not telling you that you have to spend money to unlock new classes. They’re not making you spend any money at all. And what you buy makes virtually no core difference in the game, unless you buy patron status. Even then: +50% experience means virtually nothing. You can max each class in under a week, easily. Including time spent in school or at work. +5 jump? Come on. There’s plenty of items in game that boost that, and it’s not very useful past about 15. +2 flask capacity is a joke as well. If you need to use more than 10 per run, you’re built wrong. Mine faster. Bombs do that better than the little lazor anyhow. Craft faster. Unless you’re crafting thousands of blocks at a time crafting speed isn’t an issue. Find better items? Generally the item stats suck. All they’re good for is breaking down, and that’s not a huge advantage. 2 chests per day? That can be awesome, or completely horrible. It’s random. Essentially you’re paying for extras that do virtually nothing. See it as a free game. Play it as a free game. Oh, and explain to your kids that dumping a bunch of money into something free no longer makes it free, and is generally a pretty stupid idea.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          Your argument boils down to “it’s not P2W, you only have to pay for cosmetic items”. This may very well be true, but if you re-read my post, you’ll see that I was never arguing that the game is P2W. I wasn’t even really voicing my own opinions, simply explaining the author’s message to the OP. That message had nothing to do with whether the content provided by microtransactions is cosmetic or practical; it simply argued that the devs took the elements of popular games that allow them to exploit children most efficiently, packaged them together, and shipped it out as a new, “free” game.

  21. BigBlackAmericanMan says:

    I don’t care about this game, but as long as it funding Trion so they continue making more Rift (Which is, IMO, the best WOW style MMO out), then I’m ok with it.

  22. Zenom says:

    “All games are for children, just kids play videogames..Sounds familiar?”

    By all means hate the game, and as a writer/ reviewer it is your job to say why you don’t like the game. But why do you have to categorize it for children, mocking everybody that might actually enjoy the game and isn’t a kid. Focus on the game, not the grudge you have about the game, talk about the depths(or lack of), talk about the meta (or lack of). Talk about things that the reader want to hear about, not your personal notion of what is childish. All games are for children, just kids plays videogames.. sounds familiar?
    Im old enough to have heard this far to often, and still hear it from time to time. As a professional you should know better, as a gamer you should know better.

    I hope that the readers, no matter if they like the game or not, don’t take the writers categorization to heart. Do whatever you feel like, enjoy the game if you like it, don’t let anyone tell you othervwise.

    • Fiatil says:

      Could you please read the entire review before commenting? He’s not saying “It’s for kids, if you’re an adult you’re a dumb manchild for playing it.” This game is highly derivative of Minecraft, a game that is popular with adults and also extremely popular with children. They took the part of Minecraft that is crack to kids, combined it with the parts of an MMO that are crack to kids, amped up the color and explosions to 20000, filled it with micro transactions, and have thus crafted a game that comes off as extremely cynical. It’s a great business decision for Trion, but we’re allowed to call a spade a spade.

      • BastardCookies says:

        And minecraft is a blatant ripoff of Infiniminer.

        “After Markus became familiar with Infiniminer, he immediately sat down and began recoding his own game. He changed the third-person perspective to a first-person point of view and redid the graphics to make them even more blockish. It was a step away from the traditional strategy game he’d picked from his models and toward a more adventure-oriented setup. After a couple of days of frantic coding, Markus leaned back in his chair, satisfied as he saw the puzzle pieces beginning to fall into place. Building, digging, and exploring took on a totally new dimension when players saw the world through the eyes of their avatars.” -Source: link to wired.com

      • Zlorx says:

        you mean the same kids that gladly play on private MC servers with “donations” for some modded OP weapons?

  23. Bashmet says:

    Best explanation of the game, and also serves to remind why this game is so quintessentially Trion.

  24. Fonzy420 says:

    Damn… This is really sad. What did Trove/Trion do to you that you have to hate on them so hard? And so bad too -.- You are (if so) a horrible game reviewer, cause you called something Minecraft… WTF are you 5?! Its called VOXELIZED!!! you dumb piece of garbage… Then saying it is a game for kids… THE FUCK!? You are probably one of those people that thinks pokemon and yugioh are also “only for kids” because its way too hard for you. I get it tho, Uber 6 Shadow Arena and stuff is probably waaaay too hard for you. Not to mention that you are judging a game that is still updating like a rocket launch -.-

    “It’s a game for children, and it’s a game designed to eke money out of children (or at least their parents). It’s working.” You must be kinda slow in the head? or something at least… Cause EVERYTHING in the game is TRADEABLE, the ONLY thing you can ONLY get by PAYING is 1 POWER PACK, just 1. and here it is €19,99 and all it gives is wing/mount and some classes. So could you explain why parents would pay a dime? Also, if you pay that for your kid, maybe your parenting is the problem, not the game, you again have proven you are slow minded. Maybe, but just maybe, next time, use your brain and do some research before you type out a hate speech that makes no sense -.-

    Conclusion: its not that you dont play trove, you just can’t. You suck at it so bad that you think what you just wrote. I play the game too, I am an adult, and its not even close to minecraft, let alone a RPG. its a MMO Mash em Up Dungeon Exploror / Sandbox game. Learn the terms, maybe one day, you can make a review, but this was just an opinion, and a bad one non the less. Calling it Minecraft… I still cant believe how retarded that is -.-

    • geekymetalhead says:

      In keeping with the overall theme of this (excellent) article, I hate myself for even bothering to respond. Anywho, I get the feeling you’ve never been to this website before. Reviews are clearly labeled ‘Wot I Think”. At any rate, you remind me of those NRA types who bash gun control activists for not knowing the difference between different weapons. Does it truly matter that “Metal Killing Wand 1” is not in fact called an assault rifle but a submachine gun? It is entirely missing the point.

      Also, the fact that you descended to personal, meaningless attacks about Alec’s skills as a gamer tells me you don’t really have anything constructive to say.

      To the RPS community: I am truly sorry for feeding the troll, but I could not leave this alone. I await the virtual throwing of tomatoes and stones.

      • jacobvandy says:

        To be fair on that point, the title of this page is, in fact, “Trove review.” So even if they’re not going to do a proper Wot I Think, they’re still positioning this article as a review and will happily soak up page views from people looking for one.

      • BastardCookies says:

        I think someone ruined his 420. And while I disagree with a good part of the article, even I can’t stand behind that nonsense. I quite like it. It’s the first F2P I’ve encountered where the core experience isn’t mired in blatant money grubbing.

      • Zlorx says:

        sorry m8, an article (whatever you wanna call it) that starts with “I don’t like the visuals”, then goes on to “I only play mature games for mature people like myself – minecraft solo” and then ends with getting basic stuff wrong (you get wings for free, pets cheap and everything else can be bought with ingame currency) is anything BUT excellent.

      • EvilG says:

        Is community the collective noun for commentards?

    • Marr says:

      > What did Trion do

      That’s easy, they burned ArcheAge to the ground for short term profit. They’ll do the same to Trove the instant the lines on their spreadsheet cross over.

  25. jacobvandy says:

    I play it because Cube World is in limbo. That’s the game Trion ripped off, not Minecraft. The visual style is EXACT, not just “they’re both comprised of cubes,” and the randomized worlds with pre-fab dugeons scattered about is so closely similar that I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to find out they directly copied some or all of the code. Check it out here: link to picroma.com

    This used to annoy me, being an early follower of Cube World and one of the first to buy in to the alpha version when it first went on sale almost three years ago (sadly, it hasn’t been updated in more than two)… But now I figure I might as well play Trove, since I’m given the choice between two almost identical games of which only one is being updated on a weekly basis.

    The MMO aspect can be trying at times, from the slew of server issues they’ve suffered since releasing on Steam last month to the chat spam and other annoying behaviors live player interaction always brings with it. Yet I do enjoy playing. It’s grindy for sure, but there’re a lot of different things to do if you need a break from running dungeons. The monetization is not nearly so abhorrent as is implied in the article, either; everything that impacts gameplay can be bought with in-game currency you earn at a respectable rate (or else attained directly through normal gameplay), and anything that can only be bought with premium currency is purely cosmetic frivolity.

    • Zlorx says:

      minecraft + tower mod had random world with dungeons years ago, cubeworld didn’t come up with that. ;)

  26. Jeanolos says:

    I completely disagree! As the developer of Trove Toolbox, I have to say, that this game is not only for kids neither is it pulling out the money from the pockets of the children. Why? Because: 1. Almost everything you can buy with money, you can unlock by playing. Also, the only things you can buy are cosmetics, which just change the looks of your character or your mount, as every mount (except the starting one) have the exact same movement speed (90). Later on, you even get wings (on mastery level 20, to be exact) and you can fly/glide! 2. This game’s community is full of kids, because it is easy to understand and easy to get into, but this doesn’t mean, that it is made for kids or that it is a ‘kids game’! I love playing RPGs, but I can’t stand RPGs, where you can’t really progress fast, as you HAVE to do quests and HAVE to do raids and stuff (for example WoW) to get to the max level! And I’m not the only one. Just because it is more simple than your favorite RPG and has more active players doesn’t mean that this game is sh*t. It really seems like you just logged in, viewed the store, walked around a bit and then left, without really playing it. Please play the game properly and even try mods using our modloader (which you COMPLETELY left out) before you judge early. I’m 19 years old now and I’m playing since January without getting bored ONCE!
    So please, before you call this game a “kids game”, play it properly.

    Thank you,
    Jeanolos

    • smgoodguy says:

      My major attraction to the game was every time you played, you had fun. in WoW you had to grind for almost A YEAR to have fun. And it was boring. Sadly, not “almost everything in the game” can be obtained for free. Yes, you could trade from another player. But Troves economy died a few months back, so thats out of the picture. So most of the costumes and mounts from the store are credits only, you dont get many free credits. So you really cant get “almost everything” for free

  27. jaykaylol says:

    Just… holy cow – who gives crap? Why does ANYONE care about what other people want to do with their time? Who cares if it’s a un-challenging game, or that it looks similar to another. WHO THE SHIT CARES.

    These commenters, and the writer of this article; if you feel like you are better than the people who play this game, because you think they are young or strange, why do you care? It’s blowing my mind — this game does not effect your life negatively in any way, it’s just an outlet for people to have fun in, and yet somehow they’re doing it wrong.

    Christ.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Who cares if it’s a un-challenging game, or that it looks similar to another.

      Are you unfamiliar with what the term ‘review’ means?

      • jaykaylol says:

        Mostly in regards to the comments of people acting like it’s the end of the world that this game exists.

        • Marr says:

          This is a site full of ancient nerds who grew up playing games written by teenage enthusiasts with no budget. The takeover by soulless corporations who attend talks like “5 Best Practices for Cost-Efficient User Acquisition” and “Design and Execute the Optimal Monetization Strategy” *is* the end of their world, and Trove is emblematic of that.

  28. smgoodguy says:

    I used to play trove alot, loved it. Then in April the game went downhill, ever since it hasnt had a good update so i left the game in June. While i do agree with some of what you said. i have to disagree with the references to minecraft. Minecraft and Trove have 1 thing in common, and thats voxel art style. Anything else is very minor. So dont say its like minecraft because it isnt. Minecraft is a (usually first person) survival game where you live off the resources around you to create a place to inhabit and survive. Trove is an rpg game where the only way to die is killed by enemies, fall damage, or destructive liquids (deadly water and lava) Not from hunger or any other survival aspects. Saying this game is like minecraft is about as accurate as saying World of Warcraft is very similar Counter strike go because they have similar art styles. Just because they both having voxel and building doesnt mean its a minecraft wannabe. You lose credit saying that.
    Secondly, im not entirely sure how much of this game you played because you mentioned you are “always wanting to go back to get a faster mount” when there are only 2 mount speeds. The starter mount that everyone gets, and then every other mount in the entire game. Every mount BESIDES the started has 90 movement speed. so there is no way to go back and “get a faster mount” once you have any mount besides the starter.

  29. xxstaten says:

    Why is an image of my club world being used here? No one informed me of this, I didn’t exactly say yes to this. I don’t like that it was done without permission or informing me…

  30. trover says:

    We see tons of Trove players at <a href="link to mogs.com; buying flux, glim etc. The game is real and people love it.

  31. Shadesmar says:

    Childish is the one who sees only childish stuff in a world of endless possibilities and much potential.

    I get eye cancer from the condescendence of the author and many commentors damning this game to an kid audience only, and insinuating in the same (foul) breath that kids prefer only shallow content and are very prone to some imaginary reward-longing cycle…. really sad that people are still imprisoned in this narrowmindedness. Agecism exemplary.

    I like trove, because of the many gameplay ideas for future rpgs, for the hundred-thousand things u discover new every day u play this game, for the easy to adapt but thoughtful combat system, the diversity of classes, crafting, and the possibilities to create communities with different goals and structures. Free your mind from beaten paths and dive into a world where u can free urself block by block from boundaries our real life impose on u.

    • Shadesmar says:

      and i forgot to say: i play this game for free. F2P like free to play! yes therers a shop where u can buy stuff with real money, but most of it u can obtain with a little farming too. The industry trying to adapt to its ever-nagging customer wishes and actually give a whole game free of charge, except u desire something very special inside the game and there still are people hating on this o.o just cant believe im reading such comments and reviews, which really are unfair in the sight of this game

  32. LennyLeonardo says:

    Oh, well.