Trove has been on Steam for just over 3 months and is another addition to the legions of free-to-play games available for the PC.
Of course like many of it’s brethren there is a pay-to-win aspect, although it so far it seems that playing the game without paying a penny is entirely possible (just much slower). So, is Trove a worthwhile game to sink some time into? Or should those of us who are a less able to spend their hard earned cash save it for more expensive titles?
General Overview of Trove
In my experience of Trove, I would definitely describe it as fun. You play in a world that was invaded by the darkness of the moon goddess, but the sun goddess used her power to shatter the realms and spread most of the darkness out. You’re able to access and travel between these realms through adventure portals in the hub world, which is where you start off. The game drops you in and gives you some easy to follow instructions that take you through the novice portal, show you your base and tell you how to find dungeons and get loot. You are then shown into the Adept adventure portal, with the Elite after that; then it mostly leaves you be; there is always an objective to follow to gain more of the currency.
Gameplay of Trove
Visually, Trove resembles a very brightly coloured Minecraft. The main difference here is that the blocks look mostly untextured, and placing or removing blocks is done in build mode – everything else seems to be done in normal mode and you cannot attack in build mode. The Novice and Adept monsters and dungeons are not difficult, but there appears to be a leap in difficulty in the Elite world, so a bit of grinding to level up is recommended. Although the Elite world becomes open to you at level 7, it would seem this is mostly to make access to rare and unusual resources for your crafting a little easier and also to lets you experience a greater variety of biomes. Single enemies are manageable but the dungeons in the Elite world are difficult, even when healing as often as possible.
The crafting appears fairly standard at first. A variety of crafting benches are required to make various items, and to level up your mastery of each skill many of the same item must be crafted. This, again, is pretty grindy but the large variety of crafting stations and items available is interesting enough. You have to travel to particular locations to gain certain crafting materials (a giant sunflower being the most interesting place so far) which can spice up the general gameplay. Without this variety it’s sad to say that most of it does just involve clearing out dungeons and deciding what you want to do with the loot. You can build some pretty incredible bases via levelling up crafting skills and searching for more complex materials, but your initial base will just be cobbled together from some different coloured blocks. That much is inevitable.
The combat is very clunky and definitely not a great aspect of the game, which is irritating as it’s essential for progression, but it’s manageable. The controls are all pretty intuitive and the game’s hints and the tutorial are very good at covering the basics, although the crafting is a little more difficult to pick up and you do mostly have to figure the finer details of that out by yourself.
How well does Trove it run?
Trove’s servers can be a little temperamental and can sometimes crash unexpectedly, but the dev team have been pretty good at doing regular maintenance. The render distance in the worlds can get a little interesting if you’re moving very quickly and I have had occasions where I’ve had to stop and wait for the ground in front of me to load; at the time I was however playing the game in a slow internet area so that may well account for that. The basic graphics mean that the game runs fine on lower end laptops and aside from a bit of rubberbanding on the servers the online play is mostly fine.
It’s not breaking any boundaries but if you’re limited to non-graphically intense games and are looking for something free-to-play then Trove is pretty fun. Once you’ve done the tutorial and run through a few dungeons you’ll have taken up a few hours at the very least, and crafting can soak up for more time.