Wednesday 21 October 2020

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game Review (Age 7+) Sent for review

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is a video game based on the popular TV series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. It was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows on September 25th and we were sent a code to review on the Playstation. 

It's been a little while since I spent any quality time on a game, but sadly I've had my right hand in a brace since June, so I still can't actually join in this time. My 12 year old has given me his opinion for this review... 
Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game pack shot in all available formats

The game is a familiar side-scrolling platformer, and you take the role of  Jim Lake Jr. (in two-player co-operative mode you can also play as Claire Nuñez). The aim of the game is to collect dirty socks and coins, fighting any enemies you meet on the way. Well, okay, the aim of the game is to prevent evil troll Porgon causing a Time-pocalypse.... 

There are quite a lot of pauses for non-interactive dialogue, and as you play the story unfolds like an episode of the TV show. You will interact with characters along the way, and there are side-missions to complete. 

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game Review screenshot of dark street scene

It's pretty standard - fun but not really inventive or different, and it's actually quite unusual to have a side scrolling single layer game nowadays. There is a familiar level system, get to the end to complete the area and move on to the next. Some levels have a 'Level Boss' who you'll need to defeat, in others it's not so obvious. Each Boss drops a special stone, which gives you special armour or skills.  

At the end of each stage, count up the collectibles and if you've enough dirty socks, gnomes or coins, you can take them to the Troll Market, and exchange them for 'something handy' (such as 5 seconds of invincibility) or upgrade your armour. There are also Mini Games and characters with side-missions at the Troll Market, which serves as a type of hub. For example, the gnomes are thrown in a mini game in the pub. (It's remarkably like real life.) 

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game screenshot of gameplay in action battling

Completing a level doesn't close it off, you can return, and there are achievements for picking up any collectibles you missed the first time. There are abilities which can be gained as you progress too, so your character grows along with your playing ability. 

Single player gameplay is intuitive and easy to master. In two-player mode, priority is always given to player one, and player two doesn't even have 'lives'. They can die multiple times, and tend to if player one runs on ahead, which can be a little frustrating if you are the type of player who likes to lead the way. 

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is fun enough and will fill a few hours, but may not offer much for a more serious gamer. It reminds me more of a Wii game than a Playstation game. Ideal for fans of the show and younger gamers, and very easy for anyone (who has the use of both hands) to pick up and play. Here's a quick look trailer with some in-game play... 

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows, priced around £25-£45 depending on the platform. Shop around. 

We were sent a code for a free download to review. 

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