E3 2018 IMPRESSIONS: Trove Geode

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

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A couple years ago during PAX West I had the opportunity to try out Trove. I didn’t know much about it, other than it was a free to play experience and that the voxel design appealed to my sensibilities. Fast forward a couple years later, and now Trove has an entirely new way to play in Trove Geode.

Trove Geode | Map

The first thing that caught my attention with Trove Geode is the fact that it’s much more focused on story. Which isn’t to say it limits your exploration, creation and creativity, far from it. It just focuses your efforts with a narrative arc that takes place on the planet of Geode. Another thing that caught me by surprise in Trove Geode is that there is a new cave exploration focus which eschews basic combat. While I thought I might not like the no combat thing, in execution it reminds me a lot of Metroid, with the devs showing off a grappling hook and jet boots to explore the vast caverns of ore. Since you’re not trying to maim everything in sight, that means you’re more focused on mining for raw materials to craft, as well as helping out the native fauna on Geode. There’s a lot of nuance to it as well, since you can create devices to aid your crafting, such as the aforementioned grappling hook and boots, or even a device that reveals hidden ore for your mining pleasure. They really push the exploration emphasis, as dead ends actually reward you with cool set pieces that provide a tremendous amount of materials to grab. But to keep the game from being too simple, you only have a set amount of time to mine each time, though that number can be increased via handy upgrades. And though there are no foes per se, there are threats such as flowers that explode and fire spewing flora.

Trove Geode | Explore

There’s more to the Trove Geode experience than just mining, however. The other primary new mode is called Bomber Royale, and it proved utterly chaotic fun. It’s mostly there for those who have some steam to blow off and can’t get their fix from mining ore and helping alien critters. It provides various arenas that, once the match starts, immediately start to disintegrate in random spurts. Your goal is to bomb the living daylights out of your opponents before the entire stage is destroyed, whilst picking up upgrades and grappling about like a madman. When you kill an opponent, you’re also rewarded with whatever items they had. It’s simple, crazy and easy to get lost in. Best of all, you can use points gained in Bomber Royale to unlock things in the basic Geode experience, and vice versa.

Trove Geode | Fight

What I saw in Trove Geode may have appealed to me more than the original experience. I love exploring vast alien worlds, and it had just enough Metroid sauce to interest me. Best of all, if you like what you see, Trove is planning on rolling out more content that will change things up, including actual threats to the safety of planet Geode. Oh and lest I leave out the best part, this latest free expansion launches on PC, PlayStation 4 and XBox One in only a few more days, rolling out on June 26th. So if you are looking for a gaming experience to get lost in and don’t feel like spending a lot of money, Trove Geode may be just what the doctor ordered.

Trove Geode | Whole New World

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Review Manager he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his spare time he counts the days until Mega Man 11, TWEWY Final Remix and Wargroove release.