By Skip Zepeda / November 15th, 2018
|RELEASE DATE||June 26th, 2018|
|PLATFORMS||PC, PS4, XBOX ONE|
|RATING||E 10+ Fantasy Violence|
Trove Geode is the latest expansion pack to Trion World’s voxel-styled sandbox MMORPG and building game. It adds the new planet Geode to explore and gather materials and collect new gear from. Trion has also added the extremely popular fan favorite Battle Royale mode, or in this case, Trove Bomber Royale Battle.
My time with Trove Geode has been fun. I’ve been collecting weapons designed by users such as frosty cool ice bows, aptly made Halloween pumpkin bows, and dark and shadowy bows with bats on the ends. There are also a ton of masks by various users to wear. Some made me look like Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Finn from Adventure Time, and others were a bit more original. I found a favorite one that replaced my eyes and mouth with fried eggs and bacon. The collecting has been very rewarding and straightforward. There are a lot of ways in which I can customize my character, such as changing their hair style, hair color, and eventually when I reach leveling milestones (such as level 10), gaining a new class outfit to wear. Trove Geode takes that sense of crafting and adventure in perfect block fashion and makes it into something new, but frustrating.
In Trove Geode you are tasked with spelunking grand and wondrous caves to collect resources, help critters, and expand your cave gear to tackle more difficult and deeper caverns. You enter each cave equipped with a reliquary, or container that needs to be filled. You also have a laser for ore mining and a grappling hook for traveling. Your ultimate goal besides adventures is to earn energy gained when completing various actions in the caves to fill up the reliquary. These actions range from feeding, blanketing, or healing critters, to collecting resources along the cave walls, or laser mining ore. There are no environmental hazards here except the depth at which you will dig into the caves and the long walk back out. There are a few scattered plant monsters in various areas but they will not engage you so fighting is completely optional. Your regular equipment and movement options are restricted here so moving can be slow and cumbersome without the grappling hook. I got the feeling that Trove Geode wanted me to take my time looking around.
Trove Geode is very much a passive and relaxing experience. While I do not appreciate the constant grind of materials, which doesn’t get much easier with upgraded equipment, the spelunking and traveling in the caves is a fun distraction, albeit boring if you spend too long in them or can’t find the proper resources. I’m sure at deeper tiers, of which there are five total, it gets more difficult, but I never found tier one to be particularly more engaging. Honestly, the further in I went, the larger and more empty these caves felt.
My beginning experience with Trove Geode was fun and intriguing, but after a few hours I never felt like the experience rewarded me equal to the time spent adventuring. I was just gathering resources in mostly empty caverns to unlock more upgrades that let me gather resources faster in grand, colorful, and sprawling caverns. I believed the whole experience to be a grind to prepare me for Uber 10 Worlds, which are supposed to be out with a future Trove update.
Trove Geode is a very pretty game. Its style may not win everyone over but the sheer amount of colors used in the Geode landscape is to be commended. I found a dazzling array of colors in each of the distinct caves types. Purples and blues swam in the watery caverns. Warm greens and earthy yellows littered the grassy lush caverns, and fiery reds and explosive oranges helped the volcanic caves make a statement. The hub for Geode is a giant sprawling spaceship filled with ancient guardians that look as terrifying as they do regal. The warm cream and tan palette is a welcome and calm distraction from the loud cavern colors.
The music in Trove Geode was interesting, to say the least. I found the cavern music to be solemn and tranquil which solidified the experience of spelunking. The music was soft and captivating, almost too soft because there isn’t much of a sense of urgency to the Geode sections. The music for Bomber Royale, however, was the opposite. Bombastic and loud, which is how it should be in a PvP arena. Each explosion was satisfying and alarming, every power up beep was instant and noticeable. The fast paced music and sound effects of Bomber Royale were a standout in the experience.
The one saving grace of Trove Geode is the Bomber Royale mode, which allows you to play maps against other players where everyone is equipped with bombs and various bomb power ups litter the map. As you play the round, the map will start to disintegrate and shrink so be aware of your surroundings. These maps are large and very destructible, so also take caution to avoid falling to your doom. I had a lot of fun with Bomber Royale and the rewards are worth the small time sink in between Geode cavern spelunking.
Trove Geode is free to play but Trion Worlds offers various real money packages in their in game store for currencies, loot, mounts, and festive holiday gear. You may also purchase advanced character classes and pets to customize your experience.
All in all, I was expecting more from Trove Geode. More lairs and bosses, more community-designed loot and masks, and more sprawling adventures. Instead, I received a welcome distraction from the usual Trove activities, one that was not my cup of tea after a few hours but could be rewarding and relaxing for those seeking less hectic Trove tasks. Trove Geode was an interesting experience. I enjoyed the user-crafted loot drops and the Bomber Royale mode was a lot of fun. The caverns felt like a slog and didn’t offer enough engaging tasks to keep me at the grind. I’m still figuring out how to expertly pace myself between Bomber Royale and the Geode world cave exploration. The sweet spot I found was in balancing the two.
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
free to playMMORPGoprainfallReviewsandboxTrion WorldsTrove Geode