What it is: A 3rd person action adventure game, following a boy named Otto and the troll he befriends. The game comes from Maximum Games, a smaller studio that recently brought us Farming Simulator.
The game released 8/15/17 on Nintendo Switch. for $29.99. The game is also available on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few games sent to me lately for review, and while I’m sooooo far behind on getting the reviews written (mainly because I’ve had precious little time to actually play the games), this one quickly stood out from the rest.
Right from the beginning, I knew this game was going to be better than I expected. Being a writer, I’m a sucker for a good story, and this brings you right into it, opening on a clandestine meeting between a shady businessman and the rough-around-the-edges tracker in his employ. The tracker is hired to bring in a troll, and he reluctantly agrees.
Flashforward five years, and we arrive in the Scandinavian wilderness. Focus shifts to Otto and his mom, and you get the obligatory opening scene that teaches you the game mechanics. This time, it’s hunting boar.
As these games tend to do, things quickly go awry, the tables turn, and Otto ends up being hunted by strange, monstrous creatures. Thankfully, he saved by the titular Troll, but not before a couple of mini-games involving running and jumping or fall and dodging. Each game saw me catch fire and burn to death or impale myself onto a large tree branch several times.
Once I got past that and met up with the troll, things quickly became a lot more fun. Being able to play as the troll is very satisfactory, and smashing the little pig monsters with fists and stomps always brought a wicked grin to my face.
Controls are a little clunky. Attacking is easy enough, and I love being able to scrounge around for items and make my own weapons. The fighting works.
The clunk comes in the “troll wheel.” You push a button, which calls up said wheel, and then you can pick a command, causing the troll to stay or follow, climbing onto the troll’s shoulders like Rocket and Groot, and switching to play as the troll (and then back again).
It works as a concept, but maybe I just haven’t played long enough to get used to it, because it felt a bit awkward in the times I used it.
Despite the fact that the troll looks like they stuck ET’s head on a bear and gave him dreadlocks, the game is pretty. There’s a real-world aesthetic at play, and the graphics are impressive for a smaller, boutique publisher
The monsters are scary, and when the pig creatures first attacked, my son jumped and screamed, which was great fun for me. This is a kid that laughs his way through the Alien movies, so
Why you should play it:
Let’s be honest here. This isn’t the best looking game you’re going to play this year and it’s not the most original experience, as it shares certain elements with better games like Breath of the Wild and Horizon, both of which are prettier games. That being said, they’re both very popular, very good games, and if you’re going to emulate a gameplay style, there are certainly worse games to choose.
The dynamic of changing back and forth between Otto and the troll is what makes this game shine. The ability to scour the environment and forge your own weapons is a great feature to incorporate, and the story shows great promise to be something worth remembering.
I’ll look forward to finishing this game, if for no other reason than to discover why both Otto and the troll
Oh, and if you’re still on the fence with this game, check out the launch trailer below:
Let us know what you think of Troll and I in the comments section below!