A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story focuses on the usual "heroes vs. villains" setup, with players attempting to stop the villains from altering the timeline to their favor. There are themes of friendship throughout the plot and elements of teamwork in the gameplay as well.
Positive Role Models
Jake is a presented as a genuinely good character, "chosen" by fate to be a hero for both humans and trolls. Interactions between the characters tend to be friendly and supportive. But the main focus of the game is still to beat up every bad guy that crosses players' paths.
Ease of Play
The game's a very basic action platform adventure with overly simplified controls. Although it's easy to play, there are occasional bugs that can make it impossible to play without restarting.
Violence & Scariness
Violence steadily occurs throughout play, with enemies acting as obstacles to progress. Players fight using swords and magic projectiles to clear their path. Enemies are defeated in a flash of special effects before vanishing from the screen.
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Products & Purchases
The game is an original story based on the popular Netflix Tales of Arcadia animated trilogy. The plot, while focusing on the Trollhunters series, also features nods and references to the other shows.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is an action/adventure game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows based PCs. The game's based on the popular Trollhunters animated series on Netflix, with references to the entire Tales of Arcadia animated trilogy. Players run, jump, and slide in a side-scrolling platform world, fighting against various fantasy creatures and bosses that stand in their way. Although players use swords, magic spells, and other attacks, there's no onscreen blood. Instead, defeated enemies disappear with flashy effects. The game's easy to pick up and play, though some technical issues can potentially make the game unplayable at times.
Is It Any Good?
This adventure game manages to avoid almost everything that makes its source material appealing. The basics for Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia seems like a guaranteed hit. If you combine the creative storytelling and imagination of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro with the talents of DreamWorks Animation and the backing and reach of Netflix, you've got the recipe for success that's Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. The series has built a huge following thanks to a near perfect combination of fantasy, comedy, and adventure that instantly grabs the attention of audiences young and old. Unfortunately for fans, virtually none of this carries over to Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia, the first major video game release based on the hit show.
One, and probably the only, real positive about Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is its presentation. The game looks and sounds great, faithfully recreating the aesthetic of the show. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there. The gameplay has been oversimplified to the point that it lacks any sort of excitement. It quickly becomes a monotonous chain of jump, attack, jump, attack, wash, rinse, repeat. There's not a real challenge, at least not intentionally. There are some frustratingly difficult points that result not from innovative game design, but rather from technical glitches where the game completely falls apart and forces a restart. These literal game breaking moments are rare, but once is enough to discourage fans from even bothering to try again.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.