A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trove is a downloadable free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), similar to Minecraft. Players collect blocks and resources to create buildings and other items, making this a fun game for fostering creativity. Online interactions can be turned off or a profanity filter turned on, but players can be exposed to harsh language and online bullying. Even though it's free to play, Trove pushes hard for the use of micro-transactions to get useful in-game loot. Characters use swords, bombs, and other weapons, but the blocky, pixelated look of the game limits the impact of in-game violence.
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What's it about?
TROVE tells the story of a battle between the Sun Goddess and the Moon Goddess. The Moon Goddess was jealous of the Sun Goddess and threatened the realms. Shadows fed off her anger, unleashing terror on her home. In defense, the Sun Goddess shattered the realms with a brilliant light to save the lands. Now, it's up to you to take on the role of hero, tasked with battling shadow monsters in the once-glorious realms of the Sun Goddess. You'll use your skills and items to fight against the Moon Goddess' minions to help reshape and rebuild the realms along with other chosen heroes.
Is it any good?
This online adventure promotes creativity and cooperation, but its depth and lack of tutorials make it harder than it needs to be. It's one thing to be the hero thrown into a world of adventure, but it's something else completely when you're the hero of a world you've had a hand in building. That's why people love games such as Minecraft, Lego Worlds, and Portal Knights. Trove also gives you a measure of control over the world that you're part of. Right off the bat, there's a ridiculous amount of customization, not only in the class you choose to play but in how you want your character to look. When you jump into the game, the customization options just keep coming. The ability to craft whatever you can imagine is fun; there are some great examples of just how crazy you can go with building in the dungeons and multiple environments to help boost your creativity and inspiration. You're not just fighting bad guys in any old world; you're defending a world that you've been actively designing. It gives the whole thing a more personal kind of feel.
Trove has a lot to offer. It's just frustrating that it feels like pulling teeth to actually get to any of it. For starters, the tutorials don't even come close to explaining how to play the game. The number of commands, menus, tabs, and other controls are overwhelming, especially if you're a newcomer. Even when you do start to get familiar with things, it feels like something's missing, and it is -- at least until you start spending actual real-world money to add things to play around with. Sure, you technically can play Trove without ever spending a dime, but unless you do, you can't help but feel like it's not a complete game, Plus, it doesn't take long before all those nickels and dimes you toss at Trove start to really add up. That's too bad, because apart from the push to pay and the tutorial problems, Trove is a fun, creative game; it just makes you cautious of the game experience because it's held back by these issues.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety. What kind of personal information should you never give online to strangers? What can you do if you feel you are being threatened or harassed online?
Talk about responsibilities and limits in gaming. What are ways to make sure you don't go overboard with things like micro-transactions? How quickly can small purchases add up to a big hit in the wallet?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free to Try
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Trion Worlds
- Release date: March 14, 2017
- Genre: Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Bugs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Pirates, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.