Thursday, 22 January 2015

Troddlers - SNES (and other formats)

It's the title, run now and don't come back, thank me for it later.

Take the idea of lemmings, you know, those blue-bodied, green-haired suicidal little beasts that mindlessly run back and forth along levels until you build them, block them, blow them up and cause little fireworks. Now remove ALL the functionality from them and make them run up walls and across the ceiling like they've got the stickiest shoes in existence. Still with me? NOW, put in a playable character that can make blocks appear and disappear and you've basically got Troddlers.

No foes... I can't die sooner rather than later.

Troddlers, the "fun" game of block building where 1-2 players get to help guide the haplessly little minions from starting point to ending point by building and placing blocks strategically so that the little pets can happily and mindlessly make their way to the goal and thus, you can beat the level. Unless of course you've also got to collect specific items during the level.

More walking than the Lord Of The Rings films.

While doing this, you have to get your character around the same level while using the SAME blocks in a mash-up of puzzler and platformer. So not only are you guiding the Troddlers into the exit, you also have to make your own stairwells and platforms in order to get to be in the key places that will allow the Troddlers to meander their way to the objective. Now do we start to see where this is going wrong?

It only LOOKS interesting.

Throw in a bad, unresponsive and reliable control system and you've got the recipe for a thunderclade shitstorm of frustration. If only it was that bad. Troddlers can be minded up, burned up, tripped, flipped, crushed (and in some cases they HAVE to be) and so on that you need to prevent their demise through strategic placing of blocks. You also need to make sure YOU don't die from enemies and more.

New sprites, same dull gameplay.

To add more chaos, there's zombie Troddlers that can kill the real ones and SOMETIMES (depends on the level) hurt you upon contact, while some enemies will injure you and others will kill or make things more awkward for the Troddlers. The rules are fairly inconsistent on this one.

Good Knight, I've had enough.

But let's not stop there, you can also have multiple blocks! Standard blocks for walking and moving, ice blocks to reduce traction and stop Troddlers walking up (or down) them, Mines for blowing things up (including Troddlers), Arrow blocks that flip Troddlers through the block. Bouncers to stop Troddlers from dying upon falling too far, and finally Slowdown blocks that do exactly what it says on the tin. In truth, most of these are just annoying and make the level more awkward than it already is.

It took 9 minutes to get here.

The game isn't without merit, I just don't know where to find it. But having said that it has a fair charm to it with the graphics and the levels at least look unique enough from Space levels to Pyramids and such, but the block structure and mechanics leaves you realising that this is just a grid game and soon you don't even see the aesthetics, just where blocks go, can't go and what to do. It loses its charm rather quickly.

There's fire, but it can't get to you, how disappointing.

The music however is decent enough with some rather chirpy and catchy little tunes that sadly become dull and repetitive when you're playing on levels for 10 minutes at a time because one little Troddler is insistent upon walking ALL THE WAY AROUND THE LEVEL because you didn't quite get to the one point you needed to be in, in time. The sound effects however are dull, uninspired and rather bland.

The most accurate depiction of this game. It'll send you to sleep.

It's not a great game, it's dull, slow paced and too unforgiving and awkward with the controls for it to be any real fun and once you've seen a few levels, you've effectively realised all that is on off and can happily switch it off, blend the cartridge and go play something more fun, like in traffic.