Troublemaker review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Freedom Games
Developer: Gamecom Team
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: Not Rated

The obvious comparison to make when writing about Troublemaker is to Bully. After all, like Bully, Troublemaker is about a troubled teenager who fights his way to the top of the school hierarchy. If nothing else, it?s fair to say that the two games have something in common.

The difference, however, is that Troublemaker is absolutely insane. It?s set at a high school where, as far as I could tell, the government sponsors a bare knuckle fighting tournament called Raise Your Gang for?reasons. It also takes place in Indonesia, and going by a Google Translated version of the game?s Steam reviews, it?s very culturally specific, full of Easter eggs and references that make a lot of sense if you?re an Indonesian youth.

And if you aren?t an Indonesian youth? Then the whole thing makes a lot less sense. I mean, you?ll be able to piece together what?s happening, since it?s hardly a complicated storyline, but to get there you?ll need to sit through dialogue like ?I?ve won Olympics many times! Help me get a job you cocksuckers!?, or ?Bro how could I wake you up if myself are sleeping too??, or ?Don?t be so cheap, your grave will be tight!? Obviously, if you?re into weird English translations, it might be funny, but I imagine that even people who love bad translations may find their patience tested by 6+ hours of them.

And if the bizarre dialogue doesn?t try your patience, the gameplay probably will. As you?d expect from a game focused on fighting with your classmates, Troublemaker is a beat-?em?-up ? but the fighting isn?t all that interesting. You enter a classroom, you sit through some of that aforementioned lousy dialogue, and then you punch and kick until you?ve beaten everyone up. There?s no real weight behind any of your actions, and the over-the-top ragdoll physics of your opponents makes it hard to tell when you?ve made solid contact, versus when you?ve just grazed them.

On top of that, the game looks bizarre. The visuals are generally pretty realistic-looking, except any time there?s dialogue, you have cartoon characters popping up on screen to say the lines. It leads to a weird clash of styles, and it makes Troublemaker all the more strange.

Obviously, if you?re after a game that?s either a) not like anything else out there, or b) an utterly bizarre look into a culture that isn?t often represented in games (or c) a bizarre cross between Bully and Yakuza), then Troublemaker might be up your alley. If not, though, the whole thing will just feel like a crazy fever dream.

Freedom Games provided us with a Troublemakers PC code for review purposes.

Grade: C-