Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Developer: Petit Fabrik
DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is the latest licensed game from GameMill. GameMill have a history of churning out some not-so-great games (with the odd surprise). Therefore, DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is almost certain to be bad, right?
The answer is yes, it’s not great – but, surprisingly, it’s certainly not for a lack of ambition, and it’s a lot closer to being an excellent 3D platformer than you might expect.
As I see it, there are two things holding DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue back. The first is that its target audience is a little all over the place. Like, I know that my 7-year-old niece saw the movie to which this game is sort of tied, Trolls Band Together, in theatres recently with her grandmother, and the verdict from her (my niece, that is, not from my mom) is that it’s the greatest movie of all time. So you have to figure that younger players are the people the game would be aimed at.
The thing is, DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is way too hard for such younger players. While much of the game is devoted to exploring fairly lengthy levels (which, in itself, may be a little daunting if you’re after something a little more quick and digestible), there are more than a few platforming sections that seem like they might be a little tough, as well as some enemies who put up a stronger fight than you might expect. Again, I think of my niece, and I know how easily she can be discouraged in games, and I can just imagine how quickly she’d give up at some of the harder parts.
At the same time – and this ties into the other reason why DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue falls short of its surprisingly ambitious goals – there were more than a few sections that were way too difficult for me. While I readily acknowledge that I’m not exactly the most skilled gamer, I’d imagine that the nightmarish camera angles make it so that it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to get destroyed by some sections of this game.
I mean “nightmarish camera angles” quite literally, too. There are moments throughout the game where you suddenly lose the ability to control the camera, and the game either zooms away to a completely useless perspective where you can’t even see yourself or where you’re going (for example, during some boss fights), or it zooms in so close all you can see is your character’s face, which makes platforming in those sections a matter of luck. In fact, at times the game zoomed in so close all I could see were, like, outlines of the trolls eyes and mouths, and the images were bordering on nightmare fuel.
Having said all that, it’s easy to imagine that if DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue were tweaked just so, we’d be talking about one of the better 3D platformers to come out this year. The levels clearly had a lot of care put into them, and the distance between them and, say, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is way closer than you’d think. It’s really impressive the way the world looks like soft felt, or the way the water looks like shimmering ribbons. Even the jumping, while occasionally annoying, brings to mind LittleBigPlanet in its floatiness – which, obviously, could get annoying, but it speaks to the fact that a lot more effort went into this game than you might otherwise expect.
That’s what makes DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue so frustrating: it’s so close to being good, but its flaws make it almost impossible to recommend. It’s far better than it has any right to be or than its pedigree suggests, but it’s still going to be a letdown to almost everyone.
GameMill Entertainment provided us with a DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue PS5 code for review purposes.