Review – DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue
With kids shows and movies, you can always bet on a licensed video game to come along with it, last month was PAW Patrol World for the PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie. This month we have DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue to go along with Trolls Band Together coming in just three weeks. The thing about these licensed games is that sometimes you’ll get a good one like Hello Kitty and Friends: Happiness Parade Hops, and other times you’ll get a Survivor: Castaway Island. As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to keep up on which are good releases and which ones you may want to save your money on, but I’m here to say that Trolls Remix Rescue may be worth your money, despite some issues.
Trolls Remix Rescue follows after the events of World Tour, so there will be familiar faces from the first two movies present. The game starts with another poppin’ Trolls party, but the Jazz loving hippie, Chaz, has a nefarious plan up his sleeves. Using his smooth Jazz sax, he put the entire Troll Kingdom in a trance that makes them catatonic and grow a mustache. Why a mustache? Who knows, but it’s silly and it will make your kids laugh. With the TrollsTopia under his spell, he is free to create his JazzTopia and rule the land. Unfortunately for Chaz, there was a DJ that wasn’t put in the trance due to wearing headphones, and now it is your job to save the Troll Kingdom.
Much like PAW Patrol World, I played through this title couch co-op with my son and daughter, since Trolls Remix Rescue supports up to four players on screen at a time. However, unlike PAW Patrol, we had a much better time. First starting off you each get to customize your own troll with different hair, facial hair, clothes, hats, eyes, and if you want a feminine or masculine voice. I was impressed with amount of customization and as you play you’ll be able to unlock additional clothes and classic characters to play as. The amount of cool outfits didn’t quite rival Sackboy: A Big Adventure, but it reminded me a lot of it.
Once you start your adventure progression is fairly linear, but the level designs themselves are actually quite large and some even offer different paths. There are four total regions to explore with three main areas in each region. Regions are unlocked as you proceed the story, but I will say that in some areas it isn’t exactly clear which paths to take to make it to the other areas within a region. I’d like to say I’m fairly advanced in my gaming skills, but even I was having trouble navigating some of the areas. It unfortunately led to a lot of boring backtracking and frustrations.
The gameplay itself is a fairly basic 3D platformer so expect a lot of jumping and exploration. There is a bit of combat, but I would not call it heavy in that regard. As you play you unlock additional platforming and combat skills like being able to hair whip to attack, but then you can unlock the ability to hair whip to attach to a pole and swing over gaps. You’ll also be able to unlock the ability to do a spin attack and even use your troll magic to create unique objects to access certain areas. There is quite a bit of gameplay unlocks here and they’re unlocked as you proceed each level making this almost a metroidvania where you’ll need to unlock a skill to proceed down another path.
Also, during each level you will come into these cool little mini-games that all players get to play together. They’re rhythm games where you listen to a Trolls soundtrack song and use the movement keys to dance, or the face button to play a sort of Guitar Hero styled minigame. Boss fights also offer a unique bit of gameplay offering an escape type situation where you’ll need to outrun something coming after you. These are cool moments also accompanied by a Trolls soundtrack song.
Unfortunately, it isn’t all rainbows and glitter because Trolls Remix Rescue does have some issues and a lot of them have to do with the camera and combat. The camera constantly gets caught on objects and will randomly zoom in or clip though environments blocking your view. It even gets worse when you play co-op because as soon as you get to the edge of the screen with each character the camera will auto snap to the first player. This causes the other players to not see what they’re doing or have to warp to the first player. Put that together with the segments where you’re trying to run fast and escape and you’ll have some moments where the kiddos and you will be frustrated.
Other than the camera issues there are some small bugs throughout the game that has you clipping through things, or getting stuck in an infinite free fall animation. These aren’t game breaking, but needing to restart a checkpoint because of them is annoying. There are also some hit detection issues with the enemies, where your attack will seem to go right through them, but that one is less frequent and combat is easy enough here that it isn’t a huge issue.
Visually, Trolls Remix Rescue looks pretty good, not quite as gorgeous as the animated films, but all the designs and over the top color pallet is here. Character models are mostly well done just a bit stiff in the animations. What I enjoyed the most were the level designs. There is a good variety of areas within each region and each region has its own theme visually offering new layouts that take advantage of new gameplay unlocks. Enemies also grow in variety in each region, which really helps keep the game from feeling stale even for an adult.
Probably the best thing about Trolls Remix Rescue is the sound design and soundtrack. As you imagine there is a lot of music featured in this game, and for the most part all of it is good. Pulling songs straight from the movies is a smart move that will catch the ear of anyone who has seen them. Having an escape sequence to Poppy’s Get Back Up Again song will surely put a smile on the kid’s faces. Other than that sequences like that, each region has their own theme song that is just on repeat, but luckily by the time you start getting annoyed by that song, you’re off to a new region or area.
DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is so close to being a game I would have recommended to any platforming fan, regardless if you’re a Trolls fan or not. While there is a competent 3D platformer here, featuring some fun moments from the movies that the kids will love, unfortunately there are some issues here to keep in mind. Kids are more forgiving on certain things, but the camera issues were even something they were yelling at. If you and your kids are huge Trolls fans, I’d say it’s still worth picking up, because you will have fun. But waiting for some updates or a discount would be the better option.
Visuals are as colorful and over the top just like the animated films with a nice variety of level designs.
General 3D platforming gameplay works well enough, but some annoying hit detection and camera issues drag it down.
Easily the best part about Trolls Remix Rescue is the soundtrack with some surprisingly good voice acting.
Trolls Remix Rescue is a competent 3D platformer that offers some fun throwback reference from past movies, but gameplay frustrations bring it down.
Final Verdict: 6.5
DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Reviewed on PlayStation 5.
A copy of DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue was provided by the publisher.