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One Troll Army Review

One Troll Army Review

As a preface to my review, I am going to be looking at this game as a normal consumer who isn’t likely to stream it. One Troll Army features heavy Twitch integration, but as someone who doesn’t regularly stream and have an audience to work with, I wouldn’t have access to that part of the game.

One Troll Army is the latest release from publisher tinyBuild, the guys who made No Time to Explain and published SpeedRunners and Party Hard. As with Party Hard, their newest game from developers Fly Anvil sees heavy Twitch integration that they showed off in the launch campaign: if Twitch chat could beat the developers at their own game, One Troll Army would release for free.

So, One Troll Army is a free-to-play hero-RTS, in which you control the titular troll. Awoken by some goblins praying for help from their god, instead of tearing their arms from their bodies you agree to help defend their camps from waves of minotaurs and other two-legged woodland creatures. There’s some boss creatures who have more health, signified by a purple health bar, and these can be quite annoying since they take so much more to kill than standard enemies.


A kurfuffle

It plays similar to DOTA2 and LoL, right-clicking to move your giant troll, with an auto-attack and several abilities. Frustratingly, that’s where the similarities for the controls end. I constantly found myself moving the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen to move the camera, which is controlled with WASD. The abilities are ultimately just variations of the main attack, with a slightly different animation and elongated hitboxes. As for damage, I upgraded the main attack and felt disappointed with what the abilities did afterwards.

Speaking of upgrades, the troll’s abilities are first unlockable with the gold and supplies received from bashing enemies heads in, and then upgradeable with whatever combination of available resources. These upgrades give the troll some form of armour, though the armour is cosmetic and doesn’t seem to protect you at all. These upgrades include an ability that allows you to pick up more drops, health upgrades, speed upgrades and a necklace that legitimately does nothing but waste resources.

The base you are protecting is also upgradable, with better walls, towers and internal buildings that each give you a unique benefit. The store allows you to hold more resources, the town hall allows you to upgrade your workers, the armoury upgrades the goblin’s tower soldiers and the tavern allows you to pay for orc mercenaries to come assist you. The workers themselves can be managed to either go resource hunting, repair the fortress, build new buildings or scavenge the battleground for supplies and gold, but only between waves. That said, I’ve had workers out during waves and nothing bad happened to them, so this looks to be a purely cosmetic thing.


A fully upgraded tier two town

As with most wave-based games, you can start the wave early, though in  there’s a potentially large benefit to doing this. The wave gradually builds up around the fort, at a distance, and will only attack when at full power or provoked. If provoked before the wave gets to full power, it charges with whatever has spawned up to that point. This has the downside that, since there are less enemies, you get less drops.

Waves end when either all the enemies die, or the base’s walls are destroyed. The latter can happen very quickly so you’ll find yourself losing quite a lot, but it doesn’t seem to matter. When you lose, the walls are rebuilt, you respawn with about 50% health, and you get some time to use whatever leftover resources you had before the last wave started to shore up your defences. This confused me at first, until I won the following wave and saw that the number after the indicator of rounds I’d played, which up to that point had been a zero, had changed to a one.


Trolls are known for their grace in battle

As far as I can tell, there is no way to lose this game. There isn’t a “game over” state, there’s no way to fail, and this is because it’s been heavily made for Twitch. The game ends when you decide it does, so when it comes to actually winning it doesn’t feel like a victory, since you didn’t really face any hardship getting there.

4.50/10 4½

One Troll Army (Reviewed on Windows)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

I really wanted to like One Troll Army, but the only people I would recommend this to are streamers, and even then it’s a gimmick you could play once and move on to something else. If they’d have made the non-streaming version more important, with failure states that actually meant something, this would be better, but as it stands this is a game for streamers and not the average gamer.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jinny Wilkin

Jinny Wilkin

Staff Writer

Reviews the games nobody else will, so you don't have to. Give her a bow and arrow and you have an ally for life. Will give 10s for food.

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