Don’t Feed the Trolls by Frozax Games is a very simple title in premise, mechanics and presentation, which is what helps make it so charming. It’s a pick-up and play title that anyone can fathom and enjoy but with a sharp enough difficulty curve to challenge you as you progress. In fact the difficulty curve is masterfully plotted to test you with every inch of progression yet also teach you to overcome it in the next playthrough.
Don’t Feed the Trolls presents you with a simple map separated into four zones to match the four face buttons on your controller. To the north is a desert, to the South woodland, East mountains and West snow. Your task is to score points by feeding any bears that pop up within each region by pressing the corresponding face button for each. If a trolls pops up you, don’t feed them, however, you can slap them to gain additional points. The overall goal is to progress through each level which gradually increases in difficulty by introducing different kinds of bear and troll that require different methods of feeding or dispatching respectively, as well as the speed at which the bears disappear back into their regions. Fail to feed ten bears or accidently feed three trolls accumulatively and it’s game over.
Indeed Don’t Feed the Trolls is essentially a reaction/observation puzzle game and it’s a thoroughly compelling one at that. The very first level introduces the concept but beyond that things get significantly more difficult, constantly testing your reactions and eye for detail as new bears and trolls pop up. Fast bears disappear more quickly than regular ones whilst starving bears require being feed multiple times. The trolls get savvier and disguise themselves as bears or send more aggressive trolls out. It soon becomes a hectic screen full of trolls and bears all vying for the food you’re dishing it. It’s great fun and compelling because of the high-score beating mentality introspectively and against other players through the online leaderboards. Additionally your intrigue as to what kind of bears and trolls will come next keeps you pushing to reach that final 15th level.
Don’t Feed the Trolls certainly puts up a challenge and you’ll find yourself coming back to it for short bursts of fun. However, it doesn’t provide enough to sustain long bouts of play. Its simplicity makes it hugely accessible, its difficulty makes it compellingly challenging, but its scope doesn’t stretch beyond a mini game. However, for 80 MS points it’s absolutely worth a try.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: Xbox 360 Release Date: 23/09/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Don’t Feed the Trolls for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of two weeks on an Xbox. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.