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Trolls on Treasure Island Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 1%
Trolls on Treasure Island
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Trolls on Treasure Island Trolls on Treasure Island Trolls on Treasure Island Trolls on Treasure Island
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Given their wide pop culture reach, I'm a little surprised we didn't see more successful video games starring Troll dolls. It's even more remarkable that the Troll games we got often felt like crazy experiments gone horribly wrong. That certainly describes Trolls on Treasure Island, a bizarre puzzler that mixes nonsensical gem collecting with an uncontrollable mascot character.

Believe it or not, Trolls on Treasure Island is actually a repurposed version of American Video Entertainment's Dudes with Attitudes. Although the puzzles are slightly different, the main structure is in place. This includes a penchant for black backgrounds and controlling a character appearance in order to gain access to specific treasure. On second thought, maybe "controlling" isn't the best word to use while describing Trolls on Treasure Island.


With no warning or explanation, AVE throws gamers into an overhead action game with what appears to be an out-of-control Troll doll. Gems, coins and pieces of valuable jewelry of all colors line the levels and it's your job to collect them all. But you can't just grab anything and everything, this isn't Pac-Man. It turns out that your Troll doll will need to dye his hair the right color to solve puzzles, open doors and ultimately collect all of the valuable jewelry.

The Trolls aren't big on being controlled, as you'll learn from the very first page. The best you can do is influence whether this big-haired hero walks up or down. He's always going to be walking forward, no matter what happens. The only way to turn around is to have your Troll doll smack into the wall or find a one-way path. The result is a character that looks completely out of control and a little drunk. Speaking of which, Trolls on Treasure Island is not a good game to play drunk.

Trolls on Treasure Island (NES)

Although the basic gameplay doesn't change much over the course of 33 stages, AVE does keep things fresh with new obstacles and enemies. Sadly, the core conceit is too flimsy to base an entire game on ... let alone two. Outside of adding enemies and making the level designs endlessly complicated, the only way to increase the challenge is to add more colors to the mix. This ends up causing paint cans that look nearly identical to one another. I can only imagine this being practically unplayable for gamers with color blindness.

The game's presentation is poor, even for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Trolls on Treasure Island was released in 1994, mere months before Sega and Sony released their powerful 32-bit systems. The graphics look like it stumbled out of the first generation, which is unacceptable a decade after the system's debut. Couple the outdated visuals with an uncontrollable lead character and you have one of the most obnoxious products for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Trolls on Treasure Island (NES)

There's a certain charm to the game's horribleness. It's the kind of thing that would make a lot of generally smart people get suckered into believing that Trolls on Treasure Island is worth checking out. I am not easily duped. With gameplay about as responsive as yelling at the TV weatherman, I find it impossible to recommend Trolls on Treasure Island.
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