Troublemaker – First Impressions

After yesterday’s post, I really wanted to play games again and rite about more games and actually do the thing that I’m technically supposed to do here… So, I sat down and tried playing this demo and it’s good. Still lacks some polish but overall, it’s a solid thing already… And I may have spent “six hours” in it, according to Steam, but in reality it’s more like three hours with some breaks here and there.

So, Troublemaker is 3D beat-’em-up set in an Indonesian high school developed by Gamecom Team (Not to be confused with “Gamescom”. There’s no “S” here!) and published by Freedom Games. At its core, it follows the story of Budi, a young lad studying Software Engineering, who often gets into fights with local gangs. After the most recent fight, however, the police are threatening to lock him up for good – which is why his mother and step-father are moving away all the way to Jakarta.

This new school, though, is different. Don’t question the storyline here but… to combat the fact that a lot of the alumni of this school end up without a job despite their bachelor’s degree, the school is favouring one 12th grade class, using funding to essentially boost their chances of having success in life. And, well,… to decide which class actually gets to be favoured, you’ll need to fight in a tournament of strength competing against other students.

We kinda promised to not get into fights again… to our sister, I believe? – Yeah, that didn’t age well.

Is this a joke or is “UwU” actually something that isn’t just a meme?

So, at it’s core, this is a Third Person Action game where you use heavy and light attacks to beat the crap out of enemies. You can also block and evade as well as parry attacks but have to keep a close eye on your “energy” – a little bar below your health that dictates how much damage you deal. Also, by landing hits, you charge up your “ultimate” attack which you then unleash onto your enemies by manifesting a chair and throwing at them.

Very clearly, the game has been inspired by Beat ‘Em Up Classics that can convince players to keep going through over-the-top moves and incredibly satisfying mechanics. Troublemaker tries to replicate this as well. Finisher moves, lots of enemies, props, as well as a whole stat system and “Sick Moves” that you can unlock… There’s a lot here.

BUT I find it a little sad that there are only so many animations for the finishers and that there don’t seem to be any combos in place in the demo… Maybe the full release will feature that?

Between fights, you get to browse an open environment in the form of a schoolyard and other places where you meet and talk to people, play minigames, buy items, and take things slow. There are collectables. There are cats that can be interacted with. It’s pretty cool.

The overarching theme appears to be about “teen dread” (aka stuff like choosing your own path or knowing what to do in the future) as well as romance and uh, fighting… boys do be fighting, right? I’m looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds in the full release.

More importantly, though, I needed to take breaks from the game and left it on, resulting in the 6-hour playtime that I apparently have. Mostly, because I suck at games like this. It may not be that I suck, necessarily, but I got stuck in some boss battles, trying again, and again, and again, and again, and again… and I could dial down the difficulty but that’d be lame. I wanna do it. I can do it!

So, Troublemaker is pretty good, is what I’m trying to say.

What I really loved was that the world feels Indonesian. I’ve never been there but my parents watch Indonesian dramas and this looks quite authentic by that standard… and the language is super pretty.

What I didn’t like was that not all of the cut scenes are voiced fully… which is a bummer since the voice actors are doing a great job! And also, a lot of the English text in the game has typos in it… so, I hope that gets ironed out. I’d love to help with the grammar and polish here if I could or if I’m wanted.

Anyhow, you can check out the demo yourself over here on the Steam Page – make sure to wishlist the full release and follow the game if you haven’t yet. It’s pretty darn good and the harder difficulties are quite satisfying to me.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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