Trove is a sandbox game from Trion Worlds, dug from the same dirt as Minecraft, but built around a free-to-play MMO setup. Millions of players have joined its ranks since it started on PC, and it has been available in open beta on PS4 and Xbox One since December. Following the beta, the console versions have accrued more than a million players each, and the numbers keep growing, so let's find out why.
One of the first things to note is how visually striking it is. With its myriad of sharply contrasting coloured blocks, you can tell immediately that it's a whole universe away from Minecraft's earthy tones. After a brief opening cutscene the game opens up into a huge hub area in which you will find yourself every time you log in.
There are 14 different character classes to choose from and they cover almost all forms of combat. Picking one uses a class unlock token, so you may want to trial a few first to find a fighting style that suits you, although you can get more unlock tokens later in the game, so don't worry too much about that. We chose the Boomeranger for his mixture of melee and ranged attacks, and found he was quite formidable in most battles.
A lot of the areas will be locked off to low-level players to begin with, and it can be a little overwhelming and disorientating at first. You may find yourself blindly stumbling about, at least to begin with, although there is a helpful and detailed HUD which can guide you via a Quest Feed in the corner that hints at your current objectives. One small problem with the HUD though is that it's so minuscule that you'll need to sit really close to the screen to stand any chance of reading it.
After making your way over to the portals that are open to beginners, it's time to jump into one and visit your first world. Each portal will take you to a procedurally generated environment filled with different biomes and dungeons to explore, and you'll soon realise that you have no idea of where to go and what to do. Heading towards other players scattered around the map seems like the sensible thing to start with. Moving around is made simple with the ability to reach very high ledges using a multi-jump, as repeatedly hitting the jump button will have you bounding through the air with ease. For the longer journeys though you can call in mounts to run, fly, or swim you around.