Trog (NES) review
"Trog has been unfairly admonished as being a Pac-Man rip-off. Someone please explain how a game with a slew of power-ups, more enemy attack behaviors, three unique bonus games, and more intricate level design can constitute being a "rip-off." Sure, the main idea is the same - in this case you play as a dino (Pac-Man) as you navigate through single screen mazes while robbing eggs (pellets) from one-eyed cavemen named Trogs (ghosts), who would like nothing more than a nice, juicy d..."
Trog has been unfairly admonished as being a Pac-Man rip-off. Someone please explain how a game with a slew of power-ups, more enemy attack behaviors, three unique bonus games, and more intricate level design can constitute being a "rip-off." Sure, the main idea is the same - in this case you play as a dino (Pac-Man) as you navigate through single screen mazes while robbing eggs (pellets) from one-eyed cavemen named Trogs (ghosts), who would like nothing more than a nice, juicy dino burger - but Trog takes what made Pac-Man legendary and expands upon it.
One or two players can simultaneously romp through single screen mazes filled with decorations such as bones, pyramid-shaped teleportation devices, various stone-carved statues, and even trampolines. Stages range from traditional grassy plains, lush tropical islands, lava infested islands, and even icy ponds. The objective is simple - Steal all the eggs that correspond to your dino's color while avoiding barbaric Trogs.
Fortunately, you have the power to fight back. Munching on a juicy pineapple turns your dino into a big, mean, Trog eating t-rex, who gobbles up Trogs like chicken nuggets for bonus points. Nabbing a hot tamale on the go grants the ability to hurl fireballs which roasts pursuing neanderthals into pitch-black ash. To cool off after snacking on such a hot treat, grab an ice cube which also temporarily freezes Trogs. If none of these stone age snacks are available, no problem. Your dino has the ability to punch those pre-historic fiends ala Oscar De La Hoya. Three right-hooks send those cavemen careening clear off the level. These Trogs take as much abuse as the Geico Cavemen. If the dinos have one weakness, its that once a direction is pressed, they wander in that direction automatically until you hit a different direction. Until you get used to this, you’ll fall into the drink a few times and will have slight troubles navigating the mazes.
You shouldn't count your eggs before they hatch, as the cavemen gradually become more cunning and dangerous as the game progresses. The game starts innocently enough. Trogs waltz right into your punches, fall off the edge of the level and into the water, get stuck in tar pits, and even run into their own camp fires. However, you'll soon meet fiends who will hurl large, wooden wheels in an attempt to turn you into dino flavored mashed potatoes, Trogs equipped with spring shoes who can nab enough air to make Kain jealous and who can squash you like a bug, and barbarians armed with deadly clubs who run at speeds to put an NFL wide receiver to shame. To compound the aforementioned problem, there are speed-down mushrooms that occasionally impede your progress.
Fortunately, when the action gets too tense for too long, the game grants you one of three bonus stages: one allows you to stay in t-rex form for a few seconds and feast on Trogs, another lets you collect shiny diamonds of various shapes and colors, and the final bonus stage allows you to roast cavemen to your heart's content. Following most bonus stages is a cut scene taking place in Trog's Cave. Here you'll witness a fiendish neanderthal dream up more dastardly plans to capture and feast on the dinos. Usually, these serve as a segue into the next set of stages, with the idea presented in Trog's Cave being the most prevalent theme.
After 50 levels, the egg robbing quest ends. There is really no ending besides the game praising your efforts in big, neon font. Considering this was originally an arcade game with an objective to score as many points as possible, this isn't really a letdown. Fortunately, the game sports three difficulty settings that allow the pre-historic plundering to continue.
At its core, Trog is similar to Pac-Man, a great game in its own right. However, Trog is a real blast from the past since it sports so many weapons, various obstacles, and even three fun-filled bonus games. The Stone Age was never this much fun.
Community review by randxian (April 15, 2010)
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