Undoubtedly inspired by some legendary franchises, Troublemaker is an action-adventure-beat-’em-up title developed by Gamecom Team. Personally, I have always enjoyed beat-’em-up games, and Troublemaker follows that trend for the most part. Developed by a team based in Indonesia, Troublemaker is unapologetically Indonesian, which is the biggest part of the game’s charm.
Players take control of Budi, a new transfer to one of the finest high schools in Indonesia. Although Budi promises not to fight, his new school has an annual student fighting tournament known as Raise Your Gang. As mentioned, Troublemaker is unapologetically Indonesian, and that is my personal favorite part of the game. I have never been to Indonesia, but if you told me that it was pretty much like it is depicted in Troublemaker (aside from an annual student fighting tournament), I would be inclined to believe you. That said, the story itself is somewhat over-the-top but fits in well with the overall feel of the game.
Though the game has various aspects not focused on fighting, the fighting itself is the primary gameplay portion. Combat is what you would expect in a beat-’em-up style game, with the ability to use light, heavy, advanced, and sick moves. Combat typically occurs in a sectioned-off arena, with some environment objects that you can utilize in your fights. While the combat is fun, it is definitely janky with some issues. The one that bothered me the most was that actions or blocks were at times unresponsive, leading to unintended actions occurring.
In terms of graphics and aesthetics, Troublemaker is stylish if nothing else. The menus, presentation, and character art are all extremely stylish and vibrant. Unfortunately, the in-game portions do lack in comparison. Many characters do not look that similar to their artwork, having a relatively bland character model instead. While this was a bit of a bummer, it is understandable for a smaller team. Despite that, the character models do look different enough to distinguish between characters, the only issue is that a character like Boby’s hair color in his artwork does not match that of his character model.
Talking in Class
Troublemaker’s audio is somewhat surprisingly decent. There is an abundance of voice acting in Indonesian which I personally enjoyed. It brought a feeling of authenticity that having text-only would not have. While the background music was a bit generic, it was oddly atmospheric for the title.
Overall, Troublemaker is a charming, yet somewhat flawed beat-’em-up title. While the atmosphere, presentation, setting, and ideas were executed well, there were some glaring issues that affected the overall package. Despite these issues, gamers even remotely interested in a beat-’em-up title set in an Indonesian High School should take a closer look at the game. Troublemaker is a great example of the unique perspective and style that a small development team can bring to a game. I would recommend Troublemaker to anyone looking for a fun and unique beat-’em-up experience with a distinctly Indonesian twist.
*** A review code was provided by the publisher ***
- Indonesian charm
- Voice acting
- Janky combat
- Bland models