Indie

Potatoman Seeks the Troof Makes Platforming Surreal | Review

A look at the indie retro-style platformer for PC and Ouya.

Potatoman Seeks the Troof for PC

Every so often, I come across a game that takes an extremely old formula and format, and somehow makes it into something new and interesting. With Potatoman Seeks the Troof, PixelJam creates an insane, fast-paced experience that combines the speed and pressure of modern games with the unforgiving difficulty and look of games from eras long gone. The distinctly-dated graphical style and sometimes-jarring chiptune soundtrack, the game certainly succeeds at the ‘retro’ angle. But with so much focus on recreating this bygone age, does it hold up to modern gamers’ standards?


What Potatoman Seeks the Troof does best is in the aesthetic of it. From simulated motion-blur to strange, out of focus coloring, it’s nailed the look of playing on an old low-resolution CRT monitor. Combined with the Atari-style graphics and frantic background music, the breakneck speed of play catches up to you. While it still essentially throws easier obstacles at the forefront, Potatoman wastes no time in throwing curveballs and difficult traps very early on. After this, the onslaught only subsides in small areas before shifting focus again and throwing out new dangerous foes and perils.

Potatoman Seeks the Troof Desert

Some creatures are both deadly and philosophical, offering words along Potatoman’s journey of discovery. They’re not always encouraging.

Make no mistake: Potatoman Seeks the Troof is not for the faint of heart or the easily-discouraged. While making your way through any given area can eventually be worked into a readily-repeatable pattern, the trial-and-error method that usually leads to finding these patterns can be a bit draining. Luckily, starting back up is quick, and usually you’ll be relatively near where you died. When you respawn, you’ll be shown your remaining lives. Run out, and you’re going from the beginning of the current level again, with a larger stock of spare tries than before.

Potatoman Seeks the Troof City

Each level represents an area explored by our intrepid troof-seeker, who may be from a planet of nudists. The city poses some confusing play and dangerous traffic to dodge through.

In all honesty, Potatoman Seeks the Troof seems to do very well at being what it’s set out to be: a difficult, surreal, and innovative adaptation of classic gameplay and aesthetic. With quick, easy controls and objectives, it keeps things simple enough to be very playable, but presents an intense challenge. With developer PixelJam asking $3.99 on Steam and available for Ouya, it’s got enough challenge and play to be worth the price of admission. While I’d point out again that it’s likely not going to be for everyone, for those with simple tastes looking for a quirky, challenging game, look no further.

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