While we already told you that Playfish's Trouble Makers is now available to download for those lucky enough to have access to the Canadian iTunes store, we've actually had a chance to get our hands on the game, and have found that while it does offer a lot of promise, it's an incredibly slow-moving game at the start, that will likely turn more away than it draws in.
The basic premise of Trouble Makers surrounds you creating various sizes, shapes and colors of monsters called Trouble Makers. These Trouble Makers serve as your employees in your lab of sorts, which is full of rocks that can be tapped on to destroy them (spending energy in the process). In the process of destroying the rocks, you'll earn coins, experience points and genes, with various combinations of these genes being required to complete the genetic blueprints of different Trouble Makers.
At the beginning, you'll have just a single Trouble Maker to put to work, but will eventually be able to have a whole army, if you will, each working on a different Contraption, or machine. These machines are themed with destructive powers, or to simply be annoying. For instance, a Profanophone will allow you to generate mass amounts of profanity (represented by special text characters) over different lengths of time. Depending on how long you'd like to wait, you can set each Contraption to operate for a few minutes or a few hours at a time, only to come back and earn the appropriate amount of profits based on how long you had to wait.
Add in a few quests to complete and decorations that you can add to your lab and you have the basic gist of Trouble Makers. It's not that the game is bad in its design, as the unique "evil" twist on the gameplay is a fun one. However, it takes a long time to make any real progress, and in a world where so many games release for free each week, Trouble Makers misses the mark with its lack of an instantly addictive quality. You'll run out of energy far too quickly, just after finishing the tutorial, and will need to wait a few hours for even the most basic Trouble Maker to be created, regardless of how many genes you were able to gather before running out of "fuel."
Since this is ultimately an EA title, the game's social features are handled through the company's Origin social platform, which unfortunately lacks any ability to hook you up with random players, leaving you to fill out your friends list with those players that are already your friends on Origin (or to track down the usernames or emails of anyone that you know is also playing). If you can find some friends within the game, you'll be able to visit their labs and play pranks on your friends while there.
With a redesign of the beginning portions of the game, or even just some major tweaking for how long Trouble Makers need to craft, there could be a lot more to this one. Ultimately, without those, you're looking at a fairly weak social game that won't even be social if you're lacking in a lot of Origin social network friends. There's potential here, but this first version of the game simply doesn't stack up to its many competitors.
Click here to download Trouble Makers on iOS (for Canadian users) --->
Did you try out Trouble Makers for yourself? Do you think the game can live up to its potential? Sound off in the comments.