If you’re in search of a beautiful, unique roguelike experience, then void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium should be on your radar. It tells a somber but enchanting tale of hope and destruction while providing players with the ability to overcome obstacles and bring blueprints to life. Let’s discuss the different aspects that come together to form Void Terrarium and get right into this review.
When you aren’t reading dialogue or crafting, you will find yourself exploring dungeon levels for supplies and power-ups. The dungeon levels grow exceedingly more difficult, but you come across items that help you (e.g. batteries to restore your energy). You will also level up as you make your way through each procedurally generated stage, allowing you to choose between one of two different passive or active traits/abilities (e.g. higher defense or attack). Upon reaching the next level, one of your choices might be a new ability for your hotbar. For example, an ability that delivers a much stronger attack than your normal ones. These will take more energy and must recharge, but are more than worth it when you feel swamped.
Status effects might feel a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially as there are no checkpoints to save your progress in the dungeon. This adds to the roguelike experience, however, so fans of more difficult in-game situations where they must redo all of the stages in a dungeon will appreciate the lack of checkpoints.
You might find yourself in a “Monster House” on certain levels of the dungeon where you are surrounded by many enemies and items useful for your crafting. These can feel daunting at the beginning of your gameplay experience, but are worth the trouble even if you do die. You’ll need to collect such scattered items to proceed with the story and fulfill objectives (i.e. protect and care for the girl) that involve crafting blueprints into necessary items.
All in all, Void Terrarium offers a solid roguelike gameplay experience that is difficult, but fair. The premise makes it all the more unique, as most roguelike games are mindless combat-oriented grinds. This one balances a system of crafting, fighting, and taking narrative breaks very well, making it a particularly nice addition to the genre.
The visuals in Void Terrarium blew me away. Right off the bat, the game presented itself as an artistic spectacle. The dark atmosphere coupled with the bright reds and greens strewn throughout beautifully accompanies the setting. The dungeon levels could be more unique, but under the given premise fit into the story perfectly.
There’s nothing better than a good soundtrack, and Void Terrarium delivers an exceptional one to perfectly compliment the atmosphere. It has a sci-fi feel that fits into the post-apocalyptic scenario perfectly. For some compelling immersion, turn off your lights, dock your Switch to your television, and turn up the sound.
You play as an awoken helper robot known as “Robbie” in Void Terrarium, making his way through a post-apocalyptic underground world in ruins. A somber A.I. you come across lets you know that he is the cause of the catastrophic setting– he was built to help aid humanity but decided to do otherwise upon finding out how destructive people can be, deeming humans a danger to rid the world of. There is, however, one remaining human girl resting in the midst of the rubble who both the A.I. and your robot, Robbie, feel inclined to protect and save. Your goal quickly becomes to help reawaken the unconscious human and then to care for her.
The story grows in its depth, but without revealing too much, it is a bittersweet tale in which you will take on the role of a carer and protector of what little is left of humanity. I found the story to be well-written and charming– qualities I rarely see in roguelike titles’ plots.
If I could recommend this game more than once, I would. Void Terrarium felt like a breath of fresh air in the roguelike genre, delivering a unique experience that felt both immersive and fairly difficult. The visuals and soundtrack alone make me feel inclined to recommend players snatch this title up as fast as they can, with the story and gameplay coming in as other excellent features.
Thank you to Nippon Ichi Software for this review code. Make sure to buy your own copy here and check out some of our other Switch reviews.