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»void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium«, how do you said that again?
I wasn’t 100% sure where I was jumping into, when I decided to review void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (I’ll call it simply Void Terrarium in this review). I interested of this peculiar game after seeing some media about it. The game looks visually comfortable with all its various green colours, cute and soft graphics. I thought this must be my first game from the developer/publisher Nippon Ichi Software, but after checking the long list of their games, I found at least few familiar ones; Yomawari: Night Alone and The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince. Nippon Ichi Software seems to mostly bring games into the Japanese market, and not so much to the west. So, I knew I should prepare myself to play a game, that’s possibly more to Japanese gamers, than western?
A tiny robot; //big mind
Void Terrarium begins with a tiny robot, named Robbie, in a vast wasteland. As I went onwards in the 2D gameplay, but 3D graphics, my first encounter was a unconscious human girl lying amongst the garbage. I tried to wake her up, but she wouldn’t. The next encounter was helpful A.I. (artificial intelligence) machine, that searched its data bank, founding information about ‘humans’. The A.I. told humans need food to survive, so my first mission was to find something edible. After few missions, I got her to wake up. After this, my main goal was to keep the human alive, clean, fed, happy, fix her glass terrarium and keep her like a home pet. She was like an actual Tamagotchi :)
void tRrLM(); the whole gameplay
The gameplay itself takes place in randomly generated dungeons. Moving in the dungeons is different, because the camera angle is moved from side to up perspective. Countless tutorials explains all the moves, attacks, collecting items and all the other basics. My mission was to go through the level (dungeon) by walking blindly around. The key element of the gameplay was, that enemies could only move as I move and take same amount of steps. Enemies naturally came after me, so dealing with them was necessary. By facing the enemy I could battle them in a style of turn-based combat, but there was no break after attacks. Robbie has basic attacks and also special attacks, them needing charging after every use. In the beginning dealing with an enemy only took couple of hits, but progressively gets harder.
My little robot could also level up and after every level up, I could choose which power-up I want. They could be active or passive upgrades, such like new moves or better defence.
Robbie also have certain amount of energy in use at every dungeon, meaning, moving around costs energy. After all is gone, the robot’s life bar starts to drain, and when that is used, Robbie dies and’ll be kicked back to the 2D place, which works as some sort of a hub area. The story part happens in the hub and it went on as I completed my missions and came back to the hub. I found food for the human, a mushroom, and got through my first mission! All items I found are turned into materials and material is used to craft other items.
For this being my first »dungeon crawling« game, I did like it, but some things I didn’t. I died too many times and had to start all over again. Void Terrarium might take some time to get into, if never played these types of games before, knowing all the basic rules. The game does encourage to try again and not give up. I believe, that only genre lovers would like to try and try, because the gameplay stays rather similiar. I didn’t finish Void Terrarium and I’m not sure how long it is. I put looong hours to the game, and in the_end.exe, it did give me joy. This is my very first »dungeon crawling« game and I did like the story, gameplay, taking care of my human pet and leisure time with it.
To all dungeon crawlers, or to anyone who wants something different for once; I do recommend void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium to you.
(Review copy kindly provided by the publisher)
“She was like an actual Tamagotchi :)”
Hope in a Cold World – From the creator of A Rose in the Twilight and htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, this harrowing roguelike adventure combines cute visuals with a somber yet whimsical post-apocalyptic story.
Custom-Made Caretaker – Install various equipment, skills, Knacks, and parts you find on your expeditions to improve your ability to explore the wasteland and fight enemies, while preventing threats to Toriko’s health by feeding her, curing over 15 possible diseases, and building her various gadgets to make her life more comfortable in the wasteland.
The Mysteries of the Void – Choose your loadout wisely as you fight through procedurally generated levels in turn-based combat. No two adventures are alike when braving the toxic wastes.
Here is link to the official site, showing extra detailed info about the game, exploration, terrarium and hazards (which is a one hilarious list).