void tRrLM();++ //Void Terrarium++ Deluxe Edition
In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream (Cause Everyone’s Dead)
Some games are immensely popular, quickly becoming “must plays” and the subject of ire should players decide not to play said titles until years following their release. Then some games are completely under the radar of many, offering the same amount of quality gameplay as other AAA titles. Void Terrarium is definitely of the latter, being released silently in 2020 for the Switch and PS4, and receiving a deluxe enhanced edition early 2021 for the PS5. Perhaps if the game was released on PC, more people would have heard of it and played it, but, that’s where I come in to chime about the game itself.
Void Terrarium has you play the role of a robot who finds a young girl in comatose as well as a chatty AI who does nothing more than cry when situations go wrong and occasionally give sound advice, leaving the robot to do all the heavy lifting. In any case, the robot ventures into various dungeons that once inhabited humans, fighting the other robots there of all kinds, and gathering resources to ensure the safety and stability of the girl who it ends up taking care of.
Void Terrarium Is Half Roguelite Half Management
The game plays like most other roguelikes as the robot enters various randomly generated dungeons, leveling up, gathering resources and items. Combat is simplified to an attack button as well as macros used for skills, having elements of turn-based combat as enemies within the general vicinity move after the player moves. This means that players will need to plan several moves to ensure they get the first strike over an opponent while also being mindful of cooldowns on skills and other events.
Not only are players expected to monitor their health, but also their energy or EN for short, dictated on the upper left and upper right bars respectively. The EN meter acts as a soft timer, gradually depleting as the robot moves throughout the dungeon. Upon reaching zero, the robot’s health will begin to rapidly deplete, meaning that players will need to be cautious of their time spent underground.
Void Terrarium Tugs At Your Heartstrings
Energy can be recovered through battery item pick-ups and eating food found in the dungeon. This serves as a strategy because food is needed to feed the human child on the surface and the game ends should she perish. This also means that players will have to decide whether or not it’s best to consume food for emergency energy for one last push, or to preserve it and return to the surface for the sake of the child. These types of decisions are what give Void Terrarium its challenge, as you’re not looking out for your well-being, but the child herself.
The graphics are simple yet artistic, kind of reminding me of something out of a storybook. In the overworld, the graphics and gameplay are 2D, while in dungeons it takes on a pseudo-3D look, allowing the player to move in eight directions. The art and the music fit with the overall lighthearted nature of the game, giving hope in a world where all life is desolate.
A Human Life Is Worth More Than Yours
Also keeping up with most roguelikes, there’s a chance the player will go through RNG hell. Some runs will be quick and easy, reaching the objective in record time without any hassle, yet other runs will be cut short as you frantically try to reach the portal to the next floor while avoiding traps that will hinder your progress. It’s very “trial-and-error,” yet the consequences for dying aren’t as severe as other roguelikes. You don’t lose any key items you come across and any items you lose will be converted into crafting resources, necessary to build items that are meant to progress the plot.
Overall, Void Terrarium is a surprise hit and fans of dungeon crawlers will greatly enjoy what the game has to offer. It’s not up there with the likes of Hades, but it has the charm that makes it unique and an experience that players of all skill levels can enjoy.
Void Terrarium is released on the Switch, PS4, and PS5