LadiesGamers Terrorarium

Terrorarium Review (PC)

Game: Terrorarium
Genre: 3D, Action, Puzzle
System: PC
Developer|Publisher: Stitch Media 
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £19.49 |USD $24,99| EU € 20,99
Release Date:  July 28th 2020

Review code provided with many thanks to Evolve PR

Standing out From the Crowd

Most video games play their design safe. They follow popular trends like shooty bang bang games. Or create an experience that mimics other titles that have come before, but put a unique spin on it to make it stand out from the rest. It’s the basic formula that seems to work for many developers. Now and then though you get those developers that branch out into something totally different from the rest. Head into new uncharted territory. Which brings us to Terrorarium. A game that certainly leaves an impression and feels different. But is it worthy of you valuable time? Lets find out.

LadiesGamers Terrorarium
Welcome to something quite different

Granny’s Garden

Terrorarium has you play as granny known as the Gardener. She has a bit of a chip on her shoulder, she has been receiving second place from the Intergalactic Horticulture Society several years in a row. But after she stumbles across some weird mushroom folk called the Moogu she sees a way to finally make her mark. With the help of these minions you go from level to level solving a variety of casual puzzles. Why you go on these adventures to solve puzzles is a little unclear though, making the story feel a little muddled. Despite this the character design is very original. I mean how many games do you as the reader know, where you play as an old lady? With the exception of titles where you can create a character, not many! The gardener is certainly an interesting design choice and I immediately warmed to her even if she appears to have misplaced her trousers. The graphics have this cute welcoming feel with minor dark undertones.

LadiesGamers Terrorarium
Don’t get on the wrong side of this granny

Mushroom Minions

The story campaign is over 25 levels of puzzle based design. You need to lead your army of Moogu to solve the puzzles and reach the end of the level. After which you need to feed a set number of your Moogu to a plant releasing a giant fruit and therefore completing the level. Seems simple enough but there are plenty of enemies and hazards to stop you achieving this goal.

LadiesGamers Terrorarium
An interesting minion for sure

I guess one could compare the gameplay style to Pikmin since you have these tiny mushroom people following you around. But that’s really where the similarities end. In this game you can throw Moogu at walls to break them, use them to lower platforms and sacrifice them to destroy foliage or trigger boulders to distract enemies. You need to be careful though. If the number of Moogu drops to zero you need to restart from the beginning. The levels feel casual and are not too taxing on the player to begin with.

Moments of Frustration

Some levels though are prone to those frustrating moments. For example, I never felt I had full control of the Moogu. You can call them to you, tell them to sleep or fling them about onto objects. However, when trying to guide them round hazards and enemies as best I could they would often die as they decided just to walk into danger. But this wasn’t my only issue. Several levels relied on this platform puzzle where you throw 5 Moogu to lower it then move on it then throw another 5 to lower the next platform. Sounds like a simple principle in theory. Problem is I often found too many of the Moogu just died in the process or would drop down to a lower platform meaning I had to start the puzzle and often the level again. Not particularly appreciated since the game has no checkpoints.

LadiesGamers Terrorarium
These stairwell style puzzles were a nuisance

Get Creative

Terrorariums main selling point appears to be in its level creator. When the game was in early access this was the only mode really available. The developers heavily promoted user generated levels and this feature alone may be what maintains the games longevity provided the community sticks around. I dabbled in the level editor myself but I lacked the creative spark to create something truly wonderful. But if you are the type of gamer that likes to create their own levels this game does offer a decent assortment of customization options. If your a casual gamer though this may seem a little hard to get to grips with as the game offers no tutorials on how to get started.

LadiesGamers Terrorarium
The level creator gives you plenty of options to play with

Down at the Bottom of the Garden

Terrorarium deserves praise for it’s originality but it still feels like a game that needs a little more polish in places. Frustrating level design and awkward mechanics keep this from being something I was able to really enjoy. Hopefully the game will continue to receive patches following its full release. But in its current form I would say to approach this garden with caution.

Final Verdict I’m not sure

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