Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS))
Developer|Publisher: BitNine Studio | Whisper Games
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: US $15.99 | UK £14.39 | EU € 15,99
Release Date: April 1st, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Vicarious PR.
Puts the Error into tERRORbane
tERRORbane is a puzzle adventure that pokes fun at bugs and glitches. Something all gamers have experienced at some stage. The game decided to release on April Fool’s day. Maybe that was by design since this is a very amusing title. But joking aside, tERRORbane is a short narrative-focused game that will likely score a fair few chuckles out of anyone willing to sit down and give it the time.
Search for the Bugs
tERRORbane on the surface appears to be a retro-inspired RPG, but you soon realize you’re in for a very different experience than you might expect. You play as ‘the player’ who has been tasked by a rather big-headed developer to test out his new game. The only trouble is, it’s absolutely loaded with glitches which you are tasked to find and record on a notepad. The developer will regularly interrupt your play sessions to justify his glitches and gaming faults. Often blaming you as the player for just not playing the game properly and not understanding his genius. It’s a narrative that’s certainly designed to make you chuckle a fair few times. I don’t want to spoil too much since this is an experience that’s best to go into blind.
What I can say is it’s full of surprises and it will bend and weave in all sorts of bizarre but often comical directions. You’ll get the most out of the humour if you are pretty well versed in your pop culture gaming knowledge. This game makes references to many popular video games such as Final Fantasy, Dark Souls, Pokemon and many many others. For me though the best use of humour is the commentary of glitches and bugs in video games today. Something all gamers have had experience with at some stage.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward. You play as the knight character tERRORbane, you simply walkabout, interact with objects and make various choices that will affect the path you take through the game. The game does include some light puzzle-solving such as pushing objects or selecting the correct action during an RPG style battle. If you fail you simply restart the battle again which is not too far away.
The challenge is never too taxing and you don’t even need to find all of the glitches to progress through the game’s narrative. If you’re a gamer that likes to seek out every little secret you’ll probably have a pretty fun time wandering around interacting with everything you see. A single playthrough will take about three hours. So not a typical RPG. This may also come as a relief to those with little time to game or hate to grind. While short, there is an incentive to replay to see alternative routes through the game.
Expect the Unexpected
The graphics are mostly in the familiar pixel design a bit like a typical classic RPG. Even the initial fantasy style soundtrack feels pretty familiar for this type of game. What clearly stands out is how the game applies the glitches and bugs. All I’ll say is expect the unexpected from the environments you explore. Your main character will often showcase glitches like the sprite splitting or his head appearing upside down. It’s all amusing but sometimes the faults can be a little jarring to the eyes.
The game is mostly text-based but the developer is fully voice acted and goes a great job with their performance. The obvious question you may be asking reading this review is; does this game have actual bugs or glitches? I’m happy to report, no. The game runs very well in TV and handheld modes.
Conclusion – The Good Kinda Glitches
I have to say I wasn’t quite sure how to rate tERRORbane. Since the game at its core really just has the player walking around searching for glitches and progressing the story. One could say this is a retro-looking walking simulator. This design most certainly won’t suit everybody, particularly if you’re looking for any form of challenge. At the end of the day, it did get a chuckle out of me now and then and the premises is most definitely different. So I guess I decided to settle on a solid recommendation. If you’re looking for something casual to enjoy you can’t go wrong here.
Final Verdict: I Like It