The world has ended. All human life has been eradicated (well almost all). And the balance of the future lies with a little robot. Seem like a daunting task? That is what you are up against in the game Void Terrarium, a sci-fi, mystery dungeon, rogue-like game that is now out for the Switch and PS4.
In the game, you control a "mouse" like robot, who, after discovering a human child, is put in charge of bringing it back to life, by the very robot that killed off the human race (although, he regrets the decision to do so).
The game is broken into two different sections, one is a side scrolling world, where you craft items you get from each dungeon run to bring the child back to life. This is also where you get your next mission after you completed the previous mission. This section is absolutely beautiful. The art has this mix of what looks to be hand drawn mixed with some futuristic, soft-blur ascetics. And while there isn't much to do in this world, it's stunning and you'll wish to spend more time in this world.
The other is a top down, dungeon running section. This section of the game doesn't feel as polished as the side scrolling world. Not that it's bad, it just feels different. Here is where the meat of the game lies. As you travel through the dungeon, looking for the material for your crafting quest, you'll run into other robots, the kind that want to kill you.
The combat is pretty straight forward in the game, you have a button to attack, and as you level up, you will learn special abilities for combat too. There is a bit of strategy and turn based elements to the dungeon crawling, as every step you take, the enemies will take a turn moving. This is extremely important when it comes to healing, as you'll need to rest to heal. Every turn you take to rest allows the enemy to take a turn. You'll need to pay attention to your surroundings. Luckily, there is an over-world map that shows the location of enemies as red dots, which helps with determining your strategy.
One other aspect you'll need to pay attention to while dungeon delving is your energy. Once your energy is depleted, you will start to take damage. This makes for a sense of urgency to get the materials you need and get out of the dungeon.
There are some RPG elements to the game, and the leveling system is one that I enjoyed. Each time you level, you are given an option on what you want to select as your upgrade. One option might be to increase your health while the other option might increase your attack or give you a new special ability. It's simple and straight forward and for those that are new to the RPG/dungeon delving genre, it makes for an ease of play.
The other aspect of the game is that it's a rogue-like. In this regards, it's one of the most forgiving rogue-likes that I've played, because even when you die (and you will die), you are allowed to keep what you got on that run. Again, this makes for a nice entry level game for players that are not accustomed to the rogue-like genre.
Void Terrarium is a fun, straight forward rogue-like mystery dungeon with some basic RPG elements. For new players to the genre, this is a great entry level game. For those that are looking for a unique story and a challenge, this game is for you.
Review code provided by NIS America.