Terrorarium was released into Steam’s Early Access a few months ago, promising destruction and gore in oodles of player-made dungeons. In it, you play as a space granny, tending to her garden on a distant planet from Earth. You grow different Moogu – which are little mushroom-like creatures – in order to overcome all the different issues that your garden faces.
Space Grandmas Can Be Fun, Too
Sadly, this is going to be a relatively short review, because overall I couldn’t find too much to say about Terrorarium. However, the one good point about it is that it does have a build mode. Much like Super Mario Maker, users are encouraged to create and play levels of their own, of which is the core focus of the game. The builder is pretty extensive, and allows users to get into and create some really fantastic levels.
I suppose the other positive that Terrorarium has is that it is a very casual game. You can definitely play for an hour, smash a few levels out, then put it down and come back to it as you please. It’s definitely not something that requires a lot of engagement and forethought. You won’t need to set aside tens of hours to play the game, although, you could if you so chose. That, to me, is a very appealing idea, because sometimes after work I’m so jaded that all I want is to sit down and crack on with playing some mindless games, which Terrorarium allows me to do.
My main problem with Terrorarium – of which there are a few – is that it just isn’t very interesting. There are a number of pre-set maps, alongside the ones that you or other fans can create, but the experience just didn’t feel engaging on any level. There’s very little in the way of a story, which I sort of would assume there would be in any game these days, so even if the puzzles weren’t super engaging, at least I’d be able to enjoy the story. But having neither a fun plot or engaging puzzles makes for a rather uninteresting experience.
I also had a slight issue with the controls. You’re drip fed tutorial messages from easily-missed signs. The camera, for the most part, was quite irritating to control. I was playing with a keyboard and mouse, so perhaps that is the explanation for it. It just felt sloppy and clunky, and if you missed a sign in the early parts, you’d probably never figure out how to do some specific things that must be done later on in the game. It’s certainly not the most intuitive game, which really put me off from the get-go.
The Final Word
Terrorarium is not my cup of tea. Occasionally the puzzles are good, but generally I’d say it’s awfully dull. It lacks a lot of fine tuning that I’d expect for a game of this price, and so I just couldn’t justify recommending it to anyone. Without a real story, or even a decent camera, it’s just too boring to keep playing.