Void Terrarium is equal parts fun ‘mystery dungeon’ roguelike and virtual pet simulator.
Void Terrarium is a marriage of two genres – pet simulator and mystery dungeon roguelike. The game’s adorable hand-drawn look invokes memories of Bravely Default on 3DS. The roguelike portion of the game is a real joy to play, thanks to varied mechanics and a story that unfolds as you take care of Toriko, your tiny human ward.
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Publisher: NIS America
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4
Price: $24.99 digital, $59.99 physical collector’s edition
The publisher provided a review code for this review.
Concept – A perfect marriage of two genres
The game is a mix of classic mystery dungeon style roguelike with a Tamagotchi human to care for. Robbie the robot must clean, feed, and find new items for the tiny human in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
I fell in love with the art style and the melancholic EDM soundtrack. If you ever had a Tamagotchi as a kid and loved to care for it, you will love this game. Even if a run ends in defeat, you are still harvesting resources to craft items for Toriko.
There’s a story that unfolds in the background after Robbie meets the factoryAI. It alludes to something terrible that happened in the past, which made all the humans disappear. Robbie soon learns factory AI’s role in the post-apocalyptic setting.
Toriko is the only known human left alive in the world after the surface of the Earth became unlivable. FactoryAI, tasked with digging shelter and protecting humanity, failed to do so.
Graphics and Audio
The lo-fi soundtrack lends itself well to the setting. The adorable hand-painted art style is a pleasure to look at, making decorating Toriko’s terrarium sort of like decorating your house in Animal Crossing.
The enemy types are varied and distinct if a little bland. I won’t hold that against the game though since each expedition is downright fun to play. The soundtrack is a sheer pleasure to listen to and well worth checking out the collector’s edition to own.
The gameplay follows the ‘mystery dungeon’ roguelike formula pretty well when exploring as Robbie. Each level, the player can choose one of two helpful skills. These skills can be active or passive abilities that grant major upgrades to Robbie.
The caretaker aspect of the game follows those late 90s toys – Tamagotchi. Robbie is searching for food, supplies, and medicine to keep Toriko happy. The Pet Nanny interface players can see while out and about looks just like one of those old virtual pets.
The Pet Nanny enables you to monitor Toriko’s health, cleanliness, and check for illnesses while in a dungeon.
Meanwhile, the terrarium decoration aspect feels inspired by Animal Crossing and Happy Home Designer. Players can collect crafting parts to create a more welcoming atmosphere for Toriko. It’s fun to delve into the dungeon with a specific purpose in mind.
Changes in the weather of a level can bring all-new challenges. Items you can find become more contaminated than usual and may make enemies stronger. Some resources may only appear during Blights, giving you a valuable opportunity to farm rare resources.
The Contamination Rate is shown on every single item you acquire in the Wasteland. You even need to collect contaminated items as a crafting resource, so they’re not always a net negative in this game.
And unlike most roguelikes where death means a loss of progression, a death in Void Terrarium is beneficial. Items, weapons, and MODs are all broken down into components that can be used to craft other items.
That means even if you have an unlucky run in void Terrarium, you don’t feel as though the life was wasted. The core loop of obtaining new items to upgrade Toriko’s enclosure or cure a new disease is a satisfying one.
Void Terrarium is a compelling mix of mystery dungeon roguelike gameplay and virtual pet simulator.
Conclusion – Void Terrarium Switch
Void Terrarium on Switch is a successful mix of two genres that feels weird and wonderful to play. Roguelike fans will appreciate the deep level of customization possible for each run.
Plus, it’s hard not to get attached to Toriko as you find new items for the terrarium. I found the game hard to put down and kept thinking about it even when I wasn’t playing. The sheer amount of replayability, even after factory AI’s story is told is amazing.
Void Terrarium is a great take on the familiar mystery dungeon formula. The addition of a Tamagotchi virtual pet creates a desire for just one more run. The soundtrack is absolutely worth owning.
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