Terrorarium – Steam Quick-Hit Review

Cute moogu creatures and no less lovely grandma await you in Terrorarium, an action/platformer game from Stitch Media, featuring puzzles, monsters, wanton destruction, and more.

We play as a feisty grandma who shuffles through the mazes surrounded by an army of murderous mushrooms known as the moogu. However, they are more than a simple escort! You can use them to break through walls, feed them to plants or use them to distract monsters from a particular passage you want to use.

If you find certain fruits, you can make your little army evolve for further playthrough. You should always keep an eye on the little moogu or, rather, their number as it would be required to overcome certain obstacles. It is up to you to keep them from drowning in water, burning in lava, prevent them from getting eaten – or to reload the game if your little swiss knife army of mushrooms got stuck in textures, which happens frustratingly frequently enough.

The moogu follow their elderly overlord at all times but if some of them lag behind, you can get them to catch up or to pass through the areas unavailable for the granny by whistling sharply. Take care, if you leave them alone for too long, they may die of loneliness!

The main mechanics of the title are quite simple, but the further you get, the more inventive you have to be in their applications and combinations.

Collecting special fruits in the gardens of the planet will allow our feisty grandma to evolve her helpful mushrooms into one of the four available species. Each of them has its own special abilities: breaking through obstacles, puffing up and bouncing, setting things on fire, etc. To overcome certain challenges, you will have to think about the appropriate steps and select the corresponding moogu type for solving each puzzle.

Correct planning is very important for passing each level, and some of them might take you a great deal of time. Obstacles have their own counters: how many moogu you need for the task, be it burning something, breaking things apart or even simply feeding the cute little mushrooms to monsters.

Speaking of monsters, the levels are filled with various creatures that will be getting in the way of our mushroom overlord: golems, tumbleweeds, cockroaches, beetles, wasps, and many more.

The gameplay allows you to rotate the camera at any possible angle, inspect the areas around the granny or scout ahead to plan your route. Occasionally, the transparency of the walls is not enough to be able to navigate your way completely.

The keyboard-and-mouse controls are extremely simple. By default, you can move the grandma with WASD buttons, aim to throw your mushrooms with Ctrl, and use the special abilities with Shift. Additionally, you can call the moogu to you by pressing Space or order them to remain put with Q.

The game has a fair share of bugs that can spoil the pleasure of your playthrough: the moogu and the granny get stuck sometimes, the menu fails to react to pressing certain keys, and other minor inconveniences.

To sum it up, Terrorarium is an interesting spatial puzzle with a simple plot. Our evil genius Grandma wants to get first place in some kind of gardening competition and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal.

Despite the uninvolved plot, the developers have done a massive amount of work on the level design and puzzles that can wreck your brain for hours. Light music, easy ambient sounds, and luscious graphics can delight players’ senses during the playthrough.

Pros: 

  • Aesthetics
  • Moogu army of wanton destruction!
  • Interesting mechanics
  • Build mode

Cons:

  • Bugs
  • Lack of story
  • Price

Similar to: Pikmin, Overlord

Note: the Steam key was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.

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