Void Terrarium 2

Void Terrarium 2 by developer Nippon Ichi Software Inc. and publisher NIS America Inc.PS4 review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

void* tRrLM2(); is certainly one heck of a title. You could also just call it "Void Terrarium 2". A cute but weirdly dark roguelite and Tamagotchi mash-up. What does this cutely drawn dread have in store for you? Well, let's find out.

So first off, I'd like to preface this by letting you know that if you've played the first Void Terrarium, you pretty much know everything you need to. Void Terrarium 2 doesn't differ a whole lot, and what is different isn't a make-or-break deal. Short version is, if you liked the first title, you'll like this one. For those unfamiliar with the first title, no worries! I've got you covered!

In Void Terrarium, and Void Terrarium 2, you take on the role of Robbie, a cute looking robot in a post apocalyptic world. Turns out humans have died out, but lucky you, you've discovered a young girl (in the first game), Toriko! Unfortunately, the atmosphere is chock full of these nasty contagious spores. As such your job, along with the helpful AI bot, is to build and manage a terrarium for Toriko in order to keep her clean, happy, and well fed. 

Obviously this isn't necessarily the easiest task, as food isn't readily available. Furthermore, the wastelands that now make up the vast majority of the world aren't exactly the friendliest of places. Filled with mutated and corrupted monsters, as well as rogue robots, you need to fight your way through the wastelands, discovering items, food, and blueprints to bring back to your home base for use in Toriko's terrarium.

So, how is this a Tamagotchi/roguelite mash-up? Well, when you're in your base, you need to clean Toriko's terrarium, feed her, pet her, get her medicine if she falls ill, and generally just take care of her. You can also craft items for the terrarium in order to decorate it. When you need to craft things though, you need to traverse the wasteland, which is where the roguelite aspect comes in.

Exploring the wasteland is no simple matter, but it is quite arduous. Luckily for you, Robbie is quite durable! Even if Robbie "dies", all his items get converted to resources, except food and blueprints, and he is sent back to the main base. Lucky for you, all your items except food and blueprints get turned into resources on a successful run anyways, and you still get to keep the food either way. Blueprints require you to actually return to base from a completed excursion however.

While out exploring, this is when the roguelite aspects take play. Each zone you explore consists of a number of floors, each with a series of connected rooms. You can find enemies, items, or traps in these rooms. Whenever you leave on an expedition, you will always start at level 1. Defeating enemies, or using a certain item you can find, will increase your level. Upon leveling, your stats go up and you get to pick from one of two randomly chosen upgrades. Take note however that these upgrades are selected randomly, so if you're hoping to see the rare and good upgrades, you may be disappointed.

As you progress through floors, enemies will also be getting stronger. Sometimes you can find weapons, shields, or throwable items such as grenades to help you on your way. Trust me when I say not getting a weapon for an entire run makes things really difficult. Even without any decent items to find, you still have to fight your way toward victory though. Each "room" in a floor is connected by tunnels, and floors are traversed by moving Robbie on a sort of square grid. You can see what's in your room, but not in other rooms. Once you enter a connecting tunnel, your vision gets restricted. Both you and enemies move in order, where enemies will move after you perform an action, whether that's attacking, moving, or using an item.

There are a few things to keep in mind while fighting with the local wildlife, mainly energy consumption and skills. Robbie only has a limited amount of energy, and running out causes his health to deplete. It's a good idea to keep energy restoring items around. Skills are generally attached to weapons, and for an energy cost will perform an action. For example, a lance may have the Kite skill, which attacks and does a backstep at the same time. There is a cooldown though, so be aware of that. As an added note, if you're standing on a tile with an item and can't pick it up because your inventory is full, you can still interact with it through your items menu.

Fighting isn't the only thing you''ll be doing in the wilderness though, because Toriko needs constant upkeep! At a certain point you get a sort of robotic nanny/monitor that you can give instructions to for an energy cost, thereby keeping Toriko clean and well fed. There are a few other mechanics that are pretty common staples to the roguelite genre, all of which can be reviewed either through the main menu or through some tutorial/practice stages set up in-game.

After returning, you can craft plot items to progress the story, or various decor to give Robbie some permanent status upgrades. That's right, even in death not all is lost, as you can come back stronger than ever if you keep making new decor items. You may only receive the bonus the first time you craft a new item, but they can really make the difference between a successful run or a failure.


Overall, I have to say I really enjoy playing Void Terrarium 2. The gameplay is enjoyable, and keeping Toriko healthy is an interesting mechanic to keep things fresh. The graphic design is cute but hides a darker nature, and the soundtrack is both fitting and engaging. Void Terrarium 2 is a (mostly) cute exploration into a destroyed world, and while it can be frustrating at times, I felt it was a thoroughly well fleshed-out title. While maybe not offering much more than its predecessor, there's no reason to fix what isn't broken either.

Score: 8.5 / 10



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