Nippon Ichi Software has released a number of unusual titles over the years. There were jigsaw puzzle games, deep stories centered around a labyrinth, along with countless other one off stories. Void Terrarium was always a little different from those previously mentioned experiences. It had a deceptively simple narrative about finding hope in a hopeless situation. With Void Terrarium 2 players need to revisit this world, and see how things are progressing in this unique world. With familiar mechanics, and a new story to explore, is Void Terrarium 2 a worthy sequel, or is it better left forgotten?
Void Terrarium 2 takes place after the events of the first game. It helps to be familiar with the premise, though the concept isn’t so complicated you can’t pick it up along the way. Essentially, you play as a robot in an apocalyptic future. One day you find a human, Toriko, who you need to protect from the diseases and other problems that exists in this unfortunate time.
The same is true for Void Terrarium 2, though there is a bit more insight into the past, along with new challenges to overcome with Toriko. Since a lot of the adventure is reacting to various unexpected events, impact hinges on how much you care about Toriko. If you care about her struggles it makes everything feel a bit more personal, with those who don’t likely seeing Void Terrarium 2 as a long series of fetch quests.
Gameplay is essentially unchanged from the previous adventure. Levels are randomly generated, with success hinging coming down to tactics and/or luck. Some levels will have a lot of enemies, others resources, forcing players to figure out the best course of action. Stages also ask players to level, collect resources/weapons, with every run having the potential to end in failure if things don’t work out.
The concept works really well with the narrative, as there is a general sense of a struggle. Sometimes getting really far is easy, whereas other times you’ll use up your energy and die. These mechanics can be mitigated with upgrades, items found, or just changing your play style. It also gets easier as your resources expand, though it never hits a point where victory is assured.
While gameplay is generally interesting, it sounds deeper than it actually is. Hallways will obscure your view, making certain fights unavoidable. Levels also have items scattered about, so maybe you’ll find energy/health to stay alive, or perhaps the floor will only have grenades and you unfortunately wipe. Even though tactics are important, success generally requires some amount of luck to be successful.
Toriko Deserves all the Gifts
This doesn’t stop the adventure from being fun, for some it might even improve it, though it can make the outcome rather underwhelming. Thankfully, most adventures are more about collecting something, making it a lot easier to know when to call it quits.
Outside of exploration, Toriko works like a pet sim. You’ll need to take care of her, resources you collect can improve her situation, along with being able to customize her world to a degree. These mechanics are similar to Cult of the Lamb, though far less demanding. It doesn’t take long to make sure Toriko is okay, even if you’ll sometimes need to take care of her over finishing an adventure, but failing to do so can result in her death.
Void Terrarium 2 Review Verdict
Overall, Void Terrarium 2 isn’t a massive change from the last experience. There is more to see, do, and experience, but the core elements are the same. Despite this, it’s still an interesting adventure that will appeal to fans of the genre, loved the original, or just want fun action game with some unique elements.
[Editor’s Note: Void Terrarium 2 was reviewed on PlayStation 5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]