Review – void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium 2

The original void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (try pronouncing this name three times in a row) only came out a few years ago, doing well enough critically and comercially, with a decent cult following getting invested in the series. NIS America clearly crunched through the pandemic and dropped the aptly named void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium 2. Which from this point forward I’m just going to call Void Terrarium 2 because yeah, that name is a bit of a nightmare.

Void Terrarium 2

I love how vibrant the brighter colours are.

Let’s start easy with what I consider to be the best feature of it all: I love this game’s soundtrack. Honestly, Void Terrarium 2 may have the best soundtrack of the year, or at least the best I have heard so far in 2023, and that’s saying something. It’s great that the soundtrack in this game is exceptional, because there isn’t much else going on soundwise. No voice overs, minimal ambient sounds, nothing like that. And honestly, I did not particularly care.

Void Terrarium 2 also features the same graphics as the original. It’s cute, if not for a touch haunting. Everything in the overworld has a sort of paper aesthetic. The main gameplay features small, almost chibi style sprites for Robbie, your character as you explore this adorable post-apocalyptic landscape, one that’s pretty much identical to the one featured in its predecessor.

Void Terrarium 2 Level up

Pick your poison whenever you level up.

So now to touch on the main gameplay, Void Terrarium 2 plays like a classic dungeon crawler, not unlike hits like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. You slowly venture through various ever-changing dungeons in order to collect resources for your terrarium, the main hub in the game. Just like in the original game, the focus is on the terrarium; you go out of your way into these dangerous areas purely and simply because you want to improve it.

Some things you need to collect involve components to craft aiding items for your friend, whose arm may or may not fall off at some point and need to be reattached. Don’t you just hate when that happens? As you progress through dungeons you’ll level up and get perks to help make it a bit easier, but considering the game is also a roguelike, your levels don’t stack in between dungeons and runs.

Void Terrarium 2 Recycling

Recycle everything, craft more stuff.

One thing I found fun throughout dungeon crawling was that you’ll find equipment with different effects and abilities. Like a hammer that will make you stronger and let you block off a path for a short time, or a shield bubble to raise your defense. It creates some interesting situations, but that leads to the issue with Void Terrarium 2. If you don’t find any good items in your run, you’re doomed. There is essentially no level of “skill” here the way there could be in a game like Hades or Dead Cells, as you are going to get rocked by the first strong enemy you come across, and it won’t take too long.

Void Terrarium 2 Gameplay

Smack these robots. And cacti. And everything else that comes after you.

Void Terrarium 2 is a fun experience. Much like the Mystery Dungeon games, its gameplay loop is an ideal pick for portable play, be it Switch or Steam Deck, but I still had a good time with it on the PS4. Each run can be quite quick and give you new things to collect and craft in the hub, giving it a surprisingly arcadey, “pick up and play” vibe. It’s a great game if you like dungeon crawlers in general, for it offers a lot of variety to the original formula. It’s a natural progression from other games in the genre, and a great progression from the first game for fans that checked that one out.

Graphics: 7.5

The graphics in Void Terrarium 2 are cute. It’s great juxtaposed to the fact that the game is almost a little creepy. Everything is distinguishable, and the layouts to the maps are clear you’re in different locations.

Gameplay: 8.5

Void Terrarium 2 takes everything from other games in the Mystery Dungeon / dungeon crawler style and builds upon them. The key downside is the fact that a slightly unlucky run will absolutely result in failure.

Sound: 9.0

Void Terrarium 2 has easily the best soundtrack so far this year of any game I have played. The atmosphere of each area and the vibe of the game are nailed with the music.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Void Terrarium 2 is a lot of fun, if not hindered by the fact that getting a string of unlucky runs will definitely put a damper on wanting to keep playing. That said, just like a lot of other rogue-like/roguelite games a good run can result in a cathartic few hours of gameplay.

Final Verdict: 7.5

void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4.

Reviewed on PlayStation 4.

A copy of void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium 2 was provided by the publisher.