One of the first things that most game reviewers are taught in their career is to judge a game based on its merits no matter what it costs. This is mainly because money means different things to different people. Sixty bucks is a wildly different amount depending on if you are a millionaire or a broke video game reviewer like me. When it comes to Terror Squid, I am going to go against what I was taught as I say that this game is nowhere near worth the amount that it is being charged for it.
This isn't to say that Apt Games' Terror Squid is a bad video game, because it definitely isn't. It is a well-designed arcade title with terrific retro visuals and a stellar soundtrack. On top of this Terror Squid does a great job of using intense visuals and effects to stress the player out as they attempt to survive. No the issue with Terror Squid is that it is a very good game that doesn't offer near enough content to justify its price tag.
Takes Inspiration From Other Arcade Games
Terror Squid pulls its inspirations from other arcade-style titles like Super Hexagon or Geometry Wars with its minimalist graphics and focus on fast-paced and difficult gameplay. Players will take control of the titular squid (more of a triangle, but I digress) as they move around a sphere infinitely. The whole time the squid shoots projectiles behind it that will then circle around the sphere continuously. One touch by these projectiles will kill you immediately, so it is imperative that each one is dodged as quickly as possible.
The big trick here though is if you try to move sporadically to dodge attacks then the spread of the projectiles will be more sporadic as well, which in turn makes them more difficult to avoid. Terror Squid gives you a dash button to help with dodging, but even this can cause some massive challenges as you are just as likely to dodge into another projectile as you are to avoid one. The whole while that you are playing though a meter on either side of the screen will slowly fill up, and when it is full the squid is able to fire a massive shock-wave that can destroy many of these projectiles.
At first I thought this was a way to make my life easier in Terror Squid, but this shock-wave actually makes things even more hectic. Every time you use this ability the projectiles that come out of the squid change dramatically, like one that fires in three different directions or one that spirals out in a circle. Every time the shock-wave bar would fill up I was left wondering if it was better to hold out longer against the current projectile types or clear a solid portion of the projectiles out of my way. Neither of these options are good, but you are forced to choose either way.
While this is all interesting and exciting, it eventually begins to drag as you are forced to do the exact same thing over and over again with no variation in environment or even randomized projectile types. As I played more of Terror Squid I became drastically better at the game, which allowed me to proceed further into a run and gain more points. This felt good for awhile, but I eventually wanted more from it. Other arcade games of this ilk typically have additional game modes to unlock or even harder difficulties to explore. Terror Squid only comes with the one difficultly and mode, so there isn't much to keep players occupied.
Fun But Way Over-Priced
Herein lies my largest issue with Terror Squid, as it just isn't worth it for me to spend ten dollars for that amount of content. Once again this a controversial subject and I try not to speak about a game's price often, but at the end of the day Terror Squid would have done very well as a $ .99 Android game to kill time with while commuting to work. As a full game on consoles though it just doesn't provide enough variety or content to justify its price tag.
Terror Squid is a fun and hectic game that will keep players occupied for a short amount of time, but its charm quickly wore off for me after a couple days of playing. If the developers eventually provide some additional game modes or difficulty levels I may find Terror Squid worth it, but in its current state I really can't recommend it.
TechRaptor reviewed Terror Squid on Nintendo Switch. Developer Apt Games provided a code for the purposes of this review.
- Fast-Paced Gameplay
- Uniquely Difficult
- Tough But Rewarding Choices
- Severe Lack of Content
- Becomes Very Repetitive