Death is imminent in Prospect Games and Tri-Heart Interactive’s new arcade-like title Terrawurm. Tasking players with running for their lives on a distant planet, does this adventure prove to be more than a futile battle?
A brief story can be found in this title, shown briefly before the title screen. Taking place in the far off year of 2064, a global conflict forced humans to flee Earth to Pluto. Devolving into “hoomans,” they set out to find some space fuel in the form of gems to seek out a better planet. However, the Terrawurm is right on their tail, and these brave souls must run for their lives.
It’s not like this story matters that much anyway, as the game focuses squarely on the action. Your band of hoomans commandeers an egg-shaped, six wheeled vehicle, one that is pretty slow going. The square-faced Terrawurm follows your every moment, and stopping for a breather means the game is over. Making their escape, players must avoid crashing into rocks and collect as many gems as they can along the way. The game provides four basic objectives: move, avoid, collect, and use.
It’s a pretty basic concept, but it works as it should. Though rocks randomly spawn on the somewhat small playing field, avoiding obstacles provides a thrill. The game never gives you enough comfort throughout, keeping you on your toes. There are a number of power-ups to be had that provide a brief advantage, including a drill and a magnet. Those who finally succumb to this terror can see how they did time-wise and how many gems they collected compared to their personal best.
Unfortunately, Terrawurm is a basic game at its core. This isn’t the type of game that will captivate players for hours on end; the average playthrough lasts a few minutes, and most players will have seen everything the game has to offer before too long. Players can always grind for gems to unlock additional power-ups, and can also shoot for a local high score, but there is not too much to keep gamers coming back. There is a set amount of challenges to be had and a dozen Steam achievements, but don’t expect to play this game for hours on end.
It should be worth noting though that the aesthetics in place here manage to stand out. The opening stills are somewhat amateur by design, but the bright colors and low poly look give this fast-paced title some personality.
Terrawurm is a structurally sound arcade-like title, but its overly simplistic design hampers its replayability. It’s fun for what it is, but don’t expect to be engaged in the long term.