TerRover? More like TerRible controls.
If you take a step back and look at all the little things that make up TerRover, you will see what looks like an amazing title. The art style is fresh and crisp looking, much like that of pixeljunk shooter. The gameplay feels like a combination of Trials HDs control scheme mixed with some puzzle/platforming aspects reminiscent of LIMBO. So whats not to like? Well a lot unfortunately. I’ll get to that in a bit. First let’s talk about what this game does right.
The goal of TerRover is simple, drive your little robot from the start of each level to the end, and along the way pick up nuts and bolts and the occasional space detail, which is a little egg shaped item that if you get enough in each planet, you can unlock a special bonus stage. You can also spend any nuts you find on a new chassis for your robot. Different chassis come with new gadgets, such as a pea shooter gun, a missile launcher, or a magnetic chain. Your robot is an all-terrain vehicle and as I mentioned earlier, the control scheme is similar to Trails HD or Joe Danger. You press the right trigger to drive foreword and move the right stick back and forth to spin yourself around. The driving in particular is very precise.
The problems start when you realize that your level of control is way too high. All you have to do is barely touch the stick and your robot will go spinning into oblivion. The physics are far too unforgiving. I cannot tell you how many times I died when trying to jump on a very wobbly chain. The puzzle part of this game is sadly weak. There were never any brain bending puzzles, and in fact, the only time I ever spent more than a few minutes in the same spot is when the wonky and unreliable jumping kept killing me.
Whenever you drive over bumpy terrain, you instantly feel the limitations on the control your character. In those situations it is actually easier to just hold the left stick foreword and spin yourself so fast that the edges of your body catch one of the bumpy surfaces and fling you foreword. Besides the whole bad physics thing, there is really only one other problem; you can only drive foreword. Now you can turn around by pressing the X button and you can flip your head vertically by pressing Y. If you could just drive in reverse then so many problems would be alleviated. Also, jump is square button and changing direction is X. I know that is just me not being able to remember the right button, but still, why change a classic control scheme that isn't broke?
I could keep complaining but I think you get the point. Now I don’t hate this game, there are parts that are really fun, and there is plenty of replayability as each level has lots of hidden areas and items. If this game was $10 or less it might be a worthwhile purchase. Fifteen bucks is way too much for this game. We have come to expect fifteen dollar downloadable games to be a little more meaty, and to be honest I played this game in one afternoon and will probably never play it again. With recent games like Scott Pilgrim and Dead Rising Case Zero coming out with hours of high quality gameplay both under ten bucks, I just cannot justify the mediocre quality and high fifteen dollar price tag of TerRover.