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TerRover – The PS3 Attitude Review

Submitted by on Monday, 27 September 20104 Comments

TerRover is one of those games that can rub people in very different ways depending on what kind of gamer you are.  It has just about every trait imaginable, ranging from cute and fun all the way to annoying and downright frustrating.  So which of these traits stands out the most?

TerRover is a two dimensional side-scrolling platformer, in which you pilot a space rover through increasingly difficult levels of puzzles and rough terrain.

To say that TerRover is quirky would be the understatement of the century.  Gathering the basic controls is fairly simple but actually becoming good enough with them to successfully navigate each level is an entirely different issue.  There’s definitely some skill involved with mastering the controls but a very soft touch and a whole lot of luck seemed to be what we relied on the most.

If you can keep from hurling your controller at the TV, TerRover is a lot of fun

You have a lot of navigation options for your rover, starting with jumping and simply moving back and forth.  Rather than giving the game a forward and reverse function, the developers simply allow you to change the perspective of your rover with a single button press, so when you want to accelerate, it’s always the same command to do so.  Apart from moving the rover’s direction from side to side, you can also change his point of view vertically in case you end up flipping over or getting stuck.  It sounds a little more complicated than it is and remembering the basic layout of the controls is very easy.

Unfortunately, the basic controls are not what will trip you up.  You also have control over the traction/weight of your rover and which of its 4-6 wheels are getting the most grip.  While we got better at it as the game progressed, we’re still not convinced it’s possible to master this design since it’s so touchy and sensitive.  While we loved almost every aspect of the game, this single design choice may very well alienate the vast majority of gamers that would’ve been interested in TerRover.

We're not sure exactly what to call these puzzles but they make your blood boil

As you progress through each level, your goal is to collect as many nuts and bolts as you can.  The bolts are really only there as a novelty but collecting enough of the nuts will allow you to purchase bigger and better rovers.  While the rover you start with is really nothing spectacular, you can buy chassis that have rocket launchers, grapple hooks and magnets on them.  Buying these new vehicles will allow you to go back and access sections of each level that you might not have previously been able to get to.  It gives the game a lot of extra replay value, although just clearing the 40 levels one time can take you upwards of 4-5 hours.

Visually, TerRover is an absolute joy to look at.  Its bright and colorful design never gets old and maintains a fresh look throughout the entirety of the game.  Plus the little rovers are just so darn cute.  Its sounds and music are nothing too spectacular but they match the visual style quite nicely.

TerRover’s value is pretty high when you consider how long it takes to clear every level.  Then if you figure in going back with better vehicles to 100% each level, it gets even better.  It also includes local multiplayer of up to 4 players – which we were not able to test extensively – and supports a video recording and YouTube upload feature.  Overall, we were satisfied with the $15 price tag, assuming you have the patience to make it to the end at least once.

The little bit of local multiplayer we got to play was quite fun

To sum things up, we loved TerRover.  At the same time, we can’t rightly recommend this game to anyone without playing the demo first.  Its quirky controls and overly sensitive design will likely keep most casual gamers from enjoying it, but if you’re looking for an old-school challenge and aren’t afraid of a very steep learning curve, you should definitely give TerRover a go.

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