HANDS ON: TERRA TECH

Have you ever noticed that the majority of indy games today seem to be based on one of several templates; Minecraft, Day Z or Slender. For Terra Tech the winner is Minecraft! Explore a procedurally generated world, gather resources and craft them into new items, building creative structures using your imagination. But wait! You can also destroy your enemies and take their weapons and pieces for yourself! Defeating enemies and making yourself stronger, kind of like a zombie hoard…GODDAMN IT!

Joking aside, Terra Tech does a lot to mix up the crafting and exploring gameplay style. You’re not constructing buildings or tools as much as you are boosting your own strength and working on an ever-growing body for yourself. Be it a moving wall of tank cannons, or a mining facility on wheels, the number of possibilities is staggering.

Terra 1

The biggest upgrades come from guardians. The biggest enemies who guard new equipment, which you are taught about when you come across them, letting you drop right into the world without a forced tutorial and giving you a chance to explore the world and learn if you want to seek the lessons out yourself.

Every now and then however you will be invaded by creations made by other players, in my case the developers, which prove to be your biggest threats but also give up the greatest rewards. You’ll see a wall of motor fire coming from over the treetops, to be faced with a giant box with guns on all sides. But if you can survive and win, then all those guns are yours to use as you see fit.

The game is a little fiddly however when it comes to assembling your mech. Some pieces, especially long pieces, can’t be rotated and as a result they snap where ever they want. The worst however is placing a piece on the floor, they don’t fall but fly away from your mech and down a hill out of sight.

Terra 2

There is also a challenge mode, which has you construct a mech to meet a certain task, like racing or a sumo style battle. As fun as exploring is, it is nice to have that feeling of focusing on a task with a specific goal in mind, so having both is a nice touch. The free form construction mode too can provide plenty of fun. Just make whatever you like and marvel at the results.

The game has a very unique mood and tone to it. The music is this sort of Western twang guitar, which amps up to a rockier version during fights. The world is bright and colorful, with a great feeling of a fun atmosphere. The game still has a ways to go at the moment; you can earn money by defeating invaders or selling resources, which can be used to buy new recipes in the game eventually, with even more money being earned by joining a corporation and mining a certain resource for them. However in the current version of the game there is no real use for money or incentive to collect funds.

The game has a lot of potential and is capable of providing hours of fun, even in its pre-release form. I recommend giving it a try even in its current state; see if it’s the thing for you and maybe support the final product.

+ Bright and colourful world

+ Community creations can invade your game

+ No forced tutorials

– Physics are a little off

– No incentive to use in game currency at this stage

MATT HANCOX

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