TerRover Review

TerRover puts you in control of a robotic vehicle that resembles a treadless tank with a robot head stuck to the top of it. It's a 2D, side-scrolling platformer in which your goal is simply to make it from one end of a level to another. Making that simple goal a not so simple endeavor is a variety of obstacles and traps that block your way. Some of these can be driven over in much the same way as a monster truck would make its way across an off-road course filled with rocks, hills, and potholes, except in this case you not only have the ability to instantly reverse direction, but to flip over and make little bounce jumps as well. You'll need all of these abilities to maneuver up and over little pointy hillocks, through tank-sized divots, across pits, through tight gaps, and far, far worse.

The terrain isn't the only obstacle you'll face; there are plenty of traps as well. The traps come in a myriad of forms rolling boulders, flames, pits, spikes, blades, ... basically if you've seen a deadly trap in a platform game before you'll probably see it here. The levels are set on a series of planets, each with its own art style and theme, and the traps generally stick to the planet's theme so, for example, expect to see flame pits and lava on the volcanic world.

The game's basic premise is an interesting one and the game could quite possibly have been fun if it weren't for some fun-killing issues. The most egregious of these problems is the game's absolutely terrible level design. There are divots you'll never be able to get out of, gaps you'll spend minutes trying to squeeze through, and jump sequences that will require the same kind of luck to get past that it takes to win the lotto. You'll get stuck so often that the developers had to include a suicide button that destroys your tank and takes you back to the last checkpoint. Things get even worse when there are traps involved because there's nothing like being constantly destroyed while trying to make your way past an obstacle that would try your patience on its own. I don't know how anyone would think that a series of touchy jumps over pits that are pretty much impossible to get out of would be even more fun when flames are periodically shooting out of the pits. And if you're really stuck trying to get past an extra nasty stretch of a level, then you're out of luck. The game unlocks its levels one at a time, meaning that unless you torture yourself with playing the same part of a level over and over again until you get past it at random you're essentially locked out of the rest of the game.

The game's wonky physics make the poorly designed levels even more of a trial. The tank bounces, rolls, and flips in inconsistent and seemingly random ways. In most platform games, you can eventually learn the timing it takes to get through a tough stretch, but in this game each time you retry a sequence the tank behaves differently. The jump you did to clear a gap the first time through may leave you short and falling backwards the next. You may as well sit back and push buttons at random you'll get just as far through the game as you would if you tried.

I liked the basic idea behind the game, and I liked the artistic style and the way each planet of levels had its own look and feel. However, there is absolutely nothing fun about this game and I can't imagine anyone wanting to stick with it longer than the time it takes to download it in the first place.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 45%. TerRover, the "Ter" is for "terrible".


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