TerraTech (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 10.06.2019

Review for TerraTech on Nintendo Switch

TerraTech is a construction sandbox that mostly revolves around building vehicles via dragging and dropping blocks next to each other, with the purpose to send them out to explore a randomly generated world, do some questing, find improved block types, and, of course, engage in some caro a caro combat. Mildly successful in its natural PC environment, this sadly doesn't manage to provide the same kind of experience in the Nintendo Switch.

Building a 'Tech' in TerraTech, meaning a land or flying vehicle, is easy as dragging and dropping LEGO-like blocks next to each other, and attaching them face to face. The idea behind it all is as simple as it should be: create the "skeleton" with a bunch of cubes, stick a few wheels on the sides, and let the in-game physics handle the rest. After doing so, you are free to roam a randomly generated world, take up on quests, upgrade your creation, try new set-ups, and shoot everything that shoots back at you. The problem? While all that sounds good in theory, it's not that well executed in the Switch.

The controls work alright, but the construction aspect of the game clearly shows that this was meant to be handled with a mouse on hand. Could the transition to the Switch deliver the same experience? Of course not - but it could certainly do better. If that wasn't enough, the UI is plagued by uncomfortably tiny fonts, whether one chooses docked over handheld mode. In conclusion, crafting a Tech turns out to be an exhausting chore in this port, which isn't exactly a very good thing to say about something that mainly deals with crafting and re-crafting those.

It doesn't help that the actual process of playing isn't that great either. The campaign, which basically is one long tutorial, doesn't provide enough incentive to go on. The world is a randomly generated sea of grassy or sandy hills, without anything standing out, the missions fall under a handful of simplistic categories, which mainly follow the "go to A, and gather/kill/meet B" formula, and fights don't really require any skill, as, rather than agile maneuvering and clever Tech set-ups, it's usually a matter of who has mounted the largest number of canons on its funny-looking tank.

Screenshot for TerraTech on Nintendo Switch

The developer sort of forgot to make certain aspects enjoyable, with the result being how experienced players will simply avoid doing some things altogether to escape the hassle. Why build a complex resource refining base, for example, when there are far better alternatives out there, or why pay for your Tech to resurrect after losing a fight, when you can simply save before each match? The only thing that there isn't really any way around, is healing, a process that has you powering a battery, which then powers a healing sphere, which then repairs any damage… sleepy yet?

As for the audio-visuals, this critic doesn't really know how the original looks, but the Switch version has taken quite a beating. Textures are a bit too blurry (and for no apparent reason), lighting and shadow effects can many times behave a bit… glitchy, and the game world itself, is, as mentioned before, boring to look at. Combined with the slow, country guitar strumming, this proves to be quite the effective sleeping pill. Just remember to turn off your handheld, because the Unity engine is, as always, kind of aggressive with hardware, forcing the fans to work at a frightening speed!

In terms of content, there's not much to say, really. Besides the campaign, there's also the creative mode, which is exactly what it sounds like - but why should one even try this out? To experiment with outrageous Tech designs? Fun, but this isn't exactly a title as versatile as other sandboxes available. As for the final mode, the Gauntlet, this acts as a Trial mode, where you try to create the fastest Tech possible (a pretty easy task), and race against your times. Ok... but, like pretty much everything in here, more close to the 'meh' side of ok, rather than the 'good' one.

Screenshot for TerraTech on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Building LEGO-like vehicles, and having them explore a vast world, do quests, and shoot at other, similar tanks or planes, might sound like a fine idea for a construction sandbox, but TerraTech isn't really that good at what it does, for the simple reason that this just isn't fun to play, especially since the transition to the Nintendo Switch has you doing all that building and rebuilding with controls that feel out of place.

Developer

Payload Studios

Publisher

Terra Tek Studios

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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