TERROR SQUID (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Jenny Geist 17.11.2020

Review for TERROR SQUID on Nintendo Switch

The shoot 'em up genre has existed for so long that one might think there are no original ideas left. What else can even be done in such a long-lasting style, after all? Fortunately, Terror Squid from Apt Games proves that idea wrong by introducing a twist; unlike other 'shmups', there are no enemies in sight. Instead, players control a squid through an empty sphere while automatically propelling projectiles in the opposite direction. The goal isn't to defeat a certain number of enemies, but to survive for as long as possible in a bullet hell of your own creation.

Terror Squid may seem simple, but do not be deceived. Beyond movement, other available actions include a short dash that grants temporary invincibility, and a charged 'detonation' that destroys chains of nearby bullets. The true secret to extending survival time is chaining together large swaths of bullets to detonate all at once. This extravagant ritual isn't just for show, as it changes the behavior of the subsequent projectiles as well. Some bullet patterns are harder to avoid than others, and as a round continues, these differing patterns will combine into an ever-growing light show of pure terror.

Screenshot for TERROR SQUID on Nintendo Switch

These aforementioned mechanics come together for an interesting risk-versus-reward dynamic that encourages experimentation to achieve that sweet, sweet high score. The entrancing Polybius-esque visuals only complement this gameplay loop, causing one to lose themselves in the iridescent stream of danger. The overall 'terror' theme is ingrained into every part of the experience's DNA, cementing it as a shoot 'em up unlike any other.

The easy-to-understand, difficult-to-master gameplay is both a boon and bane. While the Lovecraftian horror vibe is stellar, the singular music track and visual aesthetic lose their lustre fairly quickly. Likewise, longevity is exclusively tied to one's drive to reach a high score. Beyond trying new strategies to extend runs and climb the online leaderboards, there's very little to keep players coming back. For fans of arcade-like experiences this won't be an issue, but for those who prefer progression and structure, there isn't much to do.

Screenshot for TERROR SQUID on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Terror Squid may not have much content, but what is there still manages to impress and terrify. The unique, personality-filled take on shmup gameplay truly can't be found anywhere else, despite the minimal variety. Players who enjoy chasing high scores through quick, replayable experiences will find a lot of value in the title. However, those looking for more to do should swim on to less dangerous waters.




Apt Games





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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