Feature Art

Preview – tERRORbane [Demo] PC

During the half-hour demo of tERRORbane I got to 1 – fight the last boss, 2 – battle a rock with a party of myself, a random peasant called Maggie, and a crate of pears, 3 – hunt down the legendary Air Element, and 4 – have the developer butt in and put all of these things right. It plays as a chance to turn the entire concept of an old-school RPG on its head. Puzzles, turn-based combat, and exploration are constantly mocked for a laugh but in doing so are also made more interesting. There’s a classic box sliding puzzle that perfectly demonstrates this. See, it glitches out as you start which is used as both a gag and as a way to transform the trial into something fresh, demanding just a little more imagination from the player to solve. Instead of just ridiculing common game mechanics but then still making the player go through the motions of doing them anyway in an attempt to be ‘ironic’, like so many comedy titles have done in the past. Here they are taken as an opportunity to be more inventive in how they challenge the player, even if the new answer is a joke in itself.

My only concern is that the full game won’t be able to keep up the pace needed to carry this type of humour but hopefully that can be solved by slowing down and continuing to innovate with the puzzles, leaning harder into testing the player this way, much like last year’s There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension. However, what I’ve seen so far from the demo and release trailer, it looks like there’s a heck of a lot more still to see and do so I’m very optimistic that tERRORbane will live up to its full potential by reviving our nostalgia and summoning endless chuckles from us all the way through. Look out for it coming to PC and Switch Q3 this year!