TerraTech (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Sanbox game
Developer: Payload Studios
Publisher: Payload Studios
Platform: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Tested on: Switch

TerraTech (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun exploring the large map, Build your vehicle to become unstoppable
Bad: Some people may get bored quickly due to lack of missions.
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Games that give you creative freedom are both fun and often suited for all ages. TerraTech is all about building your own vehicle to explore the large planet that you have landed on. You start up small and grow at your own pace, which means that the world is at your feet. You make the rules, so will you be nice or shall you rule with an iron first?


Something serious has gone wrong and your escape pod is crashing down on an unknown planet. As your survival pod is small but equipped to deal with the harsh climate of the place, you have to look around and find some necessary parts for longevity. It turns out that you won’t be able to have a base, but creating a mobile one is possible as long as you don’t exceed the block limit. There isn’t much of a back-story as the maps are randomly generated but in large lines you are on a mining planet and must complete quests to get better gear and to become the most powerful and rich person on the surface.


TerraTech looks like a pretty simple game. On PC it had great graphics but these have been dulled down to fit on the Switch. Although everything is simpler, it still has its charm and the friendly color palette makes it look very child friendly. There isn’t much depth to parts but the many items in the game are somewhat detailed and do not feel all that generic.


The game has a very enjoyable soundtrack. The music is calm when driving around and exploring whereas it will slightly change when facing the opposition, depending on where you are on the map. Sound effects are very decent and when you have a ton of weapons mounted, it won’t be irritatingly deafening like in some other games.


TerraTech is a sandbox game in which you commandeer a crashed space shuttle and must rebuild yourself in order to survive the harsh terrain of the planet. You begin the game with a small vehicle that has basic means of self-defense, but as you make your way around you will find more building blocks to increase mass and become bigger and more powerful. There are many bandits and prospectors here and they don’t want to share the resources, so you must fight over them. In the beginning you will have a hard time taking out opponents and the cleaner you dispose of them, the more building blocks you can steal. At first you will mow down enemies to steal their stuff and become bigger, but after a while you will find fun in pummeling the weak opposition and only find use in bigger and better items. One thing that prevents the player from creating a gigantic dreadnought is the block limit. Each item costs points and when exceeded, there will be shortcomings. Because you don’t have a base, you can store items in your inventory and there are a few things that will let you have a mobile base of operations.

The world is a very large place and with mining being the most essential way of earning money, you will have to mine resources and sell these at refineries. These places also have shops where you can buy new building blocks and have bulletin boards for missions. Accepting jobs will have you set up new refineries or collect materials or wipe out enemies for a cash bonus. While these quests are small and fun, they might get a bit boring after a while since there isn’t much diversity.

What happens when your vessel gets destroyed? Your main focus should be to protect your cabin. Each individual block has health but you don’t have an overall health meter, making it key to place the most essential part somewhere hidden deep in the construction and out of harm’s way. Our battleship has been destroyed a few times solely because the cabin got taken out quite fast in the fight. If you die, you can choose to start over fresh with a small rover and begin building again or if you have the money, you can buy a replica of the previous build.

Another neat feature about the map system in TerraTech is the usage of seeds. These codes are randomly generated and you may try your hand at creating one yourself or find an ideal one online. This makes that gameplay will be more short as we believe that diversity comes from playing on these randomly seeded maps and that’s why there isn’t a real story in the game.

For a Switch title the controls are pretty good. When adjusting the parts that are on your vehicle you have two ways of working. You either have a fully moveable cursor that can select each separate part, or quick pick the nearest items for quickly adding parts in busy parts (say you are in combat and a wheel falls off). A build beam will lift the car and you will have full reach underneath to add even more parts.


TerraTech is a super fun game that, thanks to its gameplay, will have you playing for quite some time. Killing enemies to grow stronger is something normal in an RPG but literally building your warship out of parts stolen from fallen foes is something that goes deeper and has a bigger “up yours” factor. Join or die! Graphics are decent for this Switch port and the music is good. The only lesser part is the fact that fun is limited to one’s imagination. Some will be able to spend hours or even days on the same map, while others, with the need for structure, will miss a decent storyline or loads of missions

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
TerraTech (Switch) – Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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