void* tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Platforms: Switch, PS4
Tested on: Switch

void* tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2 – Review

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Good: Sticks to the same core formula but streamlines things
Bad: Story requires you to have played the first game
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Back in 2020, we took a look at a game with the unpronounceable title of void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium, a dungeon crawler that simply oozed charm. This was a fairly niche title that got a second lease on life a year later when it hit PS5 as an enhanced edition, the equally unpronounceable void tRrLM();++ //Void Terrarium++. It appears that NIS’ Mystery Dungeon clone found a sizeable audience, as the game is now getting a full sequel, titled void* tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2. For everyone’s sanity and for the legibility of this review, we’ll refer to the game as simply Void Terrarium 2 from this point on. We quite liked the first game, so we were more than eager to return to the post-apocalyptic world of Robbi, Toriko, and factoryAI. What did we bring back from our dungeon crawl?


If you haven’t played the first Void Terrarium game, then prepare to be utterly confused as Void Terrarium 2 doesn’t provide you with a recap of the events from that first game. Don’t worry though, as we’ll quickly bring you up to speed. Void Terrarium and its sequel are set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has pretty much gone extinct, with only the young girl Toriko being left alive. The world has become an inhospitable place for her, however, and protagonist Robbie, a brave robot, teams up with factoryAI, an artificial intelligence system, to build a terrarium where the young girl can survive. The first game details the efforts of these two artificial friends as they create a place where Toriko can live a peaceful life. Void Terrarium 2 opens with a dungeon crawl already in progress, with our old friend Robbie looking for useful scraps that will help him in getting the titular terrarium up and running again, as it is currently not functional. Toriko is being kept in stasis in a special box and factoryAI is offline, until Robbie returns with the final parts needed to start restoring things to normal. As it turns out, however, Toriko is affected by a mysterious disease that is causing her body to deteriorate. It’s up to Robbie and factoryAI to delve into humanity’s past to find out the case and how to reverse the effects. Can our heroes save the young girl and deal with a mysterious threat simultaneously?


It doesn’t seem like any visual changes were made to Void Terrarium 2, but we’re okay with this as the first game was aesthetically pleasing already. The major new introduction here comes in the form of the so-called VR World, an 8-bit representation of what the world of humans was like before the catastrophe that destroyed everything occurred. The 8-bit visuals look decent enough, but the main visual appeal comes from the gorgeous hand-drawn art style, of course, and this hasn’t lost any of its power. The juxtaposition of cute, chibi-esque characters against the dark and dramatic events that unfold over the course of the story may not be as impactful as it was the first time around, but it still carries enough weight to make you want to care about these characters getting the happy ending they deserve.


With a deliberately limited soundscape, Void Terrarium 2’s audio allows composer Ryo Kurata’s OST to shine. It’s a good thing that the music fits the game’s atmosphere fantastically, offering a set of beautiful atmospheric tunes. With only very little voice acting, only in Japanese, and a deliberately minimalistic selection of ambient sound effects, there isn’t a whole lot to say about the remainder of Void Terrarium 2’s audio, but the soundtrack is so good that it more than makes up for this.


Sticking close to the gameplay formula that made the first Void Terrarium such a wonderful little experience, Void Terrarium 2 offers players another portion of rogue-lite dungeon crawling action in the same vein as the more famous Mystery Dungeon series. Things have been streamlined and minor enhancements were made, but if you’ve played the first game, things should look and feel familiar enough. Interestingly, while the story doesn’t really feel newcomer-friendly, there was plenty of effort put in to ensure that anyone that isn’t familiar with the first game will find Void Terrarium 2 very accessible, thanks to in-depth tutorials. The way the game is set up initially does seem a bit confusing, given that you’re starting mid-dungeon crawl, but once you get past the opening chapter, which is a fairly easy task, you’ll find that things are explained thoroughly. Whenever a new component is introduced, the game provides you with a mini-tutorial, and you’re able to reference previous tutorials at any point in the game.

After the initial few chapters of the game, which see you rebuild the terrarium itself, things start to really open up. We initially thought that Void Terrarium 2 was simply offering more of the same, but a new element adds some variety to the established formula, in the form of the aforementioned VR World. Whenever Robbie is transported into this world, Void Terrarium 2 takes on the air of an old-school adventure game, although the VR world mainly exists as a way to flesh out the game’s story and any gameplay elements present in this part of the game are understandably very limited. The VR World mainly expects you to walk around, talk to NPCs and perform very simple tasks like fetch quests. It’s an exceptionally effective vessel to flesh out the story, but don’t go in hoping for more than that.

The majority of the game is still built around dungeon crawling and sees you take control of Robbie as he explores randomly generated multi-level dungeons where he gathers useful items and fights enemies. Of note here is that Robbie’s level resets whenever he takes on a dungeon, so while you do gain experience points while exploring, you can’t rely on level grinding to brute force your way through the game. Combined with the dungeons being randomly generated, this does mean that during some runs the game simply feels unfair or unbalanced, and a streak of bad luck can really ruin a session of Void Terrarium 2. This becomes more apparent as the game ramps up the difficulty over time, with late-game dungeons feeling significantly more challenging. Fortunately, Void Terrarium 2 is still a joy to play despite these luck-tied balance issues.

Just like in the first game, the secondary gameplay of Void Terrarium 2 revolves around rebuilding Toriko’s home terrarium by crafting new items from the materials found in dungeon crawls. The terrarium acts as a hub area, where you’ll also find additional quests, flesh out the lore behind the end of humanity, and take care of Toriko in a Tamagotchi-like manner. Compared to the previous game, this feels a lot more streamlined and less confusing. Inventory management and item crafting feel a lot more intuitive, and because the main goal of dungeon crawling is to further improve Toriko’s living conditions, the two main gameplay modes weave together seamlessly.

All in all, Void Terrarium 2’s gameplay may lack the depth of more involved and elaborate dungeon crawlers, but it remains inherently accessible and addictive. It’s a very lengthy adventure too, clocking in at over forty hours. Completionists have even more game time to look forward to as the game also offers a set of challenges to be completed. Of course, given that we had some issues with the slow pacing of that first game, it’s a reasonable question to ask whether the sequel suffers the same fate, especially given how long it is. Rest assured that Void Terrarium 2 feels a lot more fast-paced and streamlined, although before you can get started on this sequel, it’s essential that you play through that first game, if only to really understand what’s going on. We can’t recommend Void Terrarium 2 solely on its gameplay as it doesn’t offer enough depth here, but combined with the story, audio, and visuals, you’ve got a wonderful little game here, where the sum of the end result is much greater than its individual parts.


If you haven’t played the first Void Terrarium game, then it’s probably fair to say that you should do so first before you even think about tackling this sequel. Speaking purely from a gameplay perspective, Void Terrarium 2 offers more of the same, with only limited enhancements. The main reason for its existence seems to be to further flesh out the world and its inhabitants. Given that the game doesn’t really do enough to retread the basics for newcomers, this means that there is very little reason to directly dive into the sequel. If you’ve played the first game, however, and are ready to return to Toriko and Robbie’s adventures, then you’ll be happy to learn that Void Terrarium 2 is just as good as its predecessor, if not slightly better.

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  1. […] Cookbook cook up an experience that can stand proudly alongside excellent titles like Void Terrarium 2 and GrimGrimoire OnceMore or is this a matter of quantity over […]

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