Terror Squid is a score-based, arcade-style “survive for as long as you can” top-down shooter with a twist. Playing as a triangle, the player constantly moves at a set pace around a spinning global, dropping a never-ending string of bullets in your wake. Avoiding contact with this bullet excrement for as long as possible is the overall objective. The longer you survive, the bigger the score. The bigger the score, the higher you’ll be placed on the online leaderboards.
Gameplay is very simple but make no mistake, this is a challenging game. In fact, I’d say the average lifespan is about 10 seconds with good players maybe surviving for half a minute. After many, many attempts, my highest score was just shy of one minute. There are built-in Achievements with one of them being “survive for 120 seconds” to give you an idea of how quick gameplay is. Besides moving with the analog stick, only one other button is used. Every 10 seconds or so, the player can release an attack once enough power has been stored. This blast wave will clear some of the bullets near your ship. To increase score, it is best to release when the screen is filled with projectiles. Perhaps the best part about activating this offensive maneuver are the ridiculous sayings that accompany each blast. For example, when I cleared a few hundred bullets with a single shot, the game said “bees’ knees” and made me laugh because of how stupid and unexpected it was. You know when the announcer in Killer Instinct shouts the name of each combo? It is basically that but dumber, which is stupidly humorous, whether that was the intention or not.
The problem with Terror Squid is the lack of any options, variety, and replay value. There is nothing to level up, there are no unlockables, and there is no multiplayer. Just play for a few seconds, die, and repeat. Therefore, Terror Squid can only be played for about three minutes, or a couple handful of lives, before frustration and boredom sets in.
The synth nightmare soundtrack matches the tempo of the gameplay but there is only one track to enjoy. The hypnotic visuals are also simple but get the job done. The constant rotating of the sphere releases a cool effect too. Unfortunately, the online leaderboards are the only incentive to keep playing, making this a one-trick pony that has as much staying power as one life in this game.
Also Try: Hyper Dot (Xbox One)
Reminds Me Of: Super Stardust HD (PS3)
Wait For It: the next Halo Spartan Assault title