With October prompting horror titles to come out of the woodwork, Terror Squid isn’t exactly a horror-based game, ignoring the creepy trailer, but it’s terrifying nevertheless as this is DIY bullet hell.

I like shoot ’em ups for that sheer action-based entertainment, not having to commit my brain to puzzle-solving, surviving a wave of the undead or building a base to stop oversized spiders eating all the people.

That’s not to say that the genre is easy, but it’s pretty black and white. I love R-Type and Jets ‘n Guns 2 etc. They aren’t a pushover, but you hold the fire button and time your actions for the best score. Terror Squid is nothing like that as you’re your own worst enemy.

Terror Squid PC Review

Terror Squid, from Apt Games, is what you get if you’re ‘inspired-by’ Asteroids, have a cruel nature and a doctorate in human behaviour. How can something this ruthless, simple, and downright madness be so addictive? Leaderboards.

Each time you die you’ll get a flash of unknown humans (an assumption) who are a tenth of a second better than you, in everything. Within this context, it’s the time you survived in Terror Squid, but it’s that sickening competition that drives you forward into thinking you can do just one better.

Terror Squid - Restart
Restart? Hell, yeah. Source: Screen capture

Then the game starts, and you see the incessant firing your ship is responsible for, leaving a trail of death behind you, only to catch up with you head-on as you circumnavigate this vector globe once more. Maybe you can cover the distance once more without dying? 

Two more seconds.. three… oh wait – what’s this bomb do? You get the option to trigger a bomb that will destroy some of the projectiles. It’s not for the points; it’s to buy you a bit more time until you die, but to rub it in, you’re rated for the attempt. 

Points Mean Prizes (In Other Game)

The points and ranking are irrelevant as success is quantified by how many seconds you survived. That said, it’s not a maverick thing to say that you push for the bigger score – I think mine is around the 200 mark, that is, I destroyed 200 nodes(?) with one bomb.

But you clear the path a little bit more and then some prettier blues appear, but this time they’re different shapes. Maybe they’re goodie shapes and on my side? I won’t chance it as I just got so far again – oh wait, there’s more appearing. Yep, they’re death too.

So the colours change, as do the shapes and you’ll be blessed with a new ritual completed until game over again. However, for some strange reason, you play it again, and again. This is like something out of a Black Mirror episode, and that’s not solely because of the wicked trailer for the game or the ominous tones – Terror Squid is a devious, manipulative beast that will be the death of me. Until I get in the top 10.

Then I see the number one at the time of writing: 687.12

There’s only one game mode, and that’s survival through each ritual (essentially a wave) trying to better your time. The more you invest in the game, the better you get, and while I was dying within the first 20 seconds, I was soon past my first minute.

Terror Squid - Bees
The mutt’s… bees knees. Source: Screen capture

Underachiever

Though there aren’t any additional features, there are a handful of achievements to unlock. There aren’t many, and that’s testament to how challenging the game is. ‘8’ is significant here. Is that to symbolise infinity?

Based on the achievement list and my current proficiency, my current goal is to survive for 120 seconds. Yes, Terror Squid is that short each time, yet it’s so entertaining in short bursts. It reminds me a little of Barrier X in terms of duration, but it’s much more playable, yet unpredictable.

Personally, I love the game, but there’s not much in it other than bettering your time with each attempt, and for many, that might be a turn-off. If you have a competitive nature of having that itch to better yourself with each ‘run’, then you’ll love¬†Terror Squid, in small doses.

product-image

Terror Squid

7

Despite the simplicity and limited options, Terror Squid is fiendishly good, addictive, and a competitive experience that pushes you to do better. If you can hack it.

Star Lord
  • Simple gameplay, madness to master.
  • Addictive, in a good way?
  • Fitting soundtrack.
Damp Squid
  • If you don't have the patience, forget it!
  • Limited options.
  • Simplistic graphics (I loved 'em).

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