Games that have use music as a gameplay mechanic have quietly become some of my favourites throughout my years of playing them. Audiosurf, Beat Hazard and One Finger Death Punch are all solid entries in my library, and I always welcome the prospect of something along those lines with open arms. Throw in the concept of a dystopian future with cyberpunk elements, and you’ve definitely grabbed my attention.
Enter TERRORHYTHM TRRT.
Developed by Evil Corporation Games, TERRORHYTHM TRRT is set in the 25th Century, where the world is plunged into a totalitarian system where every sound is muted. You take control of a cyberpunk ninja-esque character known as the TERRORHYTHM, and it is your mission to break the law and fight against the security systems to bring back sound and music to humanity.
The game’s graphics are striking, from the Furi-like character design to the dystopian cyberpunk cityscapes in the background. The fighting also benefits tremendously from this art style too, with flashing combos, exploding enemies and a stylish HUD that feels like a futuristic update of the classic beat ’em ups from the past.
The gameplay is pretty simple too, as it only requires the use of the arrow keys. Left and right corresponds to fighting the enemies on either side of you, while the up and down keys trigger a special attack and widens the attack area below you, respectively. These simple controls can be mapped onto a controller and for those who want a more physical challenge, USB dance mats are also compatible with the game.
High scores are also an integral part of the game, and the difficulty can be switched from “relaxed”, where you recieve no damage at the expense of leaderboard scores, to “Terror”, which sees the game ramp up the challenge significantly.
TERRORHYTHM TRRT also includes a mode where you can upload your own music files in MP3 form into the game to play with. It may seem like an obvious feature to include in a game like this, but it adds so much more of a replayability factor to the experience. I had some great fun attempting to blast through some of the more intense electronic tracks in my collection, as well as experimenting with the more slow-burning, moody songs too.
These features all amount to what should be a fantastic game, but there’s some issues holding it back. I had so much trouble with getting the game to work properly, even on the most basic settings. The loading times for each mode are also pretty much unforgivable for such a simple game.
Outside of those specific problems, the game’s 15 levels do offer a bit of variety in a visual sense, but by the time you reach the later levels, everything is so similar to what has come earlier, it feels like a bit of a grind to get through.
The main gripe I have with TERRORHYTHM TRRT is the issues it has with lag. The most important aspect of any game in this particular subgenre is getting the balance between inputting a command and timing the music to it effectively. This game struggles to do this quite often, and suffers as a result. Beating the levels is still possible in this state, as you can assume the beat by looking at the amount of enemies in relation to your attack area, but that removes the need for what is supposed to be the key element of the game – the music.
Overall, TERRORHYTHM TRRT is a pretty stylish and fun experience, currently marred by long loading times, a lack of features and some serious lag issues. The game is still in early access at the time of writing, so many of these issues may get ironed out in the not too distant future.
While the drawbacks do affect the game substantially, it has potential to be an interesting and noteworthy addition to the genre, and I look forward to seeing what eventually gets added to it.
- Great graphics.
- Plenty of levels, each with their own high scores and difficulty settings.
- Easy control system, with various input options.
- Uploading custom tracks varies the difficulty in a satifyingly personal way.
- Lag is a serious problem
- Lacks in features
- Takes forever to load
TERRORHYTHM TRRT is available now in early access on Steam.
A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.