Terra Memoria Remixes the RPG Genre With Cozy Vibes
Image via Dear Villagers

Review: Terra Memoria Remixes the RPG Genre With Cozy Vibes

It’s easy to know that a game has completely won me over heart and soul when I can’t help but play a title over doing anything like washing my dishes or folding my laundry because I’m knee deep into building my life inside of it. I’ve had my hands on Terra Memoria for a few weeks now, and it has become of my favorite cozy game this year thus far. With a turn-based combat system that is unique, yet should feel familiar to many RPG fans, a cast of quirky characters who all shine, a unique 3D art direction that is visually engaging, and the comforting vibes of a farm simulator, Terra Memoria comes together in a way that will have players coming back to it for years to come.

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Terra Memoria focuses on a cast of six characters: Moshang, Syl, Alto, Edson, Opal, and Meta. Each one has their own unique combat abilities and powers. They also each have their own story that plays out. However, it isn’t just about learning about them. You are trying to uncover the mystery of why strange mechanical monsters called carcasses appeared and the people’s supply of crystals—the very objects that allow folks to light their fires, fill their fountains with waters, and power their cities—is beginning to dwindle.

The game opens by introducing players to Moshang, a mage who constantly gets forced into manual labor due to his large stature. He is tasked with defending the city of Constance from the monsters that have broken through the barriers outside of the city gates. The rest of the cast is quickly introduced within the first two hours of the game, which allows players plenty of time to grow with the party and watch as they learn how to respect the past, the constancy of the present, and also about how change is an inevitable part of the world growing and evolving. As I played through the story, I found myself endeared by the cast of misfits who felt like the only few people trying to move forward in a world that seems unable to cope with its past or future. However, I definitely found myself captivaed by Moshang and Syl the most, due to their soft personalities and eagerness to seek out answers in the world around them.

In order to uncover the mystery of the crystals and mechanical monsters, the party must venture out into the world of Terra. Naturally, this leads us into many different battles against various enemies. Party members are automatically paired at the beginning of combat once they are all obtained, and they can each do special attacks depending on the combination formed. Each enemy and party member take turns to attack, and each attack has a power indicator which determines how strong and how fast that attack is. The less powerful the attack, the more often the party member can strike in battle. This can move the player’s turn ahead of or behind the enemy, so it is important to determine if it is more strategic to attack sooner or later. 

Each enemy also has an elemental weakness to water, wind, fire, electricity, ice, and earth, and those weaknesses can be exploited by casting spells and or using abilities. Although using one doesn’t guarantee the enemy will be weakened, the attacks can do more damage than standard attacks. When enemy weaknesses strike true, the carcasses will then become weak to all elements and they lose their place in the turn cycle, giving players a chance to unleash multiple attacks on them before they get to attack again. The combat itself feels familiar to many turn-based combat systems found in Japanese RPGs like Persona or Final Fantasy, but the enemy weakness system and team combinations allows the combat to feel unique enough to stand out.

Outside of combat, players are able to solve puzzles to advance the plot, build up a town by collecting supplies, and designing that village the way they want like they would in a life simulator game. Also, in between combat, players are able to cook meals that boost HP, make camp, forge items, and complete side quests that net you money and items for cooking and crafting. Side quests helped to expand on the world-building of Terra Memoria. It gave me a better idea of the more frivolous nature of the various residents of this world. This is due to their belief in constantly looking forward without considering the past or how things can be changed in the future. 

One thing I found myself getting bit lost in was the crafting aspect of Terra Memoria because I kept wanting to design my town. Often times, I would get a bit frustrated by indecision over small things like if I wanted grass in one area or a rocky path instead. It was for that reason I had to force myself to stop trying to make my town perfect and continue the campaign. 

The art direction in Terra Memoria might be my favorite aspect of the game. La Moutarde, the indie studio behind it, utilized 3D graphics to create a stunning 2D pixel effect. This allows the characters and attacks to truly pop off the screen. It creates the same sort of high quality look found in games like Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler, and it makes me wish more game studios utilized 3D in this way. The approach truly pays homage to old school 8-bit and 16-bit RPGs that utilized pixel designs to create immersive, visually appealing worlds. 

Despite how fun Terra Memoria is many players might find the runtime of the game a bit short. I imagine many could easily finish the story in under ten hours. But to truly understand the world of Terra Memoria and get the full crafting experience, players will likely need to play through it for twenty hours or more. The story and gameplay might also end up being a bit simplistic for some people, although I found that part of the charm. It was nice to play something that was cozy and uncomplicated.

Terra Memoria was a wonderful way to pass the time after a long day at work. I’d curl up with it before bed, discovering new recipes to make or creating a cute pond in my town just because I wanted to. The story was also satisfying due to how wonderful the cast of characters are, and they all felt believable in spire of their individual quirks and familiar character tropes. 

Terra Memoria is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, PS5, and PC via Steam

8
Terra Memoria

Step into the warm embrace of Terra Memoria, where you'll encounter six endearing characters, embark on an investigation spanning across ages, explore a whimsical world inhabited by eccentric beings, and enjoy the soothing melodies of cozy music. It's a charming RPG that offers exploration, combat, construction, and puzzles. Journey through time, unveiling the secrets behind the crystal disappearance, the reason for ancient machine aggression, and the intricate connections between them all.

Nintendo Switch version reviewed. Review copy provided by company for testing purposes.

Terra Memoria is a unique 3D game utilizing 2D pixel inspirations that can quickly become a favorite cozy RPG adventure.

Food For Thought
  • Wonderful use of 3D to create 2D pixel art that stands out and pops off the screen
  • The six lead characters are fun, unique, and feel relatable in their own way
  • Can't stop, won't stop building up my town. I'm addicted.
  • Gameplay may be a bit too simplistic for people looking for a harder turn-based RPG experience.

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Author
Image of Arielle Haddad
Arielle Haddad
Arielle is a freelance writer for Siliconera, but has served as the Senior News Editor at Kingdom Hearts Insider for over a decade and currently freelances for Nova Crystallis. Has a knack for playing RPGs to exactly 80% completion before getting distracted by another one. When she isn't working as a government wheel turner by day, you can find her transforming into book-hoarding dragon by night.