Home Reviews 3.5/5 Review Terminal 81 Review

Terminal 81 Review

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In the vast majority of horror games on the market, the scares will be pretty much in your face. A clown wielding an axe hunting you through a forest, a hell dimension opening in your back garden, or blood dripping onto the floor from the ceiling. 

But occasionally that horror is more psychological, delivered through the reality of the situation the gamer finds themselves in. Terminal 81 puts you in the shoes of someone surviving in São Paulo, finding themselves in a horrific situation that is way worse than all of the situations I listed above. 

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What could go wrong?

In Terminal 81 the normal gets a bit twisted. Part job simulator, part mystery, part open world, and part crime horror game, it whisks us off to 2008 where the game is set, taking place just after the huge financial crash that rocked the world. You play Lorena who ends up in a small apartment in a residential area of São Paulo. She moved to the city to help her chances of getting work, looking for an opportunity to go sending money back to her family. She gets to work in a supermarket but soon finds out that women are being kidnapped. This leads her into a murky story of corruption, poverty, and murder. 

The setting and story are interesting, at times feeling very personal to the world of someone living in Brazil at that time. It’s like an open world experience, where you can go out and explore, to talk to characters at any time and find out about their predicaments.

But Terminal 81 is also a game about poverty and crime; at times it can feel a bit bleak. For that though, there is fun to be had in the stories, as well as in exploring an environment that is different to what you may be used to. 

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Looks like it’s all kicking off!

Playing like an open-world adventure – a bit like a Yakuza game – in Terminal 81 you will have your main game elements, full of narratives, but also lots of mini-games and jobs to take in. For example, at one point you can earn credits by playing games in a fun park, like a ducks-in-a-row game. There’s even a dancing mini-game that makes the most of some quick-time events which is a lot of fun. Ultimately, there are a ton of things to get on with in Terminal 81, with even more to discover.

And yes, you get to work in that supermarket doing your cashier thing for bucks. You can use that money for food, to help on your quests, and even decorate your threadbare apartment. 

Visually, Terminal 81 has a very retro look to it, ensuring it wouldn’t look out of place on the PS1. It fits the game though and reminds of those more experimental open-world games we had fun with in the early days of the consoles. It is a bit rough around the edges at times, but I think that gives the game a certain charm. 

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Ah – get to work!

And there’s no doubt that Terminal 81 is a very unique and charming indie game. It has an unusual setting and plays with the idea of horror in a realistic setting with proficiency. For a game of this size though, there is perhaps too much to do, and that means the overall narrative can get a bit lost. But it’s fun enough to work through the various mini-games, working a shift in the supermarket and buying a new kitchen set for an apartment. 

So if you want to walk the streets of São Paulo and solve a mystery then you can’t go too wrong with Terminal 81. 

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