Welcome, employee! It's another wonderful day here at the labs. Here's your labcoat, your complimentary coffee mug (not to be removed from the premises), and your instructions for avoiding the daily fiery demise. See, it seems that B.O.B, the FailSafe Terminal A.I., has, um, gone a bit wonky, and our very own factory bots have now turned against our beloved HQ. At any other time, I would advise you to crawl under your desk, make peace with whatever deities you have, and call that person from high school and tell them how cute you thought they really were but never had the nerve to say. But this is not any other time! This is The Terminal, the new action/shooter/defense/explodey hybrid, and you're going to take reins and stamp out B.O.B's invading army or die trying! Don't worry, we're right behind you!... well, not, like, right behind you... it's dangerous out there! What do you expect me to do? I'm just management! It's not like I have any real skills!
Like all the best war machines, even a child could operate the mech you find yourself stomping around in. Move with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, and aim and shoot with the mouse. You can see incoming enemies on the map at the bottom of the screen as little beige blips. Destroying enemies not only means cash that you can use to upgrade your mech at any time (just hit [P] or click the gears icon), it also occasionally nets you valuable powerups if you're lucky. And you'd better be quick and smart as well as lucky, since our beloved HQ makes just as tasty a target to your foes as you do; leave home base unprotected for long, and you could find yourself coming back to a smoking crater. (And a failed game.)
Of course, all defense is no good either; B.O.B's not going to get tired, so unless the idea of riding out the mechanical assault for the rest of eternity sounds good to you, you'll want to trek across town whenever possible and lay down some siege of your own on B.O.B itself. Enemies spawn in waves, and if you're quick and strong, you can net yourself some valuable "down time" where you can hammer away at B.O.B's defenses before a new set of bots rolls out to rain on your parade.
Analysis: Easily the game's strongest point is its presentation, which is some of the best of its kind I've seen represented in a flash game before. The aesthetic design is appealingly shabby, giving the whole thing a retro-verging-on-apocalyptic feel. There's a lot to see (and explode) as you stroll around town (and explode it), and chock full of subtle (and unsubtle) nods to popular culture. The town itself is beautifully made and a lot of fun to tour, but it does feel disappointingly empty; I realise the game is supposed to be a simulation, but c'mon... don't you want a bunch of screaming civilians running around your metal feet?
Not that you would have much time to stop and smell the roses, admittedly. Still, it would have been nice to see more variety in the game; you never really feel as though you're getting better at it, just able to soak and deal more damage to the hordes of mostly identical enemies. Most of the time the only real strategy is clearing the field of foes long enough for you to sprint across town and deal a few choice hits to B.O.B before running back to HQ in time for the next wave.
Ultimately, that winds up feeling like what's holding The Terminal back; it has the design, the gameplay, but it's just a bit too repetitive. A little more variance would have gone a long way to making this the type of thing you go to over and over again to get your action fix. As it stands, however, The Terminal is still an absolutely stellar example of its genre; beautiful to look at, and smooth to play, it's easy to throw yourself into the action. If only there were a bigger variety of it.