Terraria Review: A Side Scrolling Minecraft
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
I am sure almost everyone has played Minecraft by now. The game where you are limited only by your imagination and are free to do whatever you please.
Terraria is basically a sidescrolling version of Minecraft with more emphasis on exploration and combat. This does not mean that the game is simply a copy as it offers unique experiences through new items, areas and monsters. With almost no advertising or promotion except a simple tweet from Notch (creator of Minecraft), Terraria has managed to top the charts on Steam and achieve high ranks in most simultaneous players since its release. It sold 50,000 copies on day one and was able to sell over 200,000 copies in nine days.
In Terraria you may have multiple characters under one account. There are some options to customize your character but the character creator is nothing special. These characters are different from Minecraft because they can be played in any of your existing worlds. This means that your progress is always tracked even when switching worlds and you will not have to face the boring grind whenever you start a new world.
Your characters may use various items to increase their effectiveness in combat, mining, cutting and exploring. The three main stats in this game are defense from armors, health from randomly spawning crystals and mana from falling stars. These stats are used to increase your characters ability to slay enemies. While defense and health work the same as other games, mana is a bit different. Normally you would spend mana by casting trained spells, but in Terraria you use it to activate item abilities such as fireballs or rocket boots.
When you load up the game, you must create a new world to play in. Unlike Minecraft the worlds are not generated as you go but are created instantly. You get to pick the size of your world but I recommend going for the largest one because the world does not expand.
Once you get into the game you are left to basically figure things out on your own. While there is a guide, he turns out to be quite useless and tends to get annoying. No matter how hard you try to get rid of him he will find his way back to you. I recommend reading the Terraria Wiki to help you get started.
There are other NPC characters that will randomly appear in your world and help you by either being a merchant or a healer. After you meet the requirements, you simply create a simple room which is closed on all sides and eventually an NPC will call this its home. You do not really get a choice as to where they spawn so it can get annoying if they take your personal house.
Eater of the Worlds!
The game world is made up of little blocks which are destructible. All blocks take a different amount of hits to break depending on their type and your tool. These blocks can be used to craft items or build structures. While there is a lot of variety for crafting, the building does not seem to work very well. You can still create decent houses but they do not wow you as much as Minecraft.
The game goes through a day and night cycle which controls monster spawns. During the night monsters will continue to attack your house but will not really break anything except the door. Your NPCs are safe except on blood moons which randomly occur. This means that monsters spawn at a quicker pace and are able to kill your NPCs but the NPCs will respawn in the future.
There are a lot of items available in Terraria and they can be obtained by crafting through the simple crafting system. If you have the materials and are close to the right equipment, all the possible items will appear in a simple list. This system allows for easy discovery of recipes because you do not need to guess the materials for items.
The huge variety of items allows for a lot of replayability. Although it has not been confirmed, everyone is mentioning that the developers will continue to update at a good pace and release new items for the players.
The combat is a lot of fun in Terraria. You can fight tiny slimes, skeletons, goblin armies and much more. Occasionally special events may trigger either through luck or player actions. These special events result in a boss appearing at your main home and often drop good loot.
So that is what it meant by, “You are being watched.”
Once you are fully geared, the monsters simply become nuisances. The final boss may prove to be a challenge but he can only be fought once per world.
While there is PvP in the game, it is not balanced. The PvP seems to be put in there just for fun as you can easily render your melee opponent useless with a ranged weapon. It is a nice feature to have if you get bored of the other features.
The multiplayer is what makes this game so good. It is a lot of fun exploring new worlds and crafting new gear with a group of friends. I was quite surprised at how stable the servers could be on release day. While there are some bugs, the multiplayer is very much playable.
Fighting off a goblin invasion
Since your characters are tracked throughout all the worlds, you may use your single player characters to play online. There is also a piggy bank system where all the items in your piggy bank can be accessed on from other piggy banks on different worlds.
I was very surprised at how much fun this game could be. I liked Minecraft but did not love it so I was a bit skeptical about this game. It turns out that the emphasis on combat and exploration made this game very enjoyable and a blast with some friends. We all played this game for hours on end when it first came out but stopped once we basically got everything. At this point we are simply waiting for updates.
This game is one of the best things you can get for $10. I highly recommend playing Terraria. Also be sure to check out our Video Review!