Release Date: 17/5/11
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Action, RPG
Price: $9.99 USD
About the game:
[small]Grab your tools and go! You can do many things in Terraria: make weapons and fight off a variety of enemies in numerous biomes, dig deep underground to find accessories, money, and other useful things, gather wood, stone, ores, and other resources to create everything you need to make the world your own and defend it. Build a house, a fort, even a castle, and people will move in to live there and perhaps even sell you different wares to assist you on your journey. But beware, there are even more challenges awaiting you... Are you up to the task? [/small]
Terraria has already reached a few remarkable milestones since its release, becoming one of the steam stores' top sellers! Terraria is currently the 5th highest played game (as of 24/5/11via steam statistics), ahead of Call of Duty: Blackops, Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2. But what exactly is it?
Terraria has been compared to Minecraft by many, and most would be correct to do so as there are many similar features, but when juxtaposed, the game has its own unique charm that really separates it from Minecraft. In Terraria, you start out as a character that's been dumped into a randomly generated map with all of your basic tools provided and a guide to help you along the early stages. Similar to Minecraft, you cut your wood, mine your stone, and build your workbench/forge and in Terraria's case an anvil. Most users would then proceed to make their humble abode, whether it be a tiny hut made out of stone, or a glass castle floating in the sky, the main goal obviously for protection from the evil monsters that share the land with you.
But here's where Terraria really begins to shine, in order to be considered a house, buildings must comply with few specific living standards including a minimum height/width dimensions, a few furniture requirements and completely sealed walls, including the back wall (remember it's 2D!). But why is this important? Sure your 4 block cupboard of dirt will protect you from the pleasantly annoying slime during the day, and the demon eyes or zombies at night! But Terraria is also home to a few NPC's that will move into the houses in your world and sell items or provide healing services; it all depends on where you're at in the game. To utilise these services, Terraria has its own currency; consisting of copper, silver and gold coins. These coins can purchase you the latest and greatest of guns, explosives, potions or seeds and much more - great for those who can't be bothered crafting their own super weapons! Each death will see you retain all of your items, with the exception of a majority of your coins.
The crafting of items is different, in the way that you don't need to build the shape of the item you desire; it's simply, if you have the right ingredients and items, the recipe will appear in the crafting section of the menu.
Additionally, Re-logic has excluded item durability in Terraria - all items are made to last forever, which really lets you concentrate on the exploration and building side of things.
There are many opportunities to explore in Terraria; with many biomes to cross. Above ground, expect to run into corruption (a contaminated danger zone), huge mountains and islands in the sky. Below ground, expect underground caverns, water filled caves, ceramic pots with hidden goodies, super rare chests containing the rarest items, and eventually "hell".
So apart from the few exceptions, the concept still seems pretty similar to Notch's Minecraft... until now.
Terraria is not just based around user creativity and surviving. The game is also home to quite a few different random events. Without giving too much away, expect attacks from armies of monsters, falling stars, and meteor strikes; all adding in different materials and items into the mix. These random events keep things exciting, and keep you on your toes just when you think it's safe to go grab a bite while you sit in your house. In addition to the random events, Terraria is home to bosses with huge amounts of HP and varying difficulty levels.I almost forgot to mention for those RPG fans, to help fight the bosses; Terraria includes magic and spells along with a mana pool! All of which need to be acquired through defeating weaker bosses or as rewards from chests!) The bosses give the game a sort of objective, you never feel like you have nothing to do, unlike Minecraft which really relies on the users creativity and motivation.
In today's gaming scene multiplayer functionality plays a huge part in the success of most, if not all games. If you've already checked the Terraria out, you will have realised that it is in fact; multiplayer compatible.
Imagine doing all of the above mentioned with your closest friends and online mates! This is where the game once again, becomes so much more.
In Minecraft you spend all your time making your items, building your houses, only for the server you play on to shut down - all that work gone.
In Terraria, you have the ability to create multiple characters, with the unique item data saved to that character, separate to the world data. I played an approximate 4 hours alone before a few friends approached me with the desire to join in on my adventure. My friends took all their items they required from their storage and placed them in their inventory in single player, and simply connected to my server leaving them almost right where they left off minus the house (although if they wanted to show me what they'd built, they could easily start up an MP server, and select the world they created in Single player as the world map). The only downside to the multiplayer is the lack of dedicated server software. Currently users hosting must run two instances of the game, one hosting the server and one for the client, with almost no server control for the host. However, Re-Logic has addressed this and will release the software in the near future alongside continuous new content and updates, free of charge.
The hard work and effort that has gone into this game is really noticeable. The graphics, although 2D, are pleasant and detailed. The music soundtrack is amongst one of my favourites, unlike other games which I often choose to drown out with my own collection. Terraria boasts different music for different events that are happening in the game, and it never seems repetitive no matter how many times you've heard it.
Overall, I've thoroughly enjoyed Terraria. Before my purchase, I was a sceptic, reading media claiming it's just a Minecraft clone with 2D graphics. Now.... After my third day of gameplay I am satisfied with the fact that Terraria is definitely unique and in a league of its own. I can confidently say that for at least the near future; I will continue to play it with an amused mind and a huge smile on my face.