There’s a new sandbox in town, and it’s called Terraria. Going along the same basic premise of Minecraft (which everyone should have at least played once by now), you mine blocks, craft items, build shelters and fight monsters. But don’t think that this is just another clone.
Firstly Terraria is 2D – yes, in a word where immersive 3D is all the rage, they’ve decided to switch back to the old side-scrolling platform style. In fact, playing it gives you the distinct impression that you’ve plugged in your old Sega system and you’re running through the passages of Castlevania. It feels great - the playing style is perfect, the controls and movement is spot-on.
Secondly, whereas Minecraft has a handful of bad guys and now a tamable wolf, which is pretty neat, Terraria has spans of creatures and quite a range of craftable items. In Minecraft you can craft swords of either stone, steel or gold. In Terraria you have tiers of weapons, tiers and sets of armor and many trinkets that help you in different ways. It’s truly a proper RPG. You even have special dungeons and summonable bosses - almost World of Warcraftish… You gear yourself up to defeat bigger baddies, then gear up some more to dig deeper and explore further.
Terraria adds another little twist in the form of NPCs that will come live in your house once you meet certain requirements. You always start off with a guide though, who will vaguely help you through your first day or so. As with Minecraft though, don’t feel ashamed at looking at the Terraria Wiki for help. Some things are just not apparent.
Ok, there are a few flaws – I can see myself getting bored once I’ve beaten all the endgame content, something that Minecraft won’t really experience. You just don’t have the building prowess of Minecraft. Hopefully further content releases will alleviate this, something I foresee happening, as the bosses add a new dimension to the sandbox genre.
Summary: an awesome little game by these indie developers. It’s a blast from the past with a new twist that will enchant you. I give it a firm 4 1/2 MisGuilded stars