The explorer, the architect, the inventor, the hero; all of these aspirations can be fulfilled in Re-Logic’s Terraria. Players can explore, build, create, and kill in this delightful side-scrolling 2D pixel art game. Re-Logic took the sandbox game idea and ran with it, creating a world where the landscape is the canvas and the player’s customized sprite is their utensil. With biomes (environments) ranging from the jungle to the desert to corruption and even a forest which are home to a plethora of ores to collect and monsters to kill, Terraria is bound to latch on to the player’s imagination and let them take control of their destiny.
Starting Terraria is simple enough; players begin the game by customizing their personal little sprite counterpart. If playing on either the Xbox Live or PlayStation, the game will start out with a tutorial. Since the game first came out on the PC, there is no tutorial at the beginning and players are able to start exploring and building right away. Thankfully there are plenty of wikis and sites dedicated to helping out new players. These sites show the player what they need for certain armor, how to summon bosses, and what biomes have the best ore that they are seeking. One of the great things about Terraria is how easy it is to figure out where you are in relation to your house. This is due to the fact that Terraria is a 2D side-scrolling game and players can travel left or right and up and down throughout the map.
There are NPCs (non-playable characters) that can be spawned in the game, however players will need to fulfill specific requirements to make certain NPCs appear such as building a house with a bed. Other NPCs can be found throughout the game and once the player saves them from their peril they will most likely make the player’s home their own. These NPCs can sell useful items needed to craft even better items, so it is important that players learn how to attract the NPCs to their world.
There really is no right or wrong way to play this game. There are semi objectives players can meet for creating better gear or even moving on from normal mode to hard mode (hard mode has Unicorns!); but aside from that players can enjoy their time with the game and play any way they wish to. There is even an option to host a world in order to let friends who also own the game join in and play with you.
The sprite graphics really help give this game a nostalgic, old-school RPG feel however the effects that come off of the weapons, armor, and even monsters really help give the game a modern feel; well, as modern as they can be using sprite-based artwork that is! While these aren’t cutting edge technology graphics, the style found in this game is well done and looks amazing for what it is. The game does a really good job using environmental art to let the player know where they are in the world and which biome they are currently in or about to enter. When digging into the ground players will even be able to determine how far they are just by looking at the landscape around them.
The soundtrack to Terraria is only 13 songs long, however the way that they loop them together doesn’t come off as too annoying as it can in other games. In fact, the music is quite seamless with its loops and the style fits the game perfectly as it can be bright and cheery and even sprite-like in its own way. Monsters in the game let the players know when they are near as most of them have their own sound effects that will start to play as they get close to the player. Each biome has its own song as traveling between biomes becomes easy to notice since the music will adapt to the changing scenery.
Terraria is the perfect example of a sandbox-style game. With no objectives or goals laid out, the players is able to do as they wish, which only works if there is a ton of content in the game for the player to discover. When creating the world,players will get to choose between three different map sizes; obviously these map sizes determine how big the world will be for the player. Players who are first starting out will need to figure out how to create armor and weapons in order to stay alive. Once equipped, they are ready to venture out into the world.
Creating and upgrading is a huge part of this game – as the player starts to encounter tougher monsters they will need better gear to stay alive. Terraria does a great job with the types of equipment and armor players can make since different types will fit different play styles. From ranged users to magic to melee, there are different items players can create to help them out. There are also a wide variety of monsters that players will encounter throughout the world as well as a few world bosses players can spawn. Defeating one such world boss will change the game from normal mode to hard mode which in turn will add in more Corruption biomes and even a whole new biome that is only available in the hard mode. Terraria has a ton of content that can keep players busy, however newcomers may need to rely on some third-party fan sites to gain knowledge into what they should do and how to obtain newer and better items since the game itself doesn’t really provide this information.
Terraria can be a hit or miss, but the players it hits with really seem to love and appreciate the game. This game requires a lot of experimentation, investigation, and time in order to allow players to get the most out of it. Impatient people may become frustrated at the lack of information found in the game, but those with oodles of creativity, a lust for sleuthing and a never-ending thirst for power and upgrades will feel right at home in Terraria.