Review by Bkstunt_31
"A playground for creators... with some addicting RPG mechanics thrown in for good measure!"
I'll admit: I know nothing about minecraft (apart from the fact that it's apparently a cultural phenomenon), and I'm not much of a "sandbox" gamer. I LIKE stories... I LIKE having goals to accomplish. If you're like me, I can tell you right now that Terraria does NOT have EITHER of those things. And yet... I found myself caught by this game's siren song, catching myself playing it whenever I had a free moment for nearly three days straight!
But wait a minute! How did this happen!? Well... I'm not entirely sure myself. Let's go through what you can expect from Terraria if you bought and played it today...
First things first, Terraria has absolutely NO story. When you start a game, you create a character (who is a sprite that you can customize the clothes and hair on), and then you will have to create a world (you can choose from small, medium, or large world sizes). The world will then build, generating randomly.
So, what is your goal in Terraria? Well, you don't have one! You're ONLY job is to explore and create. You'll start out in a sprite-filled world, full of tree's and earth, and you are given a pick-ax and a regular axe. As you chop and dig, you'll acquire a wealth of "base building materials" from which you can create other items with. Here's an example of how my first hour went:
Hey, a guide! Wait, where are you going!? TALK TO ME!! Bah, you're boring, I'm done with you!
Well, I'm going to chop this tree down! *chops down tree* Hey look! Wood popped out! Ah, it looks like I can BUILD things with wood through my menu... I built a work desk! How the heck do I put it down? Why isn't the guide helping me!? Why hello, little slime..
Man these slimes are ANNOYING. But this pick-ax is pretty cool, and it can kill them! I'm going to dig down into the earth and see what I can find... it looks like it's about to be night soon!
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ZOMBIES AND DEMON EYES KILLING ME OVER AND OVER!? *cries until day breaks*
You see, you are NOT alone in Terraria! The world IS your playground, but it is also inhabited by creatures. During the day, slimes will come by and, unless YOU hurt them, will leave you alone to build and create items. However, at NIGHT you will be CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED by zombies and flying demon eyes, which WILL leave you crying in a hole (like it did to me). As you explore and dig underground, you will also run into monsters of various types, all of which will try to kill you. This fact alone gives you an actual goal in Terraria: Survival! Using your own two hands and the world around you, you need to build a house to stay in and grant you some sort of protection from the awful nights. From there you can craft an assortment of different weapons as you find new mineral veins underground.
That's all there really is to the game: survive and explore! The game is PACKED with items that you can collect and make into better items, and a large part of the game is just building up your dream house and making the BEST equipment you can. There are several things found in RPG's that they put in Terraria as well, such as upgrading your weapons and armor, or finding additional health underground. The game also features a few BOSSES, as well as a few random events to through in some much-needed variety. There are also several special environments hidden throughout the world for you to find.
The sprites throughout the game are charming and simple, and the amount of items in the game is simply staggering. Of course, many of them have a limited use, but there's no denying that this game is visually appealing in a retro kind-of-way. I also liked how very beautiful they made the game, with lush underground pockets of greenery here and there and the way that vines continuously grow as you play the game. There is a lot to like here visually, especially given how picturesque you can make your own dwellings.
The music may be the one thing truly overlooked in the game. Why? Well, the tracks are rather... average. There's nothing truly OUTSTANDING here. The music loops constantly, but does change when, for example, you go underground or it turns to night. The sound effects in the game are also pretty much what you would expect, with classic bleeps and bloops that fit in with the graphics. Each enemy also has their own sound effect, which was also appreciated given how often they seem to show up.
While there IS a lot of content here, this game is fairly cheap for a reason: it all gets old fast. With only a handful of special events, bosses, and items you will quickly reach the pinnacle of what you can do in your world. Thankfully, you can plop your character into a new world and begin anew, or you can also play co-op with friends. There's enough content in Terraria to last you for a couple of play-throughs given the random nature of the game, but thankfully the developers are NOT done with the game, and new content may come your way at anytime (and it's FREE).
Story: X/10 (No Story)
Game Play: 8/10
Terraria doesn't hold your hand, but if it gets its teeth in you you may find yourself playing it for days. So, what got me hooked? In a nutshell: the RPG aspects of the game combined with the entertaining exploration and the NEED to kill those bosses. Plus, at $9.99 on steam, Terraria is one heck of a deal. Have fun and keep playing!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/11
Game Release: Terraria (US, 05/16/11)
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