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Since the creation of Minecraft, Sandbox games with an emphasis on building and exploration have been growing in popularity. Terraria was a game that took the concept of Minecraft and turned it on its head. What do you get when you put together the concept of building, mining, and creating, with the concepts of side-scrolling combat and an emphasis on action and boss fights?

Terraria is a game that is essentially Minecraft’s action oriented sibling with tonnes of bosses, biomes, environments to explore and tonnes of weapons and armour to craft. With The developers of Terraria planning two successors to this colossal game let’s check out where it all began.

Your adventure begins in a randomly generated world where you’ll be able to create a character in 2D sprite form. You are able to eventually customise your character to your liking, whether you prefer swords, axes, magic, bows, or other ranged weapons (such as the leaf chakram) it is all a matter of progression. As you delve deeper and explore the various biomes you’ll be able to acquire NPC’s who provide a number of services (as long as you have space in your home set for them). The Nurse will heal you for a price whilst the arms dealer will sell various gun weapons. Certain NPC’s are required to progress, for instance, the Guide (who spawns at the beginning of every map) must be sacrificed in order to summon the wall of flesh, a boss that enables hard mode after beating it.

buildings in Terraria

You have a full inventory as well as plenty of equipment slots to equip helmets, accessories, chest plates, pants, boots, and other necessities. Items that can be harvested range from building blocks to crafting materials (though some can be used as building blocks and vice versa) as well as bronze, silver, gold and platinum which work as currency at vendors.

Normal Mode and Hard Mode are only different in matters of progression. By the time you have progressed to the end of normal mode and are suitably geared you will be able to kill the Wall of Flesh, which not only unlocks Hard Mode but also a variety of other content and capabilities including new bosses. While Hard Mode isn’t ENTIRELY necessary for you to get the full experience, players who want to enjoy Terraria with friends (and experience all the bosses, unique gear, and gameplay experiences that Terraria has to offer) will likely want to get a group of friends together and attempt hard mode.

terraria level

Not to say that Terraria can’t be played solo but rather that the experience (even in Normal Mode) will be quite difficult as opposed to having people join you. Multiplayer worlds function just the same as single-player ones, however, they enable team creation (where players can form teams and then undergo PVP by challenging one another). Multiplayer worlds also have increased enemies spawning, though it does not scale on the number of players, meaning that a two player team will spawn the same amount of enemies as a four-player team.

Similarly to Minecraft, the crafting has progression as well as combat.

As you progress by killing bosses and mining deeper underground you discover materials that can be used to create higher quality, higher tier crafting benches and appliances.  These can be used to create more powerful weapons, armour or accessories. Terraria also has things that normally would only be found in Modded Minecraft, such as wings and magic spells that can be used instead of conventional weaponry.

The world of Terraria has unique events that can randomly happen ranging from Blood Moons (which cause large amounts of enemies to spawn on the overworld) to shooting stars and meteors which can be collected for rare minerals and materials. Terraria’s gameplay is relatively endless as there is something to be said for getting together a group of friends and attempting to progress as far as you can. Alternately you can bring that same band together and build a sprawling tower filled with loot or explore the twelve different major biomes along the way.

Terraria’s art style is very minimalistic and simple with Sprites and 2D planes instead of full sprawling 3D and shaders. It suits this game very well though  as various biomes and visual effects are a feast for the eyes and the 38 different bosses (as well as the plethora of monster types) are all unique and interesting. Boss fights are absolutely epic and demand proper preparation in order to succeed in them. Players really need to learn the mechanics of Terraria making victory all the more fun.

terraria wall of flesh fight

Terraria can be incredibly difficult for new players diving in without friends to help them along. This difficulty is compounded by a lack of a real tutorial; therefore, it is really only for those who want to play with friends (at least until they are comfortable with how the game works.) Minecraft is good for those who enjoy being creative and building, where Terraria is meant for a creative person that would rather spend their time spelunking only to return to home base when they had filled their bags with loot (and monster bits). The difficulty can be a turnoff but it also entices those who enjoy a strict challenge and a game to play for endless hours.

This is not to say that Terraria is not made for sprawling buildings and great creations. The tools are there but it’s simply not the Terraria’s focus. Terraria’s only downside is its difficulty, overcome this and there are hundreds… THOUSANDS of hours of gameplay, an endless amount of bosses, weapons, armour and collectables to see and experience. With Free updates, endless gameplay, and a unique take on the sandbox experience; Terraria is a great party game for you to play with friends and family. Give the original a try while you wait for the other announced games in the series to be released.  Terraria: Otherworld is slated to release sometime this year.

Terraria's 8.7/10 rating by IGCritic

Pro’s

• Endless Sandbox Gameplay
• Tons of Epic Bosses, incredible weapons and armor
• Perfect for Multiplayer with Friends
• Hard mode available
• Widely available on many consoles

Con’s

• Single Player is needlessly difficult

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Alexx Aplin has been a gamer since the age of 5, and has worked as a game reviewer and journalist for about 4 years. His favorite genres of games are RPG's, Narrative based games, and third person action games.
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