Sep 26, 2013
Outdoor survival, nicely-rendered 2D graphs with whimsical monsters and… wait for it… zombies?
People: Terraria is here!
The gameplay takes familiar survival staples and rolls them into a fairly complex system involving manipulation, combination and strategy. The tutorial underlines the basic stuff quite well; the first grand explains how to use the left-set control to move on either direction, as well as how to jump, scale downward… and instinctive movements, like directing jumps in either aerial direction are logical. The tutorial goes on to walk through collection of materials, protection, creations and dangers.
Survival boils down to, well, staying alive. There are bouncy monsters of differing colors that can do damage, and the game shows how to use the standard sword to beat them. Collecting materials invokes using a pickaxe to dig into the ground and getting metal ores of different kinds. Wood is a valuable resource, and to procure this, you can use the axe to chop down trees.
One of the the most urgent tasks is to create a shelter to protect from the undead prowlers that roam as soon as the sun goes down. Using the wood within set parameters, it is possible to build a structure with walls and a ceiling. But a house and walls do not a house make; a door needs to be crafted, and for this, the anvil needs to be activated.
Thus the game goes. There are plenty of situations that demand problem-solving skins and combining tools, like making torches for nighttime use and making iron tools to access other things.
I suspect that what makes this game such a hit with some folks — the logical complexity — could probably be a barrier for others. There are some things that don’t appear intuitive in the gameplay, so I was constant researching gameplay. The pixelated graphics I adored somewhat obscured the identity of some items, so it took a bit more time to figure out what was what. The tutorial is probably the most valuable asset, and the lack of multiplayer is distressing.
Still, it is an exciting game that clearly shows why Terraria continues to be a hit across several platforms.