Just keep digging, just keep digging.
That’s a lot of what you do in this game brought to us by Re-Logic and 505 Games. Terraria is a game about exploration, building, and strategy. It has a similar feel to Minecraft although unlike Minecraft it’s entirely set in a 2D world. Even with it being in 2D there’s still a lot of depth to this game, and uniqueness that sets this far apart from its obvious inspiration.
Terraria places you in the middle of a randomly generated unexplored world. Your main goal at the start is to build a shelter before night fall, as monsters will come out. You’re given 3 items to make do with at the start, including a sword, pickaxe, and an axe. First things first, grab your pickaxe and start clearing a level area for a house. After that’s done you’re going to want to use your axe to chop down some trees to collect some wood. By collecting new items into your inventory you can use these to craft even more items. By exploring new lands you will start to find new items that can help you in your exploring. The crafting system in this game is pretty simple, but very deep. You won’t know how to build something unless you have or have had the items to create this new item.
Your inventory has six sections that help keep things organized. In the top portion you have your instant equip row. In this row you have 10 items you can equip without actually being in the inventory menu, making this much faster which is a must for this game. After that you have three more rows of inventory that just hold onto all the stuff you have collected over time. The inventory also organizes your money and ammo into 8 different slots. This is nice considering your inventory can become very cluttered over time. The last two sections are your trash can and your quick equip slots. Your trash can is pretty self explanatory, it’s where you put items you want to delete permanetly. With the quick equip slots you have 4 slots assigned to your D-pad on the Vita. By placing items onto these slots you can which ever direction on the D-pad you set them to, and equip these in a tight situtation especially when dealing with monsters while trying to mine.
Terraria goes for a more classic look. Imagine what Minecraft would have been if it was made 15-20 years ago. The only thing is just how big the game gets. Terraria’s world is so big I still haven’t discovered everything in my unique world. When I say unique I do mean unique. In Terraria your level is randomly generated and you can choose wether you want a small, medium, or large map. I started off with a medium map and medium seems to be gigantic I have no idea what large could be then. At some points I felt like I couldn’t progress or didn’t think there was anything else to discover. Well I was so wrong! Terraria has it’s down moments, but I keep having moments where I learn a whole new thing that completly changes how I played the game.
Being as Terraria was originally a PC game the controls come into question right away. There’s two option to choose from and each have the benifits and draw backs. Let’s start with the ‘Smart Cursor.’ This cursor automatically links to blocks that it would assume you would want to break or dig. This can be very effective when digging from side to side, but digging up or down can be trouble some. The cursor I choose the most and takes a more computer style is the ‘Manual Cursor.’ With this cursor you have complete control of where you aim. The good thing about this is you can be much more accurate when attacking flying enemies or digging certain material. The draw back to this how ever is that it’s by far the slowest at digging, because you have to constantly change it’s position to keep moving forward. You will find yourself moving from cursor to cursor which isn’t a bad thing. At least you are given the option of both.
Crafting is actually quite simple. You take to items and combined them together using a certain stationary tool. For example Let’s say you want to build a bed. To do this you will need the following ingredients, 15 pieces of wood and 5 pieces of silk. The only way you can build it though even having the ingredients is if you build a Sawmill and stand infront of it when crafting your bed. With tons of things to craft you can find yourself lost in just what you can make. This is where Terraria really strives at encouraging you to explore, find new material, and build to your hearts content.
Terraria offers an interesting NPC (Non-Playable Character) system. As you build more rooms for your house NPCs will start showing up, and make themselves at home. With NPCs you can purchase new items, sell items, or get helpful tips on what to do next. Certain NPCs won’t show up unless you meet their requirments to move in. By having items in your inventory you can get these guys or gals to join you. The NPCs can take damage and die just like you and at first I thought I lost them forever. When later I found out that they’d come back over time. If you find yourself lacking NPCs or NPCs aren’t joining just make sure you have more rooms as they will only join when you have an open room.
One of the better things about Terraria is the fact that you have bosses that you want to kill to progress in the game. In doing so you unlock new items which in turn can be used to craft even more things from armor, weapons, or tools. These bosses are not the easiest things to find or kill. If you happen to kill one of the hardest bosses you can unlock the Hard Mode. In Hard Mode things change, new enemies, items, weapons, and many other things appear. Making this the best mode to play on as you can unlock some of the best parts of this game.
Terraria features online multiplayer via WiFi up to 8 players. Joining a multiplayer match was troubling at first, but luckly an update rolled out fairly soon that fixed the issue of not being able to join. I’ve only had the chance to play with 3 people including myself. It plays quite well with the occasional lag fest that seems to really only hit the people that aren’t hosting the lobby. Nothing really changes when playing multiplayer which is really nice. The only thing that is different is you can play PvP (player vs player). In this mode you can choose a team and battle with everyone in the match. If you have a buddy I highly recommand getting a friend to play with you as mining, building, and exploring all become much easier.
All in all Terraria is a fantastic game that deserves your time. If you’re a fan of building and exploration then this game is by far the best thing to have on the Vita. With solid gameplay and tons of replay value, Terraria knocks it out of the park with it’s transition to our favorite handheld. If you have the money, do yourself a favor and pick this title up ASAP.
With tons of replay value and a wide option of things to do, Terraria is one of the best things to come to the Vita. You learn something new almost all the time, and that’s what keeps this game fresh.