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.

2013-12-23-091227Terraria 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.

2013-12-20-193039Being 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.

2013-12-29-211656Terraria 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.

2013-12-29-211859All 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.

Lasting Appeal
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Tyler Olthoff is a 24 year old who has been gaming since he can remember. In love with almost all types of games, the only type he can't stand (and that's probably because he sucks at it) is fighting games. His favorite genres would have to be shooters, RPGs, and adventure games. He owns almost every new system out there including PS4, PS3, XB1, PSVita and the 3DS, but barely plays any of them as it's mainly his good old Vita getting the attention!
  • TheExile285

    Great game is great

  • Slizarus

    I really struggled with whether to pick this game up or Dragon Fantasy Book II during the sale… and despite having Starbound and Terraria on the PC, I decided to pick this gem up on Vita.

    Yeah. I hate Slimes, but Blood Moons are fun!

    This is a fantastic game, anyone with a Vita should try out the Trial and see if they like it or not 🙂

    • Agreed! Can’t wait for Starbound to come to Vita also 😀

      • Slizarus

        TBH, I also got Terraria so I could offer some input regarding UI controls when Starbound gets ported.. and so I could get my mining on the go :p

        Starbound got me into Terraria despite already having Terraria, I didn’t understand the gameplay/fun in it until I had fun with Starbound and thought “There’s something to this.”

        And Voila.. Several hours later.. Tophat and Copper Armor. GG

  • Devin Hudson

    I spent hours just playing the demo, so I know I’ll enjoy the full game. It’s a bit too expensive for me at the moment though (not to mention I’m playing a ton of other stuff right now), so I may just wait until it goes on sale.

    • The price is a tad high even with the PS+ discount although it’s not much of a discount! Waiting for a price drop is totally ok. I’m backlogged like crazy right now! So many great vita games lately.

      • Slizarus

        I’m a pretty sale obsessed person and the 10% discount was… enough to convince me to get Terraria, it’s just one of those Sandboxes that’s worth the buy-in cost. But I know about waiting for sales and Backlogs XD

  • Freelance

    The controls made it hard for me to kill anything without taking a lot of damage. While I think this sort of game would be better suited for a handheld, I think I’ll stick to PC for the better control options.

    • Control is an issue with this but i learned to work with it and now it doesnt bother me at all 😀 I do see where you’re coming from though!

    • JoeCool

      Like I said in another post, changing to manual mode makes everything much easier. Gives you complete control!

      • Freelance

        I already tried both methods. They’re great when you’re digging and building stuff, but neither, I found, were that great when attacking things. It could be just me though. I may be too used to the PC controls.

  • Yuuki

    huh we can give .05 ? xD
    well good review but i am more of a Minecraft/Starbound guy.

    • ooops haha yeah i dont think we can fixed that 😀

  • Rodolfo Ferreira

    I like this genre, though I’m not the Biggest fan of it. Well, after have tried the demo, I gotta say the background music is kind of unsatisfying and can get you to sleep during gameplay. Yeah, that happened to me. The digging rhythm is slow at first but I was told it can be faster as you upgrade your tools. The combat system and dexterity suffers a lot in this game. Switching to manual is the only good thing about it, but still makes it complicated. Oh and the lack of leveling up in this game makes you feel they really shot themselves in the foot. Considering those facts and the price (more than $10 for a 2yr-old PC game port?) altogether, I’ll give this game 3.2 out of 5.

    • Yeah the combat and controls can be a bit annnoying at times but I learned to work with them and if you set weapons or things you use alot to the d pad you can quickly attack or get back to digging or whatever you were doing. I think the lack of leveling is ok considering you can find heart pieces that will increase the amount of health you have which i think is somewhat of a form of leveling.

      Thanks for reading my review and voicing your opinions you make great and valid points!

      • JoeCool

        I find the Manual Mode for the cross-hair much easier to pretty much do everything!

  • Johnathan Pompey

    Great review! 🙂 do you know if this game supports cross play? i have the ps3 version but playing with friends is hard on the eyes since my t.v. is pretty small

    • I saw a commercial advertising that it did but everyone is saying no. I know it supports cross save.

  • Silent Angel

    You guys give .7s now, what?

    • We have used decimal increments since July. Next week we are tweaking things ever so slightly.

  • JoeCool

    2 words: EPIC, ADDICTING.

  • Dessel

    I hope it will be on PS Plus.