“Dig, fight, explore, build! Nothing is impossible in this action-packed adventure game.” – Is the slogan for this lovely little indie game, a slogan which sums it up pretty nicely.
On the face of it, there is some resemblance to Minecraft (have you heard of that? Little game by some guy called ‘Notch’?), where you build a shelter and then dig down into the world for resources. But Terraria is a little more completed than Minecraft, with NPCs, more enemies, bosses, and a large assortment of armour, weapons, and magical items.
The world of Terraria is separated into biomes that are each host to their own variety of monsters and loot. The first you’ll find is the basic surface of Terraria where there is little loot, and the only monsters are slimes (unless it’s night time). When you dig far enough down, you will encounter skeletons that only appear deep underground. And when you reach the bottom, you find hell, where there is lava, big skeletal worms, and lava imps that don’t like you. There is also the jungle biome which can be harder to find, though on small worlds it is often near to or even on the surface of the world, here you can find great treasures, but there are some of the nastiest creatures on Terraria here.
The crafting system, similar to Minecraft, requires a certain amount of materials and you need to build a Workbench (or Forge, Furnace, etc), but you simply press Esc to bring up the inventory and there is also a bit on the left for crafting, which you can easily scroll with the mouse-wheel and it will show you what you can make with the stuff in your inventory. Simple – though this does call for the occasional wiki-check for when you want to build something specific but you don’t actually have the materials.
Terraria basically has a lot you can do in it, with bosses that you need to kill for the materials to build armour and weapons so you can survive the expeditions going further down the world. And to keep it interesting, armour gives set-bonuses, and you have 5-slots for accessories which buff your character, e.g. Cloud in a Bottle, which gives you double jump, or Red Balloon, which increases your jump height.
In conclusion, it’s a game which you can easily waste a lot of time, even though it’s a 2d side-scroller, it’s addictive fun (and not in the archaic arcade game way), and when you get your friends to go online with you it’s even more fun, with fluent worlds and characters that keep the same items and areas when you switch from single to multi-player.