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First glance at Terraria (a short review)

Saw Terraria last night from Steam and decided to get it and give it a spin.

Terraria is an indie game developped by Re-Logic on PC, done in XNA, and released on Steam for 9.99$, or 9.99 euros in Europe.

The description of the game reads:

Grab your tools and go! You can do many things in Terraria: make weapons and fight off a variety of enemies in numerous biomes, dig deep underground to find accessories, money, and other useful things, gather wood, stone, ores, and other resources to create everything you need to make the world your own and defend it. Build a house, a fort, even a castle, and people will move in to live there and perhaps even sell you different wares to assist you on your journey. But beware, there are even more challenges awaiting you… Are you up to the task?

So I downloaded the game, and started it. Look around the menus. Settings, change keyboard options… oh cannot change keyboard, menu bugged…hhmm… went to the forums and saw this was a known issue. The devs seems to be aware of issues and I am sure they will fix these soon. But my first minute after launching the game was not the best experience. So, I started the game with weird keyboard controls and got used to it because I had no choices.

To the game now. So this is a 2D platformer, where you can dig, chop wood, get blocks and resources, craft thing, and fight monsters at night. So, obviously the gameplay heavily is borrowed from Minecraft. I think this is fine. Minecraft has created a interesting new genre (itself borrowing from lots of existing interesting ideas), just like Doom did in the 90s by creating the FPS genre. So, Terraria borrows from Minecraft and that’s for the better.

When you start, you’re next to a wandering NPC dude that looks like you. This is the guide, it will provide you with some useful basic informations. But at that time I decided to pause the game and check some Youtube video for some tutorials. I found this great one and I really recommend it if you want to get the basics explained in 10 minutes in a very clear and entertaining way:

Terraria Tutorial – How to Survive your First Night (HD):

Once you got that, you’re set and ready to explore and kick some basic arse. Start digging and look for ores.  On your way you’ll probably find natural caverns. In the few caverns I explored I found jars that you smash containing small loot. I am assuming you get better loot as you go deeper. Met some evil worms, eye balls and zombies and the noob green slimes. Combat is basic but it works and once you get used to the monster trajectories you get better at slashing them.You can create torches early in the game and a cool feature is that when your character is actually carrying it in its hand, it lights the surrounding. Very handy! Sometimes when you dig you’ll discover little water pools, and I found the water ‘physics’ pretty good as it flows in if you dig below the water level.

When you die, you respawn to your starting place. You’ll keep all your equipment on you, but leave your gold where you died, so you’ll have to get back there if you want to get it back. Also the thing you craft don’t break, you can use you pickaxe as mush as you want without having to carry a bunch with you in your long explorations.

The music is pretty neat, and changes based on events: the day and night have different musics and as you go deeper down it seems like you get more musics as well. The pixel art while basic is pretty good and serves the game well.

Supposedly NPCs (Merchants, nurses, dryads, …) come to your land when you build special houses for them. I haven’t had time to explore this yet, but it is a pretty smart scheme.

I haven’t played enough to see much more (didn’t even start multiplayer), but the couple hours I spent where fun and pretty addicting. Will have to build a huge Platformance knight in there just like I did in Minecraft to see if it drives me to some improbable adventures…

I can see this game having a huge community follow up, if the devs iron out the bugs and keep on adding features at a decent rate. So far so good. We shall see…

Terraria website: Terraria.org


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