Video Games – Terraria

So I’ve been playing Terraria.

I don't even know why those fish are there.

I don’t even know why those fish are there.

Like, a lot of Terraria.

Too much, really.

But it’s fun! As far as I can tell, it’s like 2-D Minecraft. You dig up blocks of material and then use those to build rooms for NPCs to live in, or you mine ores and smelt them into bars of metal and make weapons and armor.

The biomes are a nice touch. The surface world has zones to it, called biomes. There’s the forest, deserts, jungles, sometimes a snowy forest, and at the edge of the map on either side, there’s an ocean. There’s also a Corruption biome, with aberrant monstrosities to fight. It’s fun.

There’s a nice variety at the start. One thing I liked at the beginning of the game and really didn’t like at the end was that the pickaxes can only mine certain materials. Your initial pickaxe, which I think is copper, can mine dirt and stone blocks, and copper, iron, silver, and gold ore. If you want to mine the next tier of ores for better equipment – demonite ore, I think – then you have to use the ores you can get and make a better pickaxe. The gold pickaxe is what you need to mine demonite ore, and then you can make a demonite pickaxe to mine other, weirder materials.

A legendary shortsword right out of the gate? Looks like a Monty Haul of a game to me.

A legendary copper  shortsword right out of the gate? Looks like a Monty Haul of a game to me.

In the beginning of the game, this was really neat. You can just wander around, digging through caverns and stumbling on ores, fighting off skeletons and slimes. I played with two friends and it was a blast; probably the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer game since, I don’t know, maybe since I played The Realm as a kid with my brother and friends.

But there’s a point in the game where you have all the best equipment and all the NPCs live in your house (most of them sell you things, you aren’t just giving them a place to live because they are helpless). Then, you can fight this boss called the Wall of Flesh – you have to do it in Hell, at the bottom of the map – and if you beat him, the world enters hardmode. This means new enemies, a new biome called the Hallow, and new ores if you know how to make them appear.

The Hallow, complete with Seussian trees, Pixies, and rainbow backdrop. Sometimes a Unicorn tries to gore you.

The Hallow, complete with Seussian trees, Pixies, and rainbow backdrop. Sometimes a Unicorn tries to gore you.

This is where I found the game to become significantly less fun. During the beginning of the game, you can find these stone hearts underground, and you can basically eat them to gain more permanent life. But your life maxes out at 400. Enemies in hardmode do much more damage than they should, and it’s a huge pain in the ass to go find the new ores – cobalt, mithril, and adamantite. I died so many times, just because I couldn’t handle the damage the enemies were putting out. It was even worse, because I knew I couldn’t handle it because I needed the new ores, which I couldn’t get because I kept dying.

Additionally, I could only mine cobalt at first. That’s the only hardmode ore you can mine with a pre-hardmode pickaxe. Once you get enough ore, you can make a cobalt drill that works like a pickaxe, and then you can mine mithril. Once you get enough mithril, you can mine adamantite, the best hardmode ore. It’s just that the difficulty ramps up significantly once you defeat the Wall of Flesh.

It shoots lasers, too.

It shoots lasers, too.

Still, the game is a blast. Speaking of which, there are explosives in the game – grenades that hurt enemies, bombs that blow up blocks, and dynamite that blows up most everything. The explosives were the one thing I couldn’t keep myself from using all the time. Need to drain some water? Throw some dynamite in there! Need to cut down trees for wood? Drop a bomb! Inventory full? Throw some dynamite, then some bombs, then just go crazy!

Weapons can be upgraded, which was a nice touch. There are all kinds of materials to collect and use to improve items, or make potions. Potions were nice. Most were useful, like Ironskin potions to increase your defenses, or Health potions, or my favorite, Shine potions that make you glow so you don’t have to stick torches everywhere when you’re digging. Swiftness potions increase your movement speed, which is nice if you’re running to the ocean on the side of the map.

Pretty lonely, though.

Pretty lonely, though.

There’s a ton of fun things to do in this game, and it’s only $10 on Steam. I bought the 4-pack when they were having their Holiday Sale, and each game ended up costing me something like $2.50. It’s really worth the ten bucks though, and if you can convince a friend or two to pick it up as well, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have fun.

Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t things that could be better. If you want to make potions, for example, you basically have to play Terraria Farmville. Finding plants in the wild doesn’t happen often enough to make the amount of potions you need. Many potions use the plants that don’t grow very fast, which is irritating.

Terraria Farmville is a game I would play, apparently.

Terraria Farmville is a game I would play, apparently.

Also, while you can talk to the NPC Guide to find out what materials can be made into, it doesn’t tell you what crafting station you need. You have to have the right crafting station, be standing in front of it, and have the exact right materials to make a certain item. And when you are looking at making crafting stations, they aren’t clear enough on what they can make. I eventually found myself looking up recipes on a Terraria Wiki, and I hate that. I should never have to look outside the game in order to play the game.

My absolute favorite thing about Terraria, however, is the story I was able to impose on it. You can make a handful of worlds, and each world is a brand-new place for your character to travel through and find ores and materials. After playing for a while, I realized that my character was basically a dimension-hopping parasite, skipping through the veil to scavenge these virgin worlds for resources. Then I flee back to my homeland, where I build houses in the sky and mix potions. It’s the best kind of robber-baron simulator.

Also you can fly. So. You know. Nice.

Also you can fly. So. You know. Nice.

Anyway, I highly recommend Terraria. You’ll get bored eventually, but for the amount of time you’ll have fun playing based on what the game costs, it’s a good deal.


About seansynthetic

" I says the the guy, I says to him, 'No, YOU ain't allowed back into this Chuck-E-Cheese.'"

Posted on February 1, 2013, in Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve been wanting to check this one out for awhile now. Glad it’s worth the price of admission.

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