Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Slightly longer review of a great game
on 3 December 2015
There are a lot of reviews of this game that are pretty short so I thought I would try and give a little bit more detail. My kids have Minecraft, various Lego games and Disney Infinity for XBOX 360 but played Terraria more than any other game in 2015. I suspect that it is probably partly because I played it with them. Personally I find Minecraft a bit boring to play; there is not enough in there to keep me interested (the kids play it a fair bit on their own though). Disney infinity and Lego are good but they are 2 (not 4) player games and the game play is a bit too prescriptive. Plus Infinity costs a lot more. Being 4 players is big advantage for Terraria (even on a split screen). I imagine that older kids might get a lot out of playing Terraria online with others but I have not tried it.
Apart from Terraria being like Minecraft but in 2D there is another key difference. Terraria has more actual content and an end goal to meet (if you chose to go that way). The game allows you to play it in a more traditional video game way where you build up your weapons and armour to fight the next big enemy and progress to the next level and so on. There a large number of things to collect, numerous ways to progress through the game and a lot of baddies to fight (mainly cartoon violence although there are zombies, scary music and stuff like that).
Of course you can choose to just build houses and a village (with villagers) and it is good at that too, but some might say that Minecraft wins in that context. I actually prefer the kids to have an objective to meet, identify the problem, build up the right set of equipment, find the right person to sell you a bit of essential equipment, even building a trap to help fight the monsters. This game is good for that. There is even some rudimentary electronics involved later in the game.
The game is not necessarily complete once you go through to the end. It is possible to create multiple different worlds and drop in and out of them with different characters. Maybe keeping worlds for building houses and worlds for progressing thought the game. It is also possible to play through the game in a few different styles and tailor your weapons and armour to suit. The main ones are melee (swords, spears), ranged (bow, guns), magic (sort of like ranged), caster (you use minions to fight for you). They all involve a slightly different approach to the game.
There is another important additional element to this game (and Minecraft). Any problem that you encounter in the game has probably been solved by someone already and there is likely a video of it on YouTube if you get stuck it. Look up Stampy if you haven’t heard of him. It seems that watching Stampy play the game is sometimes more appealing than actually playing the game. I don’t really get it. Also there is a wiki that is very well maintained.
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t point out some weaknesses in the game. I have not played it online yet but playing 4 players on a split screen (on a normal sized TV) can be a bit annoying because there is a lot on the screen. It can be slow to make progress at the start, you have to build up your stuff from nothing and that involves trudging around getting killed a lot. Collecting enough early material or money can be a grind. This will put some younger kids off unless they can convince a nearby adult to help. Once you get the best equipment you can basically make yourself invincible which some older kids might find boring. Lastly, the developers have updated the content of the game a couple of times (for free) which is good but the version on the Xbox360 is not as up to date as the PC version. Some content that sounds quite good is missing.
I end this review by saying that if Terraria 2 comes out next year on a console we don’t have (like Xbox One); I will probably buy the console to play it. For hours of entertainment per pound spent, no other toy comes close (in my house) to Terraria. Unfortunately there is no follow up game currently available and Minecraft story mode does not sound like the answer at all.