The sandbox survival genre is for anyone who loves to explore, and create; personally, I do not consider myself one of those people who send hours exploring digital worlds. However, as a reviewer I believe it is my duty to explore apps of genres that may not appeal to me initially and Terraria was one such game. The extremely popular sandbox survival game by the developer 505 Games (US), Inc. Terraria is in many ways similar to Minecraft in which you will be exploring, surviving and mining in a randomly generated 2D world complete with caves, forests, mountains and more. In the way, you will be encountering various threats and enemies, which you will have to defeat in order to grow and expand your kingdom. I may not be a big fan of the genre, however, I must admit that my personal Terraria world was immersive and I managed to have a great time playing it on my iOS devices.
In many aspects Terraria successfully manages to distinguish itself from Minecraft, which makes the game suitable for those who enjoy action games more than the sandbox genre. This unique factor made the gameplay much more enjoyable for me too.
This game has tons and tons of different characters, which you will encounter as you progress in the game, some will be you friends, some your enemies, monsters and bosses while there are some others you can just kill to collect ore and materials to build stuff. You will also get to customize and design you character, with tons of options you can go as wacky as you like or make yours look like a awesome warrior.
Terraria is more like a journey in which you explore new worlds or in terms of this game different layers. Your randomly generated world is divided into five different layers for you to explores, each layer has its own characters or creatures including bosses, there are different material you can mine from each layer to use to build you kingdom. Your Terraria world is vast, and the possibilities are endless because you can kill, mine and chop down just about everything and then use it to craft and create. Terraria is well and truly an open-ended game and feels like one too.
The game allows you to choose your character’s difficulty level, you can choose to go Softcore, Mediumcore, and if you are really ambitious go full on Hardcore, however you have to make this choice in the very beginning in you game, prior to creating your character because once you have made the choice you cannot go back. You can also choose Normal and Expert mode when creating a new world. I chose not to get too ambitious and choose the medium and normal settings.
The premise of the game is simple – you are in a 2D world and your job is to explore, survive and build by killing, chopping and mining materials. I liked that the game keeps offering you challenges and action so you never really get too cozy doing just one thing and you learn this lesson from the offset when you have a limited time period to get your act straight before night falls and the monsters come out to play (eat you). The action was the one thing that really kept me coming back for more and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Terraria offers a multiplayer mode which only work if you are on the same network i.e. sharing a WiFi. The multiplayer feature was added much later after a long wait for fans but it is not the best multiplayer experience since you have to be on the same network, which is limiting.
A 2D world with a cool and nostalgic 16-bit feel (at least for us oldies who used to play and love 16-bit games, feeling old?) but 505 Games has given the old-school look a modern polish with detailed terrain, which creates an immersive and a beautiful setting for the game. The forests, the underground caves, and the island hovering in the sky are all beautifully designed. One thing I must add that when playing on smaller screens like that of iPhone and iPad sizing seemed to be an issue that bothered me initially, because it was not a problem on the PC or other platforms. The sound effects are pretty cool and suit the characters and actions perfectly.
Terraria is an amazing, immersive and fun game in which you can easily spend hours just exploring and crafting away, with its fair share of action and adventure to keep me glued to the screen and coming back for more. I have not been fully converted in to a sandbox survival game fan may be I need to experience some more game within this genre but anyone who is a fan of the genre must try this one out because it may offer something different, something more than you favorite sandbox survival game.