After having played Minecraft for half a year now, I was craving something new to test out, something casual, yet with a purpose. I do love that about MC, that the goal in itself becomes simply to go further, to dig deeper, to build something bigger. So I thought I’d see how another game with a similar structure handles this: Terraria!
I was positively surprised at the cute, customisable figures. They are neat in screenshots, but there’s something even more lovable about that pixel lump in action, swinging its little pixel axe. The design of the world is also very pretty. Despite the cube-structure, it looks less chunky and more natural than MC. I guess it’s in the names – Minecraft is mostly about mining and crafting, whereas Terraria is really a big terrarium. There’s cute rabbits (that I accidentally hacked into pieces on my first go… oops), flowers and birds, accompanied by a cutsie background tune.
To be honest, I was very confused when I started out. While the game’s mechanics are quite self-explanatory, I was too used to the 3D look of MC and totally sucked in a 2D environment. I was never quite sure what blocked my way and what didn’t, or where to hack with what. In MC, it doesn’t matter if you slice away dirt with your sword; in Terraria you can only hack trees with an axe, and dirt & rocks with your pickaxe. These tools were already in my inventory, as well as a list of craftable items to scroll through.
Because of this, the game seems much easier from the start than MC. There, I spent my first night in a dark hole in the ground, scared shitless by all the zombies and spiders out to get me. In Terraria, you have plenty of time to construct a comfortable cottage long before nightfall – even if it takes you half the day to figure out what to do. Still, the placing of blocks was difficult to get used to, since everything is so tiny. This is also my only complaint about the inventory – every item is really, really small, and it takes time and many mouse-over tooltips to know what’s what. But eventually I got used to the mechanics quickly and with only one back-check on the internet; everything seems to be quite intuitive. What’s even cooler is that you can use your character in more than one world, and you keep your inventory when you switch between them!
The only thing I haven’t quite figured out is combat. I already got diced by yellow slime, green slime, blue slime, zombies and a rather large worm, and I only managed to hit them with my sword when they stopped jumping up and down and sat right in front of me. I guess I’ll need some more practise with that, but it is kind of frustrating when your sword only hits two ways.
All in all, Terraria motivates me less to build and more to explore & adventure. I am having a lot of fun doing that at the moment, and am certainly not putting this game down again soon! 🙂