I have to admit that I’ve been mining, crafting and pretty much hiding under a shell within the various worlds of Minecraft over the last eight years. It’s been to such an extent, that I’ve never made the transition to the 2D worlds of Terraria, a sandbox game that follows in a similar vein to Mojang’s title. However, with the release of Pipework Studios, 505 Games and Re-Logic’s behemoth on the Nintendo Switch, I’ve managed to resurface and relocate myself to Terraria’s worlds, as well as have the chance to form this review for the world-famous game that is coming from someone who has never tasted its fruits before.
First off, let’s get any comparisons out of the way. It’s no secret that Terraria is often associated with Minecraft. After all, they’re both survival sandboxes that tasks you with building, crafting, mining and exploring a variety of procedurally-generated regions as you create your own quest for survival amongst the indigenous lifeforms that inhabit their worlds. There, and that’s it, all of its comparisons in one out-of-breath sentence. As far as the rest of its elements go, they’re two very different kettles of fish; each one hosting their own brands of unique styles and entertainments.
The biggest difference between the two titles, is that Terraria is strictly a 2D, pixellated affair, but this doesn’t make it any less playable than its third-dimensional counterpart. In fact, there’s so much to charm you within this game, that in some respects it presents a much more exciting experience for any wannabe sandbox explorers. Much like Minecraft, the gameplay revolves around exploring a number of biomes, from lush green jungles to snow capped tundras and dusty deserts. As well as this, you can also explore underground for rich veins of ore, cavernous expanses and even lava-filled areas that don’t stray too far from hell. Each of the biomes contains their own species of animals, from hopping bunnies and floating butterflies to green slime blobs and terrifying boss-creatures that test your mettle to the max.
There’s even a day/night cycle that brings out various forms, such as floating eyeballs and undead zombies during the dead of night. In order to prepare yourself for such eventualities, you need to accrue materials in order to craft items. These in turn allow you to build shelters, light up caverns with torches, construct stronger weapons and even concoct magical potions. You can simply lose yourself for days at a time through exploration, gathering and constructing. Although the central goal within Minecraft is to not only survive, but to defeat the end boss of the Enderdragon, there are a lot more elements within the gameplay of Terraria, making this a much more exciting and enticing prospect as you journey in forging your own story.
Within its worlds, Terraria also hosts a number of NPC’s to interact with. These in turn can choose to live in the houses you have built, but can also offer helpful advice, heal you and sell you items; they even present certain tasks for you to fulfil in order to gain their trust. It brings a whole new level to the gameplay and one that keeps you interested and invested as you search each of the biomes in the hope of finding an ally to help you. There is a story of sorts within the game, but it’s a very loose one. The main story here really, is the one that you create for yourself and it’s here where the charm of the game lies. You simply make the game how you want it and the adventure that lies before you, is yours alone.
It can take a while to get to grips with all the functions available to you, as well as figuring out what you should be doing. There are plenty of helpful guides and tips online, should you need them, but again, it’s all part of the many charms that this game holds to keep you playing. And keep playing you will, as with this version designed for the Nintendo Switch, you’re simply getting one of the most intuitive and packed versions of the game to date. The roots of Terraria lies in the mobile and PC gaming platforms, allowing a degree of control that suited its style. Despite the developers best efforts, much of this was lost in the transition to console, but on the Switch, it feels closer than ever to its original intentions with a clever use of the Switch’s touch-screen capabilities.
All of its menus, from crafting to inventories can be fully controlled from the touch-screen. You can also pinch-zoom in and out of the landscape, allowing you to build and place items with a precision that you simply can’t find on other consoles. As well as these quality-of-life inclusions, the Switch version also boasts over twenty bosses and events, over twenty biomes to explore and over twenty NPC’s to find and interact with. There’s even the celestial invasion endgame event and the Moon Lord final boss encounter to deal with, plus more than three-hundred enemies to face-off with. Couple this with an extra eight-hundred new items to discover, bringing its total to over three thousand- five hundred and a new expert mode for returning adventurers, you’re simply left with one of the most complete and definitive versions of the game currently available.
You’re still getting the classic formula that Terraria possesses here, but its all been sprinkled with a host of extra features to add layer upon layer of mystery and intrigue; enriching the adventure you can unfold for yourselves. There’s an eight-player online component too, allowing you to connect to other players’ worlds, as well as letting others into yours. However, there’s no split-screen support or couch co-op play at present, although it has been documented that this is a feature that will be added through future updates and patches. Performance is also super-smooth, with no hitches, bugs or crashes experienced whatsoever, making this an ideal game for the Switch’s infrastructure and portable nature.
Overall, Terraria is a very welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. It’s a game that suits the nature of the console, taking full advantage of all of its features to create one of the most accessible versions of its console ports to date. It’s so packed to the brim with charm, that’s there simply too many to mention, but its overall lure lies in its ability to give you, the player, complete control in how you shape its world and forge an adventure that you, and only you, alone get to play. It looks fantastic, plays beautifully and performs beyond expectation, creating another must-have title for our beloved Nintendo Switches. Even if you’ve played the game before, then there’s more than enough new features and content to warrant a return and if, like me, you’ve never witnessed its charms before, then you’d better hurry up and grab your shovels, pickaxes and swords, for with this version of the game, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Dig yourself a hole, get lost forever and embark on your very own adventure that’ll have you hooked for years for come.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - 10/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Replay Value - 10/10
User Review( votes)
Dig yourself a hole, get lost forever and embark on your very own adventure as Terraria explores a release onto the Nintendo Switch.