Terraria is fantastic, but it's designed by and for crazy people.

This past week was one of the least productive weeks I've had in a while and I need a scapegoat. So I blame Steam and you, the general public, for making me buy Terraria. Granted, nobody actually forced me into buying it or personally recommended it to me, but as I saw Terraria take up all the time of my Steam friends (you know who you are) the purchase and eventual playing of said game was inevitable. But don't blame yourselves entirely for this sudden lapse in judgment. Terraria itself did a great job tugging at my 16-bit retro heartstrings with its lovely SNES-era looks... dashing, good looks for sure. Also my hidden curiosity with Minecraft (a game that's not Terraria officially) led me to try it out even though my experience with Minecraft can be summed up as so... walking around for a minute then digging as far down as the browser version would let me. So no real experience. Terraria, however, I gathered dirt, built a nice house in the woods for me and my gay lover, Guide, and made a lovely watch so I always know what time it is. I have a cheap watch so it only tells me when it's clobbering time or time for me to fly
 

This is Sparta... I mean Terraria.
And so days would go by and I'd gather more dirt, stone, sand, and shiny things so I can create more things to use as I gather more dirt, stone, sand, and shiny things. And kill zombies... fucking zombies. And then I found some gold. But get this, instead of just living a life of luxury, monkey butlers and all, I got this insane idea to make tools out of gold. Solid gold tools. Because turning millions of dollars worth of gold into a hammer is practical. That was when I came to the realization that only the mentally unstable can enjoy Terraria... I consider myself a part of this growing demographic if you were wondering. 
 
I've yet to run into a giant skeleton creature that wants my soul... I'm only 20 hours into the game.
20 hours of my life has been lost since Sunday when I bought Terraria and all I have to show for it is a handful of cool items and a world that surprisingly hasn't succumbed to a massive mine subsidence. After experimenting with a few different worlds, I had to finally choose to stick to one world for me to explore. Then I started digging... then returning to my dwelling so I can make it bigger... then going down, back up again to build more shit, and this vicious cycle continued for hours. I'd find a chest filled with goodies, then dig some more, dig, dig, dig, fuck zombies, goddamn slimes! Go back to Dragon Quest where you belong! This world get darker? You're a pretty large worm... oh shit my money! Respawn. 
 
And now I'm at a point where I'm looking at the Terraria Wiki to decipher different formulas for crafting and other gameplay hints they don't really tell you about in the game directly. Is this how Minecraft works except with more imagination? I have yet to build a giant penis house made of wood or recreate World 1-1, but I do have a complex system of caves underground that seemingly go fucking nowhere. And I fear there's literally no end since I barely touched the outer, more corrupted areas of this hellish world. But like any crazy person, I must continue on in search for more ore so I can get a fancy chandelier and more sand for glass that I can use to make bottles so I can turn my mushrooms into some kind of magical mushroom drink
 
To be serious for one second, Terraria is not a game that you can't fiddle around with for a brief period and see everything the game has to offer. The reason I find Terraria appealing is its weird sense of wonder, flexibility, and exploration combined with enough tools to create a 2D mansion of your dreams. It might share it's core gameplay with Minecraft, but they added a Metroidvania (Minetroidvania?) element to it by stripping out a dimension and adding plenty of combat (which can be annoying or satisfying depending on the situation.) Terraria is much like Minecraft in that it's something you can't put down in 15 minutes and call it quits for the day... it's an ongoing construction project, but with skeletons and flying eyes. There appears to be no wrong way of playing Terraria since it's fairly simple to learn and it lets your imagination run wild if you so choose. In conclusion, anybody who is remotely interested in Terraria and loves building shit should pick the game up, but a word of caution. You might be declared unfit for society once you start digging deeper into the game's underworld. You may take a turn for the worse and just write incoherent blogs about retro indie games and posting links to cats that look like Pop Tarts
 
I don't give these out to just anybody.
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10 Comments
Posted by Dalai

This past week was one of the least productive weeks I've had in a while and I need a scapegoat. So I blame Steam and you, the general public, for making me buy Terraria. Granted, nobody actually forced me into buying it or personally recommended it to me, but as I saw Terraria take up all the time of my Steam friends (you know who you are) the purchase and eventual playing of said game was inevitable. But don't blame yourselves entirely for this sudden lapse in judgment. Terraria itself did a great job tugging at my 16-bit retro heartstrings with its lovely SNES-era looks... dashing, good looks for sure. Also my hidden curiosity with Minecraft (a game that's not Terraria officially) led me to try it out even though my experience with Minecraft can be summed up as so... walking around for a minute then digging as far down as the browser version would let me. So no real experience. Terraria, however, I gathered dirt, built a nice house in the woods for me and my gay lover, Guide, and made a lovely watch so I always know what time it is. I have a cheap watch so it only tells me when it's clobbering time or time for me to fly
 

This is Sparta... I mean Terraria.
And so days would go by and I'd gather more dirt, stone, sand, and shiny things so I can create more things to use as I gather more dirt, stone, sand, and shiny things. And kill zombies... fucking zombies. And then I found some gold. But get this, instead of just living a life of luxury, monkey butlers and all, I got this insane idea to make tools out of gold. Solid gold tools. Because turning millions of dollars worth of gold into a hammer is practical. That was when I came to the realization that only the mentally unstable can enjoy Terraria... I consider myself a part of this growing demographic if you were wondering. 
 
I've yet to run into a giant skeleton creature that wants my soul... I'm only 20 hours into the game.
20 hours of my life has been lost since Sunday when I bought Terraria and all I have to show for it is a handful of cool items and a world that surprisingly hasn't succumbed to a massive mine subsidence. After experimenting with a few different worlds, I had to finally choose to stick to one world for me to explore. Then I started digging... then returning to my dwelling so I can make it bigger... then going down, back up again to build more shit, and this vicious cycle continued for hours. I'd find a chest filled with goodies, then dig some more, dig, dig, dig, fuck zombies, goddamn slimes! Go back to Dragon Quest where you belong! This world get darker? You're a pretty large worm... oh shit my money! Respawn. 
 
And now I'm at a point where I'm looking at the Terraria Wiki to decipher different formulas for crafting and other gameplay hints they don't really tell you about in the game directly. Is this how Minecraft works except with more imagination? I have yet to build a giant penis house made of wood or recreate World 1-1, but I do have a complex system of caves underground that seemingly go fucking nowhere. And I fear there's literally no end since I barely touched the outer, more corrupted areas of this hellish world. But like any crazy person, I must continue on in search for more ore so I can get a fancy chandelier and more sand for glass that I can use to make bottles so I can turn my mushrooms into some kind of magical mushroom drink
 
To be serious for one second, Terraria is not a game that you can't fiddle around with for a brief period and see everything the game has to offer. The reason I find Terraria appealing is its weird sense of wonder, flexibility, and exploration combined with enough tools to create a 2D mansion of your dreams. It might share it's core gameplay with Minecraft, but they added a Metroidvania (Minetroidvania?) element to it by stripping out a dimension and adding plenty of combat (which can be annoying or satisfying depending on the situation.) Terraria is much like Minecraft in that it's something you can't put down in 15 minutes and call it quits for the day... it's an ongoing construction project, but with skeletons and flying eyes. There appears to be no wrong way of playing Terraria since it's fairly simple to learn and it lets your imagination run wild if you so choose. In conclusion, anybody who is remotely interested in Terraria and loves building shit should pick the game up, but a word of caution. You might be declared unfit for society once you start digging deeper into the game's underworld. You may take a turn for the worse and just write incoherent blogs about retro indie games and posting links to cats that look like Pop Tarts
 
I don't give these out to just anybody.
Posted by Tordah

I keep hearing about this game but I've yet to jump aboard the train. I've never understood the appeal of Minecraft so I'm not sure if I understand the appeal of Terraria either. I want my games to have at least some kind of purpose or meaning behind it, even if in the end they're all just pointless video games. 
 
It looks much better than Minecraft though, I'll give it that.

Posted by Video_Game_King
Posted by dankempster

I bought Terraria myself after watching the Quick Look. Given the fact my laptop can't run Minecraft, I figured a nice, not-very-demanding 2D alternative would make a cool introduction to the concept for me. Apparently not, as I'm currently unable to get the damn thing to run. One of these days, I'm going to have to upgrade this crappy hunk-a-junk so I can actually play all these bought-on-a-whim Steam games.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

The free browser thing is nothing like the full Minecraft. Terraria is quite similar, although the fact that there are Other People, that it's 2D, and there's more enemy variety might be significant for some. I guess I respond much better to a 3D world than this, though, in this kind of game. It seems like Terraria has an edge as far as adding mods, since with less graphical complexity you can add things a smidgen quicker assuming the code behind the game is as easy to mod. 
 
I'm pretty sure the feeling of awe I get when I see someone exploring a new place in Minecraft would not be there in Terraria, though.

Edited by Brackynews

Looking forward to giving it a shot. The QL gave me a few nostalgic pangs of Legacy of the Wizard, which is a series more games should crib from.

Also I have whimsical prizes for whomsoever can come up with something portmantishly better than "Minetroidvania", but does not make me want to weep until I die. More than 3 game names = better prize!

Posted by Dalai

@Video_Game_King said:

* sees little boxes after links* What the hell are those for? Why do they invade us so?

Someone needs to have a talk with Dave about the boxes. They all must die.

@Brackynews said:

Looking forward to giving it a shot. The QL gave me a few nostalgic pangs of Legacy of the Wizard, which is a series more games should crib from.

Also I have whimsical prizes for whomsoever can come up with something portmantishly better than "Minetroidvania", but does not make me want to weep until I die. More than 3 game names = better prize!

I was hoping I was the first person to coin that term, sadly that isn't the case.

Posted by Manburger

I am definitively a crazy person. Terraria is radical! And quite addictive. 
The long sessions I've had with it reminds me of when I first started playing Minecraft. Good times were had by all!
But, uhm, am I actually crazy or do all the links go to nyan.cat
oh god can't stop 
oh no

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

So I'm about three or four hours in. I've designed one completely half-assed lopsided house, another more reasonably built three story building, and I've yet to still attract anyone to my place. I feel like the creeper on the block whom everyone avoids in a five mile circle (so basically, like my real life). That being said, I've also now got a small army of bombs, have slain many a zombie, and have chopped down enough trees to satisfy my "fuck you, environment" cravings.

I'm a little ashamed I didn't wait for a Steam sale on this, seeing as how the only games I haven't are Borderlands and Tales of Monkey Island. But all in all, I'd say ten bucks is well worth it.

Moderator
Posted by Dalai

@Sparky_Buzzsaw: If you have only two structures, that's basically only for you and the guide. You'll need to build a few more dwellings for the merchant, demolitionist, etc to move in. It's either that or you're not meeting the building requirements.