What is Terraria?
Terraria is an exploration and crafting game made by 505 Games. Players can collect resources in the world which are then used to build housing, armor and weapons.
Isn’t that the same as Minecraft?
The two games do have some similarities but are really very different. Minecraft is a first-person game in three dimensions, whereas Terraria is a 2d pixel-art style game. Another huge difference is that whilst Minecraft gives players a reasonably limited number of resources and enemies but encourages players to get creative with them, Terraria prides itself on having a huge selection of different ores, metals, items, swords, guns, pets, mounts, spells and enemies.
One thing that makes Terraria unique is it’s focus on a large number of huge enemy ‘bosses’. These are big enemies that will give the player a particularly hard time but usually unlock special items and achievements when defeated. These are usually specific to a given biome but can also be dependent on a particular set of circumstances or triggered by using specific items.
What is corruption/crimson?
Like Minecraft, Terraria’s world is split into various types of area called ‘biomes’. These include grasslands, arctic tundra, jungle, desert etc. These will all have their unique resources and enemies that can’t be found elsewhere. Besides these standard biomes, each world will have one of two ‘dark’ biomes; corruption or crimson. These are purple and red respectively, are made of tougher materials and have particularly aggressive creatures in them. They are also home to the main bosses of ‘pre-hard mode’.
The main bosses of the corruption are called the ‘Eater of Worlds’ and ‘Eye of Cthulhu’. The crimson is home to the ‘Brain of Cthulhu’. Players on higher difficulty levels will see these biomes begin to spread outwards and ‘corrupt’ other biomes nearby. Each world will have only one of these and this is usually decided randomly when the world is created.
What is hard/pre-hard mode?
The initial part of the game is intended to get players used to all the concepts in the game and for newer players to discover everything without getting annihilated. Similar to a tutorial, except you could conceivably stay in this mode the whole time you play. During this time, players can see a particular set of items and enemies, fight particular bosses and mine a restricted set of ores. Even though it is limited, it’s still hugely expansive and in no way actually feels restrictive when you’re playing.
At some point though, you will eventually descend down to the bottom of your world and fight a boss known as The Wall of Flesh. This is a particularly difficult boss and when you defeat him, the rest of the game, referred to as ‘hard mode’ unlocks and becomes available. New ores, enemies and items appear throughout the world and a new biome, called ‘the hallow’ spreads across part of your world.
Anything that routinely occurs prior to triggering hard mode is referred to as ‘pre-hardmode’ i.e. “pre-hardmode bosses”.
Is it suitable for my child?
Terarria does contain the use of weapons including swords and guns to defeat enemies. When doing this, there is a certain amount of blood and guts but this is all within a very cartoonish pixelated context and is not likely to cause anyone nightmares unless they are particularly sensitive.
The enemies are sometimes quite scary looking and can range from spooky stuff like zombies and skeletons, mythical creatures like harpies and unicorns to normal birds and insects. The bosses are usually larger more developed versions of these and can be quite scary looking but, again, this is all within a very carttonish context which in my own opinion is harmless to all but the very youngest or most sensitive children.
Where can I get Terraria?
Terraria is available on multiple platforms. You can get the mobile version for Apple, Android or Kindle Fire although I imagine the experience would be quite diminished on smaller screens. It is also available for download on both the Xbox and PSN stores and for those with a desktop PC it is also available on Steam.