Terraria is hardly an unknown game, but it is a game that is now a 3DS (and Wii U, but we played the 3DS version, so that is the one that will be discussed in this article) title. The question is whether it is worth the wait on the handheld.
Terraria looks and plays quite a lot like a 2D Minecraft, and it doesn’t seem to be ashamed of that. You start off with basically nothing, and you are basically set free to do what you want; I found the main focus to begin with was collecting material and upgrading my tools so that I could mine further (any Minecraft players will appreciate the obvious similarities).
The difference to Minecraft, for me, was that I wasn’t immediately absorbed into what I was doing. I didn’t feel the sense of danger if I didn’t make myself a home, or the incentive of finding precious metals under the surface. It was all a little bit… dull, as I wandered through what was not only quite a sparse area but a visually uninspired one. Colours appeared flat, and the 2D style was basic rather than quirky.
Before I completely write off the game on 3DS, though, there are a few positives I took away. To start with, the use of the touch screen was good, as it uncluttered the main screen; all the menus are pushed to this lower screen, so upgrading tools and the like becomes intuitive quickly. It is always good to see the touch controls of the 3DS being used to good effect, and this is a game which is doing that.
Furthermore, EGX isn’t really the optimum place for this kind of game. It doesn’t excuse many of the problems I have with the title, but it does give the impression of being the kind of game which requires you to sit down with it for a significant amount of time to get the best out of it.
From the brief time I have had with Terraria, I can say that while it fits the dual screen functionality of the 3DS (and also Wii U, in theory) the core game failed to persuade me that it will be an essential purchase. The visuals and gameplay could do with a bit of spicing up to encourage you to get stuck into the world – considering that it isn’t coming to the Nintendo platforms until next year (it is set for Q1 2016), though, there is plenty of time for that to happen.