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Terraria (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 18 - 2019

The other best way to Mine and Craft on Switch now has a box.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone has heard of MineCraft and a fair few people have jumped into the game to see if building a replica of the Taj Mahal from various blocks would be as much fun as it sounds. MineCraft is pretty huge. Despite being around for more or less as long as MineCraft, Re-Logic’s Terraria has not proved quite as popular. However, that is not to say that the 2D mining and crafting game hasn’t been played by a huge number of people, or that the game hasn’t arrived on every platform under the sun. It’s just that Terraria is not quite as big. Not that it makes any difference. The Moon is not as far away as Mars, but I am not going to be visiting either any time soon. After making the rounds on every platform over the last eight years, June finally saw Terraria arrive on Switch, and now it is available in a shiny box for everyone who cares about their memory card space.


Being that Terraria is just as impressive on mobile platforms as on the big home consoles, it would be difficult to imagine any respectable gamer who doesn’t know about Terraria. But I guess they are out there, possibly hiding under some kind of MineCraft-shaped rock. For those who don’t know, Terraria is a 2D sandbox action adventure that involves mining and crafting, and in which the player can do pretty much whatever they want.

Once the player has created a character, which is a joy thanks to all of the different options, they will be plonked down into a 2D procedurally generated world. Even with the smallest world chosen, this will be absolutely huge as the world not only extends from left to right a long way, but also down into the depths. The world will be packed full of plant and tree life, along with caves and dungeons to find, and a fair few beasties that will want to kill the little hero. Armed with little more than a few tools, the player will have to start the long process of finding materials and crafting things in order to survive, and to start with that will probably mean building a shelter. Why? Because there is a day and night cycle and when the sun goes down, things get very scary.

But that’s alright because building a shelter requires nothing more than chopping down a few trees, or digging up some dirt, and then placing it to create walls. Before you know it, a shelter is ready. From there, the player is pretty much free to do what they please. They could go off exploring, although wandering too far in the early game could lead to some much more powerful monsters and a quick death. They could start mining down, looking for treasure, which again runs the risk of danger. Or they could just start gathering the materials they need to get started on Terraria’s deep crafting system.


Build a workbench, build an anvil, find the right materials and make better tools that will lead to yet more different materials. Create new, more powerful weapons to deal death to the monsters, or make stronger armour to protect against them. Even make potions to give the player an edge when far from safety and faced with certain death. Or take the more creative route and start making furniture for what is sure to be a really impressive castle before long. As I say, the game is very open about what you can do. There is some underlying story floating around, and there will be the occasional boss battle once the player reaches certain conditions (and the boss battles are quite epic), but otherwise it is a game about finding new materials and unlocking new crafting recipes to keep improving. It’s a great gameplay loop that really does encourage players to come back.

Honestly, my eyes are not so great and I was worried about playing the game on the smaller Switch screen. But it really does work very well, and being able to play the game out and about, on a larger screen than mobile, allows players to keep their adventure going in small sessions if necessary. When docked, the Switch version looks pretty much the same as all of the others. The same goes for the controls which, while not perfect, do what they need and are fine once the player gets used to them. However, the Switch has a touchscreen and Terraria makes great use of it, possibly helping the game to be the best version of itself. Press on the screen to start swinging whatever tool the character has equipped, pinch the screen to zoom in and out and, when precision is needed, drag things into place. Terraria is a game that is naturally suited to the touchscreen control system, and it has been very well implemented here.

The game has a 16-bit visual style with a world made out of blocks, which works well and will be instantly familiar to most gamers. It is colourful and easy to navigate. There is also the chance to join others with the multiplayer option, for those needing a little companionship.


Terraria is the other mining and crafting game, and as such should at least be checked out by anyone who has spent time in the genre. Playing Terraria on the Switch is just as good as any other platform, and the new boxed version means new game box smell and something else to put on the game shelf. The price is a little steep for a game that is cheaper everywhere else, and the open nature will not suit everyone. But for those who want to dig, build and take shelter from the night, Terraria on Switch would be worth picking up.




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