I’ve never been one for Minecraft or Stardew Valley type games, they’ve never really caught my attention in a “I need to play this” sort of way. So when I was asked if I could give Terraria a shot, it was a big step outside of my normal comfort zone. Fast forward 30(ish) hours later, and I still don’t know if I’m playing this game right, but holy shit I can’t stop.
Terraria, as I hinted above, is similar to games like Minecraft and, you guessed it, Stardew Valley. You’re dropped into a procedurally-generated world, in which you can choose a small, medium, or daaammmnnnn sized map, and it falls on you to figure out just what the fuck you’re supposed to do. Seeing as how this game has been out since 2011, I’ll skip the full commentary on it. For me, the first hour was pretty rough. Well, it was worse for Kyle (my character), because my inability to grasp the game’s concept initially left him being ripped to pieces by zombies in a perpetual loop until the sun came up.
Then I started building a house. It was a simple spot, with just the bare necessities I needed to get some NPC’s to move into the area. I built a few houses, foraged for resources, found a corruption zone that, you guessed it again, got Kyle obliterated quite a few times, but it all helped me learn and grow to appreciate the game as I went. Kyle eventually stopped dying so much, and instead became quite the formidable warrior. I added to my houses, found out that I could find or craft some super badass weapons the deeper I dug into the earth around me. Then, after about 10 hours, I was equipped enough to face the game’s first boss. I ended up being over prepared, and was able to kill that narly looking floating eyeball in a few tries.
Terraria has me hooked now, and it feels GREAT on the Switch.. well, mostly. I can’t speak for the veterans who’ve had a chance to play this title on other console variations, but it’s astonishing how they were able to fit all of the various UI elements into a controller layout. It doesn’t always work well, there can be some clunky elements to it, but like any other game, you get used to the controls the more you play. The biggest gripe is the game’s keyboard. I have great eye sight, or so my doctor tells me, but even I had a difficult time reading these almost microscopic letters.
The game makes great use of the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen though, and it grants a versatile nature to the game that I don’t see other consoles offering. Aside from that, it runs beautifully, and the game’s gorgeous pixel art looks vibrant and crisp regardless of if you’re playing docked or handheld. It’s also incredibly responsive. There is zero lag and you can fly through all of the different menu’s in a breeze with little to no resistance from the game.
The amount of content available in this game is astonishing. Granted that could be because Kyle side-tracked his quest to rid his small world of the Eldritch horrors that lie beneath it, in favor of seeing how high he could build a castle in the sky. Regardless, the versatility in this game means you can do whatever the hell you want in how ever few or many hours you like. The biggest issue the game suffers from is that ridiculous Nintendo tax, making this version of Terraria the most expensive one out there.
For context, the Switch version is $29.99, compared to the PS4 and XboxOne’s $19.99, Steam’s current $4.99 (usually 9.99 but it’s Steam’s summer sale during the time of this writing), 14.99 on PS3 and Xbox 360, and 4.99 on mobile. That isn’t even the full list of platforms this title is available on, but you can bet that the Switch price is the highest. Typically I wouldn’t complain as much about this, but this game has been out since freaking 2011, come on Nintendo, there’s no reason to be greedy.
From it’s charming soundtrack, to it’s hidden roster of horrors that await you, to being able to lure NPC’s into a house and then replace their door(s) with dirt blocks so they can never see the light of day again… not speaking from experience or anything; Terraria offers a poop-ton of content. While it’s steep price might not be as alluring for some, this title is a blast to play on the Switch, and like most Switch ports or title’s it’s a great game to take on long car rides or commutes. Now if you’ll excuse me, Kyle and I have a Sky Castle to finish.