I covered Terraria just over a week after it released all the way back in May. As such, this CPCG is going to serve as an update, and you can go and read the first time Terraria cropped up in CPCG here for all the basic info.[drop]So what has happened that has caused Terraria to be the first ever game to be covered twice in this particular column? Well, it’s changed. Quite a lot. Over the last 8 months, Terraria has received 10 updates that have collectively refined, improved and added content to the original game. It’s still Terraria, but it’s harder, better, faster, stronger, and there’s considerably more of it.
In amongst the many bug fixes, balancing tweaks and numerous control changes are things like potions, magic, more NPCs, numerous weapons, a new lighting system and even new bosses. These bosses include harder versions of the Eye of Cthulu, Eater of Worlds and Skeletron, plus King Slime and the Wall of Flesh. That is five new bosses for you to be decimated by multiple times.
Potions activate buffs for a certain amount of time. These include (but are not limited to) the spelunker’s potion, which makes ore and treasure glow, the gills potion, which has you breathing water instead of air, the gravitation potion, which gives you control of how gravity affects you (you can switch between walking on ceilings and floors) and the featherfall potion, which allows you to control the speed at which you fall and to jump much higher than you would normally. As you can no doubt imagine each of these can be exceptionally useful should the circumstances call for it, though accidentally drinking a gills potion without realising will result in you drowning in air if you don’t notice in time (this may or may not have happened to me).
Another interesting addition is the ability to set up traps and other mechanisms using wires, switches, pressure plates, levers and a wrench (that must be bought from a mechanic). This lets you to set up traps to defend your home or just create an awesome skull gate for you to use as its entrance that opens and closes its mouth to let you in and out. Naturally, this also leads to the very real possibility of you getting caught in a trap in a cave; apparently monsters have the intelligence to create traps of their own. A boulder falling on your head does a predictably large amount of damage so you should probably avoid these traps if at all possible.[drop2]Weapons and items can now be found with modifiers, as well as re-forged (for a price) to randomly select another one. These modifiers will change the item’s stats with additional effects, much like the properties of a magic item in an RPG. Re-forging gives the opportunity to get a better modifier on your weapon, but it can be rather expensive and is random, so you’d better have a lot of money or a lot of luck (or both).
Terraria is unique. There’s are comparisons you can draw (Minecraft being an obvious one), but Terraria has taken bits from other games and combined them with completely unique ideas, resulting in a game that is quite unlike anything else. The fact that it still manages to keep me coming back 8 months after release is a feat only beaten by Minecraft itself.
Windows is the only platform that Terraria supports officially, but it can be emulated relatively easily thanks to its low system requirements if you know what you’re doing (or can use Google). At £5.99 on Steam, the game is an absolute steal and you’d be hard pressed to find anything more worth your time at a similar price.