When I tell people, “You should play Terraria!” the first thing they usually say is, “Isn’t that game just like Minecraft?” Well… maybe. But between those two, Terraria is the one I play. (I haven’t played Minecraft, so I can’t really compare the two.)
There are a lot of platforms on which you can play Terraria. I play the PC version on Steam, so that’s what I’ll be writing about here. I haven’t worked all the way through the game yet, so this isn’t really a review. Mostly, I’m just having a lot of fun playing it, and I want to encourage others to play as well.
The developers describe Terraria as utilizing “sandbox-style creativity,” which is a big reason why I like it. You can do nearly anything you want in this game. Whether you want to fight bosses, mine for sweet loot, or build something awesome, the game allows you to set your own pace of advancement. There are some events that you can’t control, such as the Blood Moon and the Goblin Army Invasion, but that’s part of the fun of the game. It helps you level up, and you learn to build zombie-proof housing pretty quickly. (I personally love the building aspect of things.) There are a lot of achievements you can unlock, like beating various bosses and collecting non-player characters (NPCs) such as The Guide, The Nurse, The Dryad, The Demolitionist, and more. The various NPCs have different functions that can help you on your Terraria journey. It’s a lot of fun to explore and mine for loot, such as ore, treasure chests, potions, and better weapons. Sometimes enemies will drop items, too. If you want to go up instead of down, there are also Floating Islands to find.
When you start playing for the first time, you’ll get to create a character and make a world. There are two difficulty levels you can start at, Normal and Expert. (This is not the same as Hardmode.) If your character is brand-new, don’t start at the Expert level– you will just keep dying and respawning and getting killed again, and it won’t be fun. You need to start at the easier mode and level your character up. Cut some wood, build a house by nightfall so the zombies don’t kill you, and work on getting yourself some armor. The Guide is automatically your first NPC, and once your house is suitable, he’ll move in. The Nurse will be your second NPC, but she’ll need her own room before she’ll spawn. Each NPC will need a room to live in.
Once you have some type of armor and have rope and torches in your inventory (follow Link’s example in The Legend of Zelda and smash some pots), it’s time to go mining. You’ll find better materials with which to Craft things, and hopefully better weapons as well. This will help prepare your character for beating the early bosses, like the Eye of Cthulhu, Skeletron, and King Slime. Over time, your character will get stronger, and you’ll have to fight more difficult bosses.
Your new world is infected by two types of disease, the Crimson (red) or the Corruption (purple). The monsters in the Crimson are slightly stronger than the ones in the Corruption, so just be careful. You will need to remove the disease from your land, as it will gradually spread and take over the world. You can do this by either healing the land with powder purchased from the Dryad, or blowing up the infected areas.
If you get stuck, you can check out the Gamepedia page, or look on YouTube for help videos. I’m a big fan of TerrariaHelp, FuryForged, and ChippyGaming. Enjoy!