You load up Terraria; a vast colourful 2d world sprawls out in both directions. Peaceful chip tune music plays in the back ground while cute bunnies hop next to you. Night falls and the music turns a little bit more threatening. Then zombies and flying eyes come and eat your face. Welcome to Terraria.
Comparisions to Minecraft are inevitable when it comes to Terraria, if anything the most jaded of reviewer might even say that it is Minecraft wearing the skin of 2d pixel art. I do not entirely disagree with this statement as you do have to build a house before nightfall and it is strongly advised by the game to not go outside at night but rather downwards to get better resources and explore. However Terraria does have original elements such as NPCs who, after moving into your house can act as vendors or healers, there is a continual threat of corruption taking over the land which you and your friends have to manage and there are boss fights you can do.Provided you are ready for them of course.
The game does not have a story so I cannot give a summery, the NPCs do mutter some vague statements that could be considered as world building but it is a bit of a stretch, this can be an issue if you plan to play single player if you are the type of person who needs some sort of story to keep you going. I normally play these types of games multiplayer as I can find myself burning out on non story single player experiences. If you are able to play the game for hours just based on the building and crafting then more power to you. Playing multiplayer can have the added benefit of being able to chat with friends or make new ones due to the mostly relaxed nature of the game.
Game play is mostly inventory management and building, you use A and D to move in both directions and space to jump, the mouse is used to interact with the world as well as for combat. The combat is not the most advanced thing in the world but it gets the job done and is fun. You get a wide verity of interesting weapons ranging from guns and swords to magic wands and staffs. They all feel good to use as well as fun to see monsters get blown up in very silly ways. I have not tried the PvP as of yet but I would be interested to see how it handles. As per usual with these types of games the Wiki is going to be your best friend as the game does not really explain much in terms of crafting, it is a little bit of oversight when it comes to crafting games as certain items need to be crafted in order to progress, but the game never tells you how to make anything. It can be a little annoying but not a deal breaker.
The graphics and soundtrack are some of the best things about the game, the game looks crisp and colourful and the cartoonish background artstyle mixed with the foreground pixel art creates something that is not only beautiful but somewhat unique look and feel. It also adds a sense of whimsy even after the evil starts to spread. The music also adds to the sense of wonder as you discover new bio domes, each bio dome has its own sound track as well as with the time of day or night. The game has a really nice atmosphere as a result of this.
Terraria is a fun relaxing adventure, if you wanted a 2d Minecraft you cannot really go wrong here, grab some friends(or don't) and enjoy exploring a world.