Terraria is one of the best survival sandbox games currently available for mobile devices; it was originally created as a Windows PC game and has now been released for a range of platforms. The gameplay for each version of the game is the same where players collect resources to craft items, build a base, combat enemies and explore the large world.
Due to the nature of the game, it's usually compared to Minecraft as it also has pixel-based blocky graphics that form the large world.
Terraria features pixel-based graphics which look good but are not something that every gamer will appreciate; the game has a 'retro' appearance which will be off-putting to some players, especially those who prefer 3D or cartoon-style 2D graphics that are popular for mobile games. Blocks form the world in a style similar to Minecraft however, this is a 2D side-scrolling game which makes it a complete opposite to most other sandbox survival games currently on the market.
A good UI is a necessity in any game and this is a strong point in Terraria; the menu for the game is nicely designed with clear options. It's also easy to set up a multiplayer world through the menu and adjust the PvP.
The game has relatively solid graphics however they could be considered to be quite niche due to the pixelated block-based design of the world. It can be difficult to determine the different blocks at the start of the game and at different brightness levels which can certainly be frustrating at the start of the game.
It's always great to see a tutorial in games and Terraria has a strong one that guides the player through the main aspects of the game; players are taught both the basic mechanics and controls of the game which are a necessity as there is no way to modify or check the controls after the tutorial is completed.
The game is focused on exploration; good sandbox games are vast and Terraria certainly fits this, the world is filled with interesting things and challenging bosses to defeat. Each world is randomly-generated which provides the player with a unique experience every time they start a new world. While the world is full of content, playing on a phone can be tedious due to the small screen as it severely limits the player's view; playing on a tablet is much easier but it can still fall victim to the screen limits at times.
Collecting resources is the most important aspect of the game; players collect them using different tools such as an axe for chopping trees and a pickaxe for mining. This can be done in a full 360-degree radius around the player and different resources can be found at different ground levels in the world. Mining underground will reward the player with a variety of different resources and it's also possible to find Treasure Chests or caves filled with enemies.
Players do all their crafting through the inventory; crafting is an important game mechanic to create new items which are used to construct new tools or a structure. Building a house or a strong base is something all players need to do as many enemies spawn at night. To stay safe at night, the player needs a secure location with walls around them however they can also create torches, furniture and more which can be used to decorate the base.
The combat in the game is simple and easy where the player uses a sword to deal the most damage to enemies; attacks work in the same way as using other tools where the player attacks in a 360-degree range per sword swing. There is a variation of enemies in the game including powerful bosses that are more difficult to kill. New weapons and equipment can be crafted by collecting the right resources, this provides the player with better offensive and defensive capabilities.
Like with all other versions of the game, there is a multiplayer where players can host and join local worlds belonging to other players at any moment; this allows players to share their worlds at any point in their game. The Android version also allows players to adjust the settings for their multiplayer experience so that players can fight in PvP mode with the option of creating teams. While there are no official multiplayer game modes, players could create their own styles with Team Deathmatches or Hunger Games-style events.
There is a huge amount to do in this game and most of it is impossible without the help of the Terraria Wiki where players can find crafting recipes and more in-depth information about the game.
The controls for the mobile version of the game are the weakest part of Terraria; it uses two main control sticks to direct the gameplay. Movement is done through the main joystick to direct which direction the player walks in, to jump and to drop down to a lower level underneath the player. The second joystick is used to control the selected tool and direct attacks.
Players have several buttons for switching between their active tool list and there is easy access to different menu's while in the game; this makes this portion of the game easy to control. However, this doesn't apply to the rest of the game.
The joystick controls with automatic jumping are cumbersome, it makes movement and actions in the game difficult. Getting used to these control is going to take a lot of time and most newcomers to Terraria will become frustrated in no time as a result. These controls will be annoying for all players of the game and they could definitely be improved to provide a better experience.
Replay Value 8/10
Players who purchase Terraria will be able to enjoy several hundred hours of gameplay where every world is unique; there's a huge amount of content in each randomly-generated world which can keep players occupied for long periods of time.
There is no actual end to a world and players can continue to explore or build until they grow tired of that world; after becoming bored, it's easy to create a new world and begin again from the start.
Sandbox and survival game fans will find a lot of value in this game, for players who are looking to find a more linear game this is not a good choice. For the right gamers, this has amazing replay value.
Mobile gamers are lucky to have received another quality port; Terraria is one of the best sandbox survival games currently available for any platform and it features a huge amount of content which is guaranteed to keep players interested. Content in the game is varied but the strong tutorial makes understanding the different aspects of the game a simple process. While the game has a lot of positive points, there are some issues with the port which does mean this isn't a good game for mobile phones. Terraria is best played with a wide screen as that allows the player to see resources buried underground but playing on a mobile device restricts this greatly and places limitations on the controls. Terraria has the capacity to be a great game for mobile gamers who are looking for a game to continuously play and return to for many hours; there is no competitive nature and players can be as casual or serious as they like with the game.
Pros : Strong tutorial that leads the player through all aspects of the game;
Varied gameplay with lots of content;
Large world to explore.
Cons : Controls are awkward;
The graphics are not for everyone and can make it difficult to see the different resources;
Small screen makes the gameplay difficult at times.
Replay Value 4.0