Terraria

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Terraria
TerrariaLogo2.png
Developer(s) Re-Logic[a]
Publisher(s)
Distributor(s) Microsoft Windows
  • EU: Merge Games
Designer(s)
  • Andrew Spinks
  • Whitney Baird
Programmer(s)
  • Yorai Omer
  • Skiphs
Artist(s)
  • Jim Kjexrud
  • Victor Moura
  • Jamison Hayes
Composer(s) Scott Lloyd Shelly
Platform(s)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure, survival
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Terraria is a 2D action-adventure sandbox video game developed by Re-Logic. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows in May 2011. It was later released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, iOS, and Android in 2013, for Windows Phone, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2014, for OS X, Linux, and Nintendo 3DS in 2015, and for Wii U in 2016.

The game features exploration, crafting, construction, and combat with a variety of creatures in a procedurally generated 2D world. The game received positive reviews from critics, and over 18 million copies of Terraria were sold by July 2016.

Gameplay[edit]

An in-game screenshot of Terraria, circa 2011

Terraria is a sandbox 2D game with gameplay that revolves around exploration, building, and combat.[1][2] The game has a 2D sprite tile-based graphical style reminiscent of the 16-bit sprites found on the SNES.[2] The game is noted for its classic exploration-adventure style of gameplay, similar to titles such as the Metroid series and Minecraft.[2][3][4]

The game starts in a procedurally generated world. The player starts with three basic tools: a pickaxe for mining, a shortsword for combat, and an axe for woodcutting.[1] Many resources, notably ores, can be found while mining or exploring underground caves. The player begins with 100 health, which can eventually be increased up to 500 by finding special items underground.[1] Some resources, and most items, may only be found in certain areas of the map, stored in common and rare containers, or dropped by certain enemies.[1] The player uses resources to craft new items and equipment at an appropriate crafting station for that recipe. For example, tables or other items can be crafted at a work bench, and bars can be smelted from ore at a furnace. Several advanced items in Terraria require multiple crafting operations where the product of one recipe is used as an ingredient for another.

The player can encounter many different enemies in Terraria such as simple slimes, zombies, demon eyes, and various region-specific enemies. The occurrence of certain enemies depends on several factors including time, location, random events, and player interactions.[1] The player can fight against enemies with swords, bows, guns, magic spells, and other weapons. Each map will have several zones with unique items and unusual enemies.

The player may also battle powerful boss monsters with a number of different combat mechanics, such as the Eye of Cthulhu and King Slime, that can drop rare items and large amounts of in-game currency. All bosses can be summoned by using certain items, destroying blocks through the world, or when certain criteria are met. Several of the bosses can spawn naturally in certain places and times. The defeat of these bosses is often tied to in-game progression. For example, the Dungeon is inaccessible before Skeletron's defeat, and it is unaffected by the activation of Hardmode until Plantera is defeated. Upon defeating Plantera, the difficulty of Dungeon enemies rises drastically with new enemies. Occasionally, the player will have to defend their base against invasions such as the Goblin Army and the Martian Invasion, or against events that affect the entire world, including the Frost Moon and the Solar Eclipse.

By completing specific goals (such as defeating a boss or finding a gun item), players can attract non-player characters (NPCs) to occupy structures or rooms they have built, such as a merchant, nurse, or wizard.[1] Some NPCs can be acquired by finding them throughout the world and will then reside in the player's house. Characters may then buy or sell items and certain services from NPCs with coins found in the world. Other examples of NPCs include the clothier, the truffle (a sentient mushroom), and the tax collector. Some NPCs cannot currently be found in the mobile versions of the game.

The game includes a currency system in the form of coins that can be used to complete transactions with NPCs, used as decorations, or used as ammunition in some weapons. The coins, listed in order of value and rarity, are copper, silver, gold, and platinum, with copper used as the base unit. The coin system is similar to real-life currency systems, as a certain amount of one currency (i.e. 100) will amount to another and will be automatically converted. One platinum coin is worth 1,000,000 copper coins. Coins can be obtained by slaying monsters, breaking some blocks, and selling items to NPCs.

The player is able to construct contraptions made from wires and mechanisms collected around the world or purchased from NPCs. These systems allow for easier gameplay and gaining the upper hand in combat by performing helpful tasks such as disguising buildings, instantly teleporting the player long distances, and dealing damage to enemies. These machines can also be randomly generated underground and in dungeons where they can harm reckless players.

The game recognizes many different biomes and areas, defined by the blocks that exist in the vicinity, each home to a unique set of enemies. The most prominent biomes on the world map are the Forest, Jungle, Desert, Snow, the Hallow, the Dungeon, Oceans, the Underworld, and the two evil, corrupted biomes known as the Corruption and the Crimson. However, only one of these evil biomes will appear naturally in a world. Other minor biomes exist and affect the variety of enemies that spawn, expanding the list to include: Floating Islands, Spider Nests, Outer Space, Glowing Mushroom Caves, Granite Caves, Marble Caves, and the Lihzahrd Temple. Some of the biomes have bosses associated with them such as the Dungeon (Skeletron) and the Lihzahrd Temple (Golem).

The Corruption and Crimson biomes gradually spread across the world once entering Hardmode, converting many normal block types to their Corruption or Crimson counterparts. The Hallow acts as a good equivalent to the world's evil biome, and will also spread across the world. Both the Hallow and the evil biomes cannot spread over each other, over empty space, or over blocks with no biome equivalent. These biomes can also merge with some other biomes to form hybrid biomes (e.g., Corrupted Desert, Hallowed Ice) with unique enemies and blocks. The evil biomes will slowly convert the Jungle into plain Corruption or Crimson, but the Hallow cannot convert it.

By summoning and defeating a boss called the Wall of Flesh for the first time, the player activates "hardmode". Hardmode causes drastic changes to the player's world.[5] A much larger part of the world becomes corrupted by the world's evil biome (most notably an underground section stretching to the underworld allowing the collection of souls in the cavern layer) and the new Hallow biome emerges. The Hallow and Corruption/Crimson biomes also spread much more quickly over the player's world until the boss Plantera's defeat, which slows down the rate of growth considerably. This change to hardmode also adds many new and much stronger enemies throughout the world, as well as new NPCs, bosses, ores, and items available for crafting or acquiring from enemies and boss drops. Three new bosses you can fight upon entering Hardmode are the Destroyer, the Twins, and Skeletron Prime, which are upgraded mechanical versions of the pre-hardmode bosses. Once the player defeats all the mechanical bosses, pink bulbs will start to spawn in the underground jungle. Destroying these bulbs will summon Plantera, a giant plant-like boss that chases and shoots deadly thorns at the player. Defeating Plantera will drop a Temple Key which can be used to grant access to the Lihzahrd Temple located in the jungle.

Inside the Lihzahrd Temple, there is always an Lihzahrd altar which can be used to summon the next boss, the Golem. However, the player will need a power cell which can be found in chests or rarely be dropped by Lihzahrd enemies. The Golem is a giant stone-like statue with retractable hands and a head that can shoot powerful lasers.

After the Golem is defeated, new NPCs appear outside the Dungeon called Cultists.[6] The Cultists will not attack the player unless provoked. If they are killed, their leader, a boss called the Lunatic Cultist, will absorb the Mysterious Tablet and begin to attack the player. Upon defeat of this boss, four space-themed minibosses called the Stardust, Vortex, Nebula, and Solar Pillars will appear throughout the world, and the player is free to destroy them in any order. The pillars do not attack the player directly, with the exception to the stardust pillar which will summon missiles that are stationary for 3 seconds and then launch at the player, but they are defended by powerful enemies. After the fourth pillar is destroyed, the final boss, the Moon Lord, will attack the player. Upon defeating the Moon Lord, the player will have beaten the game's main storyline.

The game also features an expert mode difficulty.[6] Enabled when creating a world, expert mode increases the difficulty of the game by doubling the health and attack, and increasing knock back protection by 10%, of monsters and bosses, further increasing the strength of weaker enemies after hardmode, giving the bosses new attack patterns, decreasing the effectiveness of life regeneration, and other tweaks. To deal with the higher attack damages of expert mode the defense statistic is more effective than in normal mode. In addition to the higher difficulty level, expert mode increases the chance for enemies to drop rare items, and adds new items that can only be obtained by defeating the bosses on expert mode.

Development and release[edit]

Terraria was developed by Re-Logic beginning in January 2011,[7] and is built on the Microsoft XNA framework.[8] Re-Logic was composed of Andrew Spinks, who designed and programmed the game, Finn Brice, who along with Spinks did the graphic design for the game, and Jeremy Guerrette, who was a production assistant at Re-Logic, but left shortly after the game's release.[citation needed] The music was composed by Scott Lloyd Shelly.[9] The game was released for Microsoft Windows on May 16, 2011.[10]

Post-launch, the game has been updated on multiple occasions. In December 2011, Re-Logic updated Terraria to version 1.1, adding new monsters, bosses, NPCs, and items. The update also included improvements to the game's world generation technology and lighting system.[11] In February 2012, the developers announced that they would not be continuing active development, but would release a final bug-fix patch.[12] However, development resumed in 2013 with Spinks asking the community for ideas and features to include in a future content update.[13]

In September 2012, Spinks announced that Engine Software and 505 Games would be porting Terraria to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[14] The game was released for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade on March 27, 2013.[15] The PlayStation 3 version was released via the PlayStation Network in North America on March 26, 2013[15] and in Europe and Australia on May 15, 2013.[16] Shortly after the initial console release, 505 Games announced Terraria for PlayStation Vita;[17] it was released in Europe on December 11, 2013, and in North America on December 17, 2013.[18] Spike Chunsoft localized the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions for release in Japan, including exclusive items such as a costume based on Monokuma from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.[19][20] In May 2013, 505 Games announced a mobile version of Terraria ported by Dutch studio Codeglue for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.[21] It was released for iOS on August 29, 2013,[22] and for Android on September 13, 2013.[23] The Windows Phone version was released on September 12, 2014.[24][unreliable source?]

In October 2013, Re-Logic released version 1.2 for Terraria on Windows after nine months in development. The update added a host of new mechanics, gameplay changes, and graphics adjustments.[25] After the 1.2 update was released the game returned to receiving continuous updates, including Halloween and Christmas updates which expanded the endgame significantly.[26][27] The console and mobile versions received update 1.2 in 2014.[28][29] Terraria became DRM-free on October 2, 2014, when it was released on GOG.com.[30]

A downloadable version of Terraria was released for PlayStation 4 on November 11, 2014, and Xbox One on November 14, 2014,[31][32] with a retail release on December 2, 2014.[33] In September 2014, Re-Logic announced that Terraria would be coming to OS X and Linux.[34] They were both released on August 12, 2015.[35] The Nintendo 3DS version was first released on the Nintendo eShop on December 10, 2015.[36] A Wii U version was released on the eShop in June 2016.[37]

It was announced that version 1.3, the game's third major content update, would be the last on which Spinks would work personally, and that the developers Yorai Omer and Skiphs would take over programming, and Whitney Baird (a.k.a. Cenx), would take over as lead designer.[citation needed] Version 1.3 was released on June 30, 2015, adding even more items, events, enemies, bosses, and gameplay features. During July 2016, Cenx announced that 1.3 for mobile is set for release in 2017.[38]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 83/100 (PC)[39]
81/100 (PS3)[40]
81/100 (X360)[41]
82/100 (iOS)[42]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 8/10[43]
GameSpot 8/10[1]
GameZone 9/10[44]
IGN 9/10[45]
PC Gamer (US) 79%[46]

Terraria has received favorable reviews from critics, with aggregate review website Metacritic assigning a score of 83/100 for the Windows version based on 29 reviews, a score of 81/100 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 based on 12 and 39 reviews respectively, and a score of 82/100 for the iOS based on 11 reviews.[39][40][41][42] A review for Destructoid included praise for Terraria as "full of depth".[47] Another reviewer praised Terraria's integration of some of Minecraft's concepts into two dimensions.[48]

GameSpot praised Terraria's exploration and feeling of accomplishment but criticized its lack of tutorial or explicit directions.[1] IGN praised the game, claiming that Terraria: "expands on the familiar sandbox gameplay with a greater emphasis on combat and adventure."[45] Terraria received the #1 of 2011 Indie of the Year Player Choice on IndieDB.[49]

Despite using 2D graphics, Terraria has been alluded to and described as a Minecraft clone by various video gaming media outlets.[45][50][51][52][53][54]

Sales[edit]

Terraria sold 200,000 copies in the nine days following its initial release on Windows; it remained on Steam's top sellers for the first six days of its release.[55] Within a month, Terraria sold 432,000 copies.[56] Over 12 million copies of Terraria by June 2015[57] and 18 million copies by July 2016 had been sold across all compatible platforms.[58]

Sequels[edit]

In an October 2013 interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Spinks announced that he was planning Terraria 2.[59] Spinks said the game is planned to have an unlimited number of worlds and would be significantly different from the original game.[60]

Another game set in the Terraria universe, Terraria: Otherworld was announced in February 2015.[61] Otherworld tasks the player with trying to purify the world of the Corruption. This is to be achieved mainly by finding and activating "purifying towers" that push back the spread of the Corruption. Otherworld will include more strategy and role-playing elements, such as a new tower defense gameplay element, a skill tree, and an actual storyline to follow. The release date is currently set for 2016 for Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[62]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ported to mobile platforms by Codeglue and to consoles by Engine Software

References[edit]

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External links[edit]