On May 17, 2009, Minecraft was first released to the public. Considering the resources used to build the original (one guy with a knowledge of Java), Mojang (the company now behind Minecraft, formed after the initial release) has enjoyed astounding success, proving that the indie market isn’t simply growing, but is a place where creative titles can return huge profits.
On May 16, 2011, independent developer Re-Logic released Terraria on Steam, and the title “shipped” over 200,000 copies in less than a week. Not a bad start, and Terraria‘s tantalizing five-minute gameplay trailer (watch below) and mostly solid reviews should help boost success.
Some people are calling Terraria a 2D Minecraft clone. This may not be a fair comment, but more importantly, it may not be a bad thing. Mojang’s hit has obviously influenced Terraria‘s design (with a day/night cycle, for example, where much more dangerous critters come out to attack at night). Where Minecraft is focused on mining and building, Terraria‘s gameplay is much more an action RPG with players exploring, fighting, mining, and building to upgrade their gear and attract the most useful NPCs to move into their well-appointed structures. That’s right; build it, and they will come.
While we can’t yet recommend that you pay the $10 (US) for Terraria, (it can also be purchased as a four-pack for $30 US to share with your friends) we are intrigued with the title’s randomly-generated worlds, multiplayer, surface and cavern exploration, boss-summoning, and deep gear-crafting and structure building systems. Also, in what other game can you hack a slime apart with a sword before shooting an Eye of Cthulhu with a laser pistol?
The graphical limitations may be a turn-off to some, and sandbox games do not appeal to everyone, but Minecraft has proven there is a healthy market for games like Terraria. Finally, this is the first iteration of Terraria, so the strongest selling feature of all may be the planned free updates throughout the title’s life cycle — it can only get better.
Are you interested in checking out Terraria, or are the graphics too much of a detraction?