Just as I come over the hill the sun is setting. There isn’t have enough time. Soon it will be dark. Finding my way back to base would be difficult but this is the least of my concerns. Having barely escaped the corruption alive it seems the beasts of the night will be my undoing. One or two already approach me and it wont take long before there are too many and they rip me into a bloody pulp. I see a cave nearby, going down is risky but my chances will be better than on the surface. With a torch in hand I venture down. Deeper into the cave I reach a ledge, taking a deep breath I leap into the unknown, the torch goes out. It is pitch black. Foolishly I have jumped into water. Holding my breath I scramble around for the edge to climb… it is no use, the cliff is too high and I cannot jump out. As a last ditch attempt I franticly reach for my pickaxe I may have just enough time to dig a space for air. In the complete darkness I cannot see what I am doing… my efforts are futile… now there is no more time, I cannot hold my breath any longer… I die. This is Terraria
I have being spending a ton of time in World my imaginatively named primary Terraria hub. Terraria is a sandbox game / an RPG / a mining and crafting Minecraft imitator / a retro 8-bit platformer. Terraria is the adventures and journeys that you embark on. These escapades (and their spoils) then open up the potential for more adventures and the stories that you will tell upon your return.
Every path you have trodden littered by the torches placed, the pits emptied of precious ores, and the tombstones an account of less successful ventures. A village will grow and expand, people move in, the decor becomes more elaborate. Each incremental improvement becomes a marker for your successes. There are no levels and stats to gain, only loot.
Since the game came out on XBLA last week it has got me totally absorbed, I really wanted to write something on it, but the game is so open ended I wasn’t sure I had achieved anything worthy of writing about. Then stopping to took a look around at my world, I saw what I had built and the map showing the depths to which I had explored.
Whilst playing I am often discovering something new and having loads of fun either on my own or with a local co-op companion. Yet in any of my Terraria worlds I often reach a point where the amount of experimentation and exploration required reveal significant loot, enemies or areas can feel tedious and confusing rather than fun. I imagine the severe lack of guidance is intentional as it keeps the game open and less ridged, the achievements work as a to-do list, but how to achieve them is never made clear. So inevitably a visit to the online wiki, which takes you away from the xbox is required.
I am still really enjoying becoming totally absorbed into this game and suddenly noticing hours have gone by, and I know I have plenty more stories to tell.