Tuesday, January 29, 2013


And now for something completely different...

Like many adults of my generation, there was a time when I spent countless hours playing video games. Alas, those days have come and gone, replaced by the joys of working full-time, a wonderful wife, and a young family. But every once and a while I come across a game that is something special. Something about it captures my imagination, and I end up returning to it again and again, squeezing it in amidst all my many responsibilities and more important hobbies. Terraria is the most recent game to fall into this category.

For those unfamiliar with this great game, check out the trailer below:


At its heart, Terraria combines the classic 2-D action/adventure game (like Legend of Zelda or Metroid) with the much more recent sensation Minecraft. Like the latter, you begin in a randomly generated world where the player can manipulate the environment to build all manner of new content, including buildings, weapons, armor, tools, food, etc. But like these classic action/adventure franchises, exploring deeper into the world gives one access to increasingly powerful items and abilities, increasing your ability to survive against the worst the game can throw at you. In this same vein, as your character increases in power, it also allows you to successfully combat the powerful boss monsters, and thus unlock additional areas to explore or treasures to utilize.

For me, while the adventure elements keep the game fun and interesting, it is the ability to quite literally interact with every bit of the randomly generated worlds that keeps me coming back again and again. You can quite literally take and shape the world to your heart's content, building fantastic castles, caverns, shrines, and/or lairs, and furnishing them with the over 600 items available in the game.

Even better, modders have created massive amounts of new content for the game, extending its replay value and introducing all sorts of new and novel elements to the game. And while many of them range from decent to excellent, the clear front-runner for me is the mod known as The Story of Red Cloud. Check out the link for full details, or watch this excellent trailer below:


 For much of its development, Terraria was supported by frequent and completely free updates, which continued to add all sorts of new features and elements to the game. Then, almost a year ago, it was announced that the designer was stepping away from the project and did not expect to release any new content. The reaction from the community was mixed, but disappointment was shared by almost all. 

Fortunately, it appears that development for this great game may not be over after all. First of all, the rights to a console version of the game was purchased by 505 Games. The original creator was recently invited to go out to 505 and try out the new console port, and upon his return home, posted that he was considering resuming work on the PC version of Terraria. While this has not been officially confirmed, it would appear from the activity on his Twitter page and on the forums that he has resumed work on this excellent game. Needless to say, this was great news!

So if you've never checked out this great game, I would strongly encourage you give it a go. The latest PC version is available on Steam for $9.99, and the console version will be available in late February or early March for Xbox and Playstation. And if you've played it before, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Please feel free to comment below, and thanks for reading!

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