Before I actually started playing Terraria, I was convinced that it was just a cheap 2D replica of Minecraft. At a glance, you may agree with this sentiment, but that’s why I’m here to convince you otherwise. Gameplay-wise, Terraria and Minecraft have many elements in common, such as crafting, digging, mining, and constructing. However, the RPG elements are plenty stronger, and I’ll explain why.
The first prominent aspect of Terraria is that you absolutely cannot turn off enemies unless you install some sort of mod. This already makes it difficult to pick up and play when transitioning from peaceful mode Minecraft. With only two directions to move, escape is a lot harder, and with a roster of easily one hundred different enemies, you’re bound to run into at least something that acts as the bane of your existence. Eight bosses as well, each with their own charm and cruelty.
The second conspicuously RPG aspect lies in equipment, weapons, and spells. You’re given a selection of loose classes to play, spanning from wizards to berserkers to rangers. It’s all very subjective, and very flexible. If you gather enough Fallen Stars and Life Crystals, you can potentially assume every role. You could be a spellsword using a wrecking ball to bash faces and calling stars from the sky to smite your enemies with a glittery wand. Really, it’s all up to you. The Terraria Wiki is there to help you figure it all out.
Thirdly, stats. You can craft armor, picks, axes, hammers, hamaxes, drills… Lots of things. You can forge them from copper, silver, gold, demonite, meteorite, hellstone, and plenty more. There’s a wide variety of everything is Terraria, and equipment is no exception. Crafting tools and weapons grants a random stat bonus (or drop, if you’re unlucky) like speed, power, or crit chance. Maybe even all of them.
The biomes are slightly more limited, but make up for this with underground biomes. On the surface, you have forests, deserts, jungles, corruption, and hallowed ground. Below the surface, you have the underground, the caverns, underground jungle, underground hallow, underground corruption, and Hell itself. Flying islands are a rare find, but tend to contain valuable items, cash, and other treasure that makes you want to leap with joy. Just don’t leap off the side, mkay?
Defeating the boss known as Wall of Flesh unlocks Hardmode, which isn’t exactly something you can change in a menu. By defeating the fleshy wall, you’ve proven that you can take on tougher enemies, which in turn means you can handle having your world stuffed full of really tough enemies and new Corruption and Hallow biomes. New enemies spawn, and things generally get, big surprise, HARDER.
Playing for a few minutes, dying, ragequitting, and claiming that Terraria is a shitty Minecraft clone is basically the reason why people think that Terraria is a shitty Minecraft clone. It isn’t. It’s pretty cheap on Steam, and definitely worth the price. Ten bucks; not so bad. I’ll vouch for it, and I’m not exactly new to gaming, yeah?
But don’t take my word for it. Phill Cameron of EuroGamer’s got some good things to say as well. He likes all the toys. He likes all the crazed events that spontaneously happen and ruin/make your day then dump your bruised ass off with myriad goodies. Here, let’s see what he has to say, mm? http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-07-28-terraria-review