Terraria vs Minecraft

January 13, 2013

If there is one game that changed the gaming industry, it is Minecraft. It essentially created the model where consumers can buy the game in alpha and/or beta stages and get lifetime updates. Similar to Defense of the Ancients and how it created MOBA, Minecraft has spawned many other games that are based off of its blocky, sandbox type genre. Let’s take a look at Terraria, a great game influenced by Minecraft.

What is Terraria?

Imagine Castlevania and Minecraft nicely combined into a 2D side scrolling game, and you’ve got Terraria. Players must fend for their lives, explore, and gather resources. A big difference between the games is that Terraria isn’t a huge 3D sandbox game with a near infinite environment.  Players spend the more time fighting and improving gear than mining, but both games do focus heavily on mining to explore and obtain resources.

terraria screenshot


Once done configuring your main character, you are then placed in a randomly generated 2D world with basic tools. Just like Minecraft, you aren’t given any clear instructions and will have to figure out many things on your own, unless you consult the internet. Nearly everything in this game can be broken down and/or destroyed. Most of the time you’ll get resources like wood and iron that will prove to be useful when making better gear and fortifications.

There’s a whole lot of different monsters in this game, including skeletons, which drop better resources. The deeper you dig, the higher the chances are to find a monster that drops rare resources. This makes it so that players are encouraged to explore every single corner of the game. However, you definitely should balance building strong gear and shelter with mining and exploring. A lot of the time players get carried away and run into monsters that are too strong, so be careful. Terraria utilizes the same night/day cycle as Minecraft, where the daytime is generally safe to harvest resources and look around. When night falls, you better have the right shelter and gear to defend yourself!

Like Minecraft, the gear crafting system is super deep. Just about every resource you find can be used to craft something more advanced. With over 100 different items and weapons to build, you’ll be amused by the things this game has like ninja stars and laser guns.


Terraria also has an RPG element to the game. We’ve already discussed “leveling” up gear, but another thing that makes this game like RPGs are its NPCs and villages. If you build an attractive shelter that has good decorations and guest attraction, NPCs may start rolling in. These guys can be very useful, as they heal, sell, and do other cool stuff to help you on your adventures. Once you’ve accomplished this, you essentially made your own “home” or village that you can return in order to restock and stay safe.

In addition to things that drop from monsters, sometimes coins drop that can be used to purchase shop items. What makes this game challenging is when you die, you will lose a large portion of your gold, so players must stand back and look at the risk versus the reward of each fight.

One last thing to consider is the price. At only $10, Terraria is a relatively cheap game compared to Minecraft, which is $27 for a premium account.

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