I finally tried Terraria after being bugged nonstop about it since it’s release on steam. It seemed like a 2d Minecraft clone at first but I don’t consider it to be now. It’s actually more like a side-scroller Diablo 2 with a building feature added to it.
I’m partially impressed with Terraria as the gameplay is solid and fun. It has a much heavier aspect of exploration than Minecraft (though it’s not as difficult to return to your spawn as it is in Minecraft without a mod). There’s certainly a lot of things it has going for it that Minecraft doesn’t have, but Minecraft doesn’t try to achieve those kinds of things because it isn’t that kind of game.
My biggest complaint is this: The mining system is annoying.
Not because it takes a long time since that isn’t a problem with better pickaxes, but because of how much attention and precision you have to apply to it. In Minecraft it’s hard to miss a block to mine it. In Terraria you have to aim precisely to hit each block. It becomes easier as you get used to it though.
It’s near impossible to play public online servers without being griefed so this is more of a hamachi/private server kind of game. Terraria doesn’t have much of a death penalty when you die, just loss of some money and even then it’s very easy to get back as the items you drop do not ever disappear. I much prefer dying in Minecraft since there is a real penalty for it. It’s much more difficult to get your stuff back if you die and in Minecraft you lose EVERYTHING when you die, not just money. Some might find this annoying but I consider it extra incentive to fear death and fear things like heights and monsters.
The first online server I joined in Terraria had me spawn so high up I would just fall down and die from fall damage instantly because the spawn had been blown up by griefers. Whoever made this game designed it with a bit of ignorance to the existence of griefers as they put in features meant to encourage online play and cross-server play but they failed to put in any features to prevent griefers from roaming free. Did I mention Terraria has an enormous griefing problem? Griefing can be a problem in Minecraft as well but Minecraft has a whitelist feature as well as many different mods that prevent that kind of behavior. Terraria only has password protection. Obviously you can just go to a private server but then you are a limited to playing with the select few who play on that server.
Terraria certainly has superior combat to Minecraft as it has more weapons and better ranged weapons. The game in general has more items than Minecraft that you can make or find. There’s a real sense of leveling without there being real levels (besides upgrading your health). The melee weapons come in different attack styles and they take good timing to use properly.
Overall I still think Minecraft is a better game but they don’t try to be the same kind of game so that is not saying much. It’s gotten very solid ratings from many different review sites. I recommend you pick up Terraria even if you are an avid Minecraft. Hell, especially if you are an avid Minecraft fan. Though be sure to have some friends to play with.