top of page
  • Chad Myers

Game Review #375: Terraria (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Re-Logic, Pipeworks Studio

Publisher: 505 Games

Category: Action, Multiplayer, RPG

Release Date: 6.27.2019 (digital) | 8.27.2019 (physical)

Price (at time of review): $29.99 (digital & physical)

Buy Terraria from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Terraria from Amazon here.

Another Behemoth Enters The Switch Space

Of the top 5 selling PC games of all time, two are already on the Switch, those being Minecraft and Diablo III, and now Terraria enters those ranks as the third on that list to be ported over to the Switch. In every right, this game truly is a behemoth, selling over 27 million copies over all platforms. For a game that came out in 2011 that drew direct comparisons to Minecraft—that also came out that same year—it’s been insanely successful.

As many have tried to copy Mojang’s smash hit, you can easily say the experience is the hardest element to capture. Terraria’s developer, Re-Logic, took the overall gameplay idea and made it its own. Now that it’s on the Switch, it’s time to see how it’s held up over the last eight years, and see if you should pick it up again—or for the first time for newcomers.

What’s The Deal Again?

Terraria came out back in 2011, and since then, it’s been on every conceivable device on which you can play games; but, in case there’s a chance you’re a gamer and still don’t know about it, I’ll retouch on the basics. It’s an action-adventure sandbox that takes place in procedurally-generated worlds, meaning you’ll never have the same experience twice, which, for most, will be a good thing.

This is a crazy fantastical world, populated with sweet creatures like unicorns, but then also populated with vile creatures like zombies. The best way I can describe it is to picture mixing Minecraft and Stardew Valley together, and then sprinkling it with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft and J.R.R. Tolkien, as it can be something that feels rather magical, and then in the next breath, can haunt your dreams. I’ll also mention there isn’t a true narrative or story, per se, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to do or that it isn’t full of things to keep you busy.

Where Will We Go & Why Am I Dead?

I found out right away that I died a lot when I first played Terraria. Luckily, you’re not penalized too harshly for dying, as long as you stay away from the harder difficulty. But my god, there are a lot of things that want to kill you here, and no matter how long I’ve played, I rarely felt at ease during an entire playthrough; and the music aids this, but I’ll touch more on that later.

You can build homes, and when you do, more than likely an NPC will take up residency in that home, driving me wild with rage as I wonder why the hell this bum gets my nice new home to live in while I travel this odd land, fighting for everything I have and every breath I draw. You start out with a pickaxe, sword, and axe, which all never degrade or break—which is a nice touch for people who worry about getting stuck battling, only to have your sword break mid fight.

For newcomers, remember how I mentioned death? Well, let’s just say the grim reaper becomes your close personal pal, like you’re Bill or Ted in Bill & Teds Bogus Journey. Every time night comes upon you, if you’re not prepared, you’ll be torn to shreds by zombies—and they’re the ones that should worry you the least! So, you’ll need a crafting table and anvil so you can begin building your arsenal, and artillery to protect yourself for the cold dark nights. Which leads me to take heed, where as some games will have your character fall asleep if you stay out too late, Terraria will dismember your character’s body.

Weapons aren’t the only things you can craft and build, and you’re only held back by your own imagination. As I learned, you can burrow your way to the depths of the underworld, battling monsters, hellish bosses, and then when you’ve had your fill, you can travel to the moon and fight the moon god boss. Yes, there are not just one or two, there are many bosses and enemies, which add so much more to the simple concept of exploring.

The game doesn’t have a story, as I mentioned, which could be a turn-off for some that need that narrative to push them through. I mean, there is a final boss to the game, but it never ends, and you’ll never beat the game, so to speak. So, if you’re not threatened by open-ended games, and are a newcomer, then jump on this gravy train, as you will enjoy the experience in spades. It’s a game that gives back what you put into it, and if you’re like me, within a few hours of playing, you’ll wonder what sweet hell this is, and where you got so addicted to it.

Terraria Tries To Switch

The biggest change to playing Terraria on the Nintendo Switch is that you have the option to play as you normally would on a console like the PlayStation 4, but then it also takes full advantage of the touchscreen. Using the touchscreen in handheld mode allows you to touch, pinch, tap, and drag to manage inventory items, craft, use items on the hot bar, equip items, and more.

There’s no true comparison to playing it on the original PC with mouse and keyboard, but I never had any issues, and enjoyed the controls overall. The one big gripe I do have is that, at the time of me writing this review, the game only has online multiplayer, which requires the online pass through Nintendo’s proprietary online service for gaming. This may be an immediate deal-breaker for some fans that have to have local couch co-op to truly immerse themselves in the game with a friend. Well, feel relieved, because the developers have already said its coming in an upcoming patch, along with wireless co-op Switch-to-Switch; but until then, you’ll have to struggle to survive while you play all alone or online, which may be a little while.

Audio & Visuals

The audio is well done; the soundtrack paces itself well by always meeting the correct tempo. As I mentioned briefly earlier, you can be building a house, and things are quite relaxing and chilled, until the darkness creeps in and the high-tempo music kicks in, and before you know it, a giant hulking eyeball is chasing you, trying to murder you. Though it fits well with the game as a whole, I wouldn’t say the soundtrack is remarkable—actually, it felt a little forgettable.

The pixelated sprite work is very well done, and earns the comparison to Stardew Valley in terms of looks and graphics, and you’ll encounter many different environments and designs. The bright, vibrant colors, which can turn dark at a moment’s notice, are also excellent. Neither the character designs nor the monsters and bosses disappointed either, and they were hauntingly well done; and over my entire gameplay time on the Switch, it didn’t stutter or tear at all.

It’s A Wrap

So, can an eight-year-old game warrant a purchase to a new hot system? Yes! It can, but it needs to be done right, and not a simple cash grab. This feels like a very solid port that many gamers will enjoy, but will they want to swallow that dreaded Switch tax that has it selling for $29.99? At the time of this review, it can be purchased off steam for $4.99, which will have some questioning the purchase, especially knowing you can grab it on iOS and android for $4.99 as well; but this hybrid system brings both the console and mobile aspects together. At the time of the Switch launch, the game looks to be behind several updates, compared to the console and PC version. I still lean towards recommending it now, as the game still has new content for the PC years later, and I’m sure this will trickle into the Switch over the years—plus there is a physical copy for the same price!

Score: 8/10

Buy Terraria from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Terraria from Amazon here.

Follow Re-Logic




Follow Pipeworks Studio




Follow 505 Games




*Review Code Provided by Wonacott Communications

121 views0 comments
bottom of page