It’s always fun for me to watch fanboys/girls start arguing whenever two games that are somewhat similar are released. It’s even more entertaining watching the ever-growing debate between Minecraft and Terraria fans. The chart I just whipped up at the bottom of this post sums the basics of the two games in a nutshell, but I personally think the debate over which one is better is pretty stupid.
One sentence I always hear/read: “Terraria is just a 2D sidescrolling version of Minecraft.” I honestly wonder if the people who believe this have played Terraria. Sure, Terraria borrowed/was inspired by the idea of mining. But guess what? Notch borrowed/was inspired by mining in another game, and readily admits it. That’s sort of how art works, folks. Nothing is ever that original - ideas are taken and evolved and most people don’t even recognize that there was something before the evolved product. My point is, DEAL WITH IT.
That said, writing Terraria off as a Minecraft rip-off is insulting to the crazy crap that it has going for it. I mean, it has ridiculous boss battles, more enemies, NPCs, a currency system, a more advanced multiplayer system, more types of armor, magic, and probably more stuff that I can’t think of at the moment. Just because the basic principles of the games are similar doesn’t mean one is copying off another. Hell, millions of us – myself included — buy the annual Call of Duty games year after year and they’re (mechanically speaking) the same game over and over again. BY THE SAME COMPANY.
Secondly, Terraria is not “the Minecraft killer.” Besides the rabid fanboys/girls who will steadfastly refuse to even consider Terraria, there are people like me who enjoy Minecraft’s mods, first person POV, and giant green exploding phalluses. Okay, maybe not that last one. For me, at least, Minecraft is more exploration and building based, while Terraria is more geared toward combat. I mean, look at how many more enemies Terraria has. Sometimes I want to kill a lot of stuff, so I play Terraria. Sometimes I want to build a lot of stuff, so I play Minecraft.
We can also discuss the crazy huge modding community Minecraft has. I mean, when/if Notch ever gets that modding API going so that mods don’t break every update, that will be huge. I know I’m far from being the only person who rarely plays Minecraft without any sort of mod on. The Minecraft community also provides texture packs (which can radically change the look of the game) and challenge maps to keep things fresh. With a game as open as Minecraft, you seriously can do almost anything you want with it. Terraria, although it’s pretty open-ended as well, puts some limits on modding due to bosses and NPCs. It will be interesting to see what type of mods are created for it.
My point to all of this crap is, as with almost everything else in the world, it comes down to personal preference. I recommend trying each one out, so that if you do want to get into your little fan wars you will at least know what you’re talking about when you voice your opinion.
|Current Version (as of writing)||
Minecraft Beta 1.6.6
|Graphics||3D first-person||2D sidescroller|
|Cost||€14.95 while in Beta, €20 when finished (with discounts for those who purchased in Beta)||$9.99 on Steam|
|Goals||Mine for resources, survive, kill enemies, build||Mine for resources, survive, kill enemies, build|
|Character Customization||Can create and/or upload skins, otherwise stuck with “Steve” (unless mods are used)||Can choose male or female and color of clothing, eyes, hair, and skin|
|Ores/Valuable Resources||Coal, Redstone, Diamond, Gold, Iron, Obsidian||Copper, Iron, Silver, Gold, Meteorite, Demonite, Hellstone, Obsidian|
|NPCs/Mobs/Monsters||Non-hostile: Pigs, Sheep, Cows
Hostile: Zombies, Skeletons, Spiders, Creepers, Slimes
|NPCs: Guide, Demolitionist, Merchant, Dryad, Old Man, Arms Dealer, Nurse
Monsters: Zombies, Slimes, Goblins, Demon Eyes, Skeletons, Eater of Souls, Giant Worms, etc.
Bosses: Eye of Cthulhu, Devourer of Worlds, Skeletron
|Game Modifications||Not officially supported, but there are many, many mods out there||Not officially supported, few if any mods out there (it also just came out, so there’s that)|
|Multiplayer||Have to host your own server, basically the same as single player||Dedicated servers (as of version 1.0.3), PVP|