Monday, 13 October 2014

Terraria - Why is it so enjoyable?

I find it frustrating sometimes that it's quite difficult to find games to play with my girlfriend. Sure, we play League of Legends together (I came from a DOTA 2 background, and she played LoL with her friends, so there's more to this story in the future), but rarely is there a game that blends perfectly well to fit both of our tastes.

We tried many games. Shooting games were out of the question ("Help, where am I?" The frequent question being asked when we tried playing Left 4 Dead 2 together). Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, too, didn't seem to attract her attention ("You're playing Wakfu as your Waifu," she criticised me multiple times), and assorted free-to-play games just didn't seem to work at all ("I'm bored" x 300, after I tried getting her to play Runescape).

And then Terraria came along.

On a sale for the cheap, cheap price at two dollars, it was my first playthrough as well. We both agreed to give it a shot.

Five weeks later, we both question whether we're going to pass our exams from the time we have used devouring this game.

To be honest, when I first started playing Terraria, I thought it was just "a 2D Minecraft", where the only limitation you'll have is simply limited into the 2D dimension. Boy, have I ever been so wrong.

It's got its own progression system. Two modes, where you can simply stay in one if you're a casual player, or a harder one if you want a challenge. You can fight. You can make potions. You can build grand designs. But most importantly of all, you're only limited by your imagination. And best of all, it's simple, intuitive to get into, and all the help is already there, either inside the game itself or via the helpful guides on the internet, which require a quick Google search (hello Gamepedia, you've been my best help so far).

And I think that's why I would say we've both enjoyed it. We've both been able to find our own forms of fun within the game.

I've always been that combat-heavy, "let's go explore the world" kind of gamer. For me, fighting things was exciting, exploring into the deep underground was both tense as well as adrenaline pumping, for you never know whether you were going to stumble into a trap or not.

For her, it's always been about decorating and architecture. "Can you find me some pretty blocks on your journey?" She would say to me, and I would proceed to mine the diamond or emerald gems (then proceed to throw them into lava in front of her, for there is no better way to watch their tears from their dreams dying away). Indeed, as we speak now, there is in our world, all decorated in different blocks -

A normal house.
A cloud house.
A mushroom house.
A pumpkin house.
A space house.
A museum.
A graveyard (a collection of our mortal failings)
And a honey house!

Which she all built. Not to mention our joint collaboration, a massive railway (both underground and above ground) which connects one end of the map to another (this took HOURS).

So why am I writing this? Because I'm stating this for those who are trying to figure out how to get a friend who may not be so into gaming, to enjoy a game. And Terraria has been one of those games where it doesn't matter where you come from - all you need is a healthy dose of fun (and tolerance for your friends to inevitably screw you over)!

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