Originally released on PC back in 2011, Terraria could be described as a 2D sidescrolling Minecraft with graphics reminiscent of 16-bit games. Over the years it received many updates and eventually started getting ported to many other systems. Now it's finally Nintendo's turn to get the game, but does it still hold up or did too many corners get cut?
Terraria is a sandbox game where there's no real objective. When you start a new game a world will be randomly generated for you, which means that no two players will have the same experience and you could, theoretically, start all over if you get bored with the environment give to you. There are also three save files, so you could also just have three different games on the go at the same time.
When you start you won't have much more than a set of basic tools, like a sword, axe and pickaxe. Your task is to harvest materials, be it by cutting down trees for wood or delving into the ground for ore, and then use those materials to construct buildings, armour and many other things. There are over a thousand different crafting recipes, so there's plenty to do.
While there are regular enemies that lurk about, there are also plenty of bosses that can be encountered, although a lot of them require special conditions before they show up. These all drop special items and such, so they'll become something you want to go after eventually. There are also special NPCs that can sell you items, which will also require special conditions to attract to your world.
This 3DS version of the game is mostly based on version 1.2 of the PC game, which was released in 2013, although it has a few choice features that were added later. It also has some 3DS-exclusive enhancements, like a very useful touch screen. On the touch screen you can choose to display one of three things - an inventory for quick item usage, a world map in case you get lost, or perhaps the most useful option, a zoomed-in, grid-based version of the top screen. This allows you to more accurately tap on specific tiles and works a lot more smoother than simply using the 3DS's buttons.
Although the game is mostly intact, there are some noticeable downsides to this 3DS port. As it is based on a 2013 version of the game it's missing a lot of recent additions, which might be disappointing to those who wanted an up to date experience - there are patches scheduled which could perhaps rectify this. Multiplayer is included, but is local only - online multiplayer was a very cool part of the original release, so the lack of it in this version is quite disappointing.
While the game looks and sounds very good on the 3DS, this is also where the final and perhaps biggest problem comes in. While the game is smooth as butter with a consistent 60 FPS if played on a New 3DS, it drops to 30 on a regular 3DS. To make matters worse, playing it on a normal 3DS will also cause frequent lag, which can get so bad that it almost seems like the game is going to crash. It was perhaps to be expected that the New 3DS would be able to handle the game a bit better, but this difference is quite noticeable and can be incredibly off-putting.
Although slightly outdated, Terraria on 3DS is a fairly decent port of a hugely popular title. If you don't own a New 3DS the lower framerate and lag alone can be reason enough to perhaps skip this version, and the lack of online multiplayer and outdated content could also be a downer for some. The Wii U version should get rid of some of these issues, so if you own the home console there's the option to wait a little longer. Some patches may improve this experience, and it's a solid entry for those with a New 3DS that fancy some Terraria on the go.