Review – Terraria (Switch)

The year 2011 was the year when Terraria was first introduced to the world, a small 2D independent game that is clearly inspired by the likes of Minecraft. Over the course of eight years, the developers have given the game a tremendous amount of support, with dozens of free content expansions, bug fixes, and loads more, as well as releasing the game on a wider range of systems starting with the PC, heading to consoles and even mobile. Now it is the Switch’s turn.

In Terraria you don’t have any goals. As soon as you load in, the game leaves you alone and let’s you decide what to do. The first thing that I did was set up a small house to store my gear in, craft new items and act as a safe haven for the nighttime. On the surface, Terraria seems an awful lot like yet another Minecraft clone: you’ve got the square pixel art style and your opening hours have you chopping down trees to build a house to survive the horrors of the night. Thankfully enough, Terraria is so much more than just another Minecraft clone.


Building a house is the first thing you should do.

The world is procedurally generated and also huge. Going from one edge of the screen to another is already vast enough, but on top of this, you’ve got plenty of verticality. Ranging from the darkest depths underground all the way up to the stars, there are tons of secrets to discover and bosses to defeat. Once you got your homebase built up and you are tooled up, you can deal with the monsters that fill the world.

I’m not a huge fan of Terraria‘s early game as it does a disservice to what it’s best at: exploring the world, crafting tools and weapons, and dealing with the 20+ bosses in the world. Crafting is a massive part of the game, as you can assemble simple things from armour and weapons to the more fun grappling hooks and jetpacks, as well as a ton of other interesting gizmos. There are literally thousands of items to craft, pretty much something for everyone. The combat is fast fluid and fun thanks to the tight controls and great enemy variety.

Unfortunatly, playing on the Switch took a lot of getting used to. The controls aren’t the smoothest and aiming at blocks accurately isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially with the joycons and their unfriendly user interface. By clicking on the analogue sticks you can enter a more accurate mode which helps a lot. For the first time on Switch, I’m impressed with the touch controls for the screen. They significantly improve the portable experience, allowing me to quickly zoom in and out, open the map and place blocks accurately. It’s a small but incredibly well done feature.


The world of Terraria is large and varied.

There is so much to do in Terraria that it’s possible you won’t see everything in your time with it. The wiki is your friend here, as there is just too much to keep track of and the game doesn’t do the best job of introducing you to it.

Visually, Terraria on the Switch looks like it should, running at the maximum possible resolution on portable and docked at all times. It also runs at a constant 60fps and feels smooth as hell. There isn’t an awful lot to talk about with the graphics on the Switch version. Being the same as every other version, the sound design is also pretty good, being comprised of decently atmospheric music that suits it perfectly. Although it does get slightly repetitive after a while, it’s not a big deal.

Terraria on Switch takes some getting used to, but once you do it’s an absolute blast to play. Currently, the Switch version is on the latest content update so there is no big gap between other platforms. There’s just a matter of price, as you will be paying a serious premium pricetag to get hold of the Switch version as opposed to every other (much cheaper) version of the game. Just something to be aware of.


Graphics: 8.5

The 2D pixel-art style of Terraria, with its varied world designs, works well on the Switch’s smaller screen.

Gameplay: 8.0

Great use of the Switch’s touchscreen features make up for lackluster joy-con controls.

Sound: 7.5

There’s not a lot to say here. Good atmospheric sound design, albeit slightly repetitive.

Fun Factor: 8.5

After the opening grind of learning the game and all of its many features, Terraria becomes a lot of fun. Use a wiki, it’ll help a lot.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Terraria is available now on Pretty Much Everything.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Terraria was provided by the publisher.