Back in 2011, a hot new crafting and exploration game started to spread across the interwebs. Adopting a 16-bit style, Terraria gave players a more action and adventure take on a genre that began in 2009 with its more blocky rival, Minecraft. Providing a much more expansive and deep experience for the time.
I instantly took more to Terraria due to this greater emphasis on action, reminding me more of RPG games from my youth on the Super Nintendo. On the PC, it controlled and felt wonderful as I’d build towers into the sky and mines deep into the Earth. Seeking out new resources and monsters, to further expand my growing city.
Much like any game I play, eventually my interest began to dwindle, new games released that stole more of my attention away from my time in Scott World. Daily visits turned into weekly visits, which turned into monthly and finally the rare occasion. The itch would grab me from time-to-time and I would indulge until it was properly scratched. While I never picked Terraria up for the Vita, now with the Switch port, I decided now would be a splendid time to dive back in and see how the game struck me. Especially now that I would be able to take it on the go with me to enjoy during my lunch breaks at work.
Right away, I was greeted with warm nostalgic feelings with the graphics I had appreciated and that drew me to the game in the first place. It looked and sounded just how I remember, with the overworld tune taking me back to simpler days. The switch to the Switch (pun intended) wasn’t without it’s bumps though.
What I wasn’t anticipating were my troubles in adapting to the controller scheme from the mouse and keyboard I had learned the game on. Moving around and navigating menus were fine, I also found myself quite taken by the simple pinch-zoom feature while playing in handheld mode, but things started to fall apart when I tried to build things. Using the Joy-Cons to try and move around the retical to select the grid you want to build is so touchy that even still, I place blocks where I don’t mean to. Using a Pro Controller does improve the issue, but I still had to resort to the d-pad as well.
To the port’s credit, there are a number of options available to me, and I usually resort to using the d-pad buttons to move grid by grid. Slow, but effective.
Another bit of a bump in the road to rebuilding Scott World, or Irrational World as it’s known now, was I had forgotten a lot on how to do things. It turns out, that after not playing a game as deep as Terraria, you forget things. Coupling the adjustment to the new control scheme and my forgetfulness of various gameplay mechanics, made the first hour or two with this port quite…interesting.
As I continue to become more comfortable with the controls and remember more, I’m coming to realize more just how much Terraria just makes sense for the Switch. It’s a game that fits perfectly into bite-sized chunks of playtime you may have during a lunch break or commute to work on the train. If you are a fan of the game already, I think the Switch version with its option to take with you, makes it an easy recommendation. Just know that if you’re coming from the PC, expect a bit of an adjustment period.
This game was played on a Nintendo Switch system with a review code provided by the publisher.