This is the first instalment of a feature I will be producing regularly, named Skint Gaming.
Primarily these articles will be aimed at people who don’t have a lot of spare cash to spend on games, whether it’s just because of your way of life or because you’re in your teenage years and need to think carefully before spending pocket money. Of course you may just be here because you’re interested in trying out a new game.
We will explore games that are free, cheap or just excellent value for money. When talking about these games I will also cover how well they will run on low-mid range laptops.
To start off this series I want to talk about a well known game which most PC gamers will probably have in their Steam libraries by now. If you’re not one of those people, then is is why the 2D, exploration and building extravaganza, Terraria is a worthy addition to your collection.
Terraria is available in PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Android, iOS and Windows phone. The PC version is the most up to date version of the game. The final ‘big’ update for Terraria on PC was released in June 2015 and from now on the PC version will receive only minor content updates and bug fixes as the dev team are focusing their attention on other games. The versions on other platforms will receive mostly the same updates as the PC version but it’ll just take a little longer for them to get there.
The game has been well received since its beta, offering a significant amount which has only been amplified by the staggering updates. Terraria appeals to a wide variety of people because of the way you can adapt your playthrough to your favoured playstyle, and the ways in which you can make each game different to the last. If you just want to trundle along, spending time on building an epic castle and exploring, then you can. If instead you wish to pick a specific class and play in a certain way then the insane amount of items allows you to. If you want to speed through all the bosses and get to the endgame, aside from a bit of skill it’s no problem.
I’ve seen people build vast marble sky castles and complex arenas layered with intricate traps, I’ve seen people hollow out vast underground sections and create minibiomes inside it to farm for materials. It really is a game where you can let your imagination run wild. I am currently in the process of constructing a large, floating granite sky fortress. Terraria also lends itself well to speedrunning, for example, trying to defeat a certain boss within a certain number of in game days.
The vast majority of my 300+ hours spent on Terraria were played on a fairly terrible laptop and it ran just fine. So if you’re limited to playing on a machine that doesn’t run games very well, Terraria won’t give you many issues aside from the occasional frame rate drops if a lot is happening on screen.
Terraria Price and Summary
Now to one of the main focuses of these articles. On PC Terraria is £6.99 at full price, but it goes on sale so regularly that you can usually find it for under £3. On console unfortunately it’s around £15. Cheaper copies can be found second hand but I’ve never seen it as cheap as it is on PC, and as the PC version is the one with the most content I would say it’s the best one to go for (although the tablet versions of Terraria also come well recommended). Although the PC version is the best value for money, there’s still a colossal amount of content available on the other platforms.
It’s probably one of the best value for money games I’ve come across so far. Even if you do pay full price for it you’ll probably easily log 50+ hours on Terraria, but more likely over 100. Most of my Steam friends own Terraria and to my knowledge no one has fewer than 20 hours on the game, even those who wouldn’t normally be particularly interested in a game of this nature. It is most certainly one that’s worth the money and with friends it’s extremely good fun.
Re-logic, the Developers behind Terraria are currently working on Terraria: Otherworld, which will take a lot of the ideas from Terraria and place them in a different universe. There’s no official release date yet but it’s development is well under way so hopefully we’ll be seeing it appear in the near future.