Like many others, I was overly excited when I discovered that one of my all time favorite titles was now available for handheld mobile devices. Terraria for iOS has arrived! Get your chargers out ladies and gentlemen, because your batteries are about to be tested and used like never before. If you have ever played Terraria on PC, XBLA, or PSN, then you should already understand how easy it is to lose countless hours playing this critically acclaimed, retro style, 2D sandbox adventure. If not, good luck trying to constantly rearrange your schedule, as you immerse yourself into the world of Terraria. This truly is the longest and most addictive iOS game that I have ever played.
Terraria iOS is an amazing port, and I say that as an accomplished fan of the PSN version. It has over two hundred different crafting recipes, over a dozen unique biomes, twenty five different block types to build with, seventy five plus types of monsters, as well as over ten recruitable NPC’s, and five wildly outrageous bosses. This new version is also supported by Apple Game Center, which features leaderboards and some achievements for you to work on. I must admit it though, that I was rather skeptical at first. Would the wonder and sophistication of Terraria actually translate from the PC and console versions and function well on a mobile device? The answer: It most certainly does. Sure there are some differences, and the controls may take a few moments to adjust to, but the essence and integrity are captured beautifully. I do not feel like I’m playing some lesser, distilled version, which is a staple of most iOS game ports. This actually is, Terraria.
I’m not saying that the port is flawless, but it is definitely on par with what my hopes and expectations were. There are really only two main elements that I wish were different. The lack of any in-game map, which is incredibly crucial for controlled exploration, as well as the lack of any multiplayer capabilities, which is personally what drew me to the PSN version in the first place. Hopefully we will see one, if not both, of these features in future updates. Other than that, there have just been a few minor bugs along the way, such as problems with spawning of the player and NPC’s, some invisible Dragon Skull enemies, and the attack speed of the swords leaving something to be desired. None of which however, were profound enough to ruin or even lessen my experience. In some cases I find the iOS version to be better. Specifically in the added range/radius for digging and building, and the fact that when you run, the character now automatically jumps over little bumps instead of coming to a hard stop. Now, roughly a month after Terraria came to iOS, the new 1.0.1 update has be released, and it acknowledges almost every bug and complaint that the Terraria gaming community has addressed. Except that, the update to fix the bugs, just became the biggest bug of all.
For everyone that has purchased and installed Terraria iOS since the 1.0.1 update, you have nothing to worry about. The game is smooth, the bugs are fixed, and all of your data is safe and sound. For those of you that have been enjoying this enchanting title prior to, and have now installed said update, the news is not so positive. The original version is no longer compatible with the new updated version. Which means that any and all previous data, including your created characters and created worlds, will no longer be accessible. Basically, you lose everything and have to completely start over. The result is now that the app freezes every time that you hit ‘play’ on the main menu. The only way to actually play at this point is to delete the app, automatically deleting all of its content along with it. Then reinstall it, as the updated version. This will all be resolved and updated soon I’m sure, but for me the damage has already been done, as all of my data has already been lost.
It was a bit devastating, if I’m to be honest. The moment after the update was installed I was so excited to see the changes and improvements, and then, all of my hard work and invested time was instantly for naught, just as soon as I hit the ‘play’ button. I was progressing exponentially too, as I am well versed in the ways of Terraria. I had all my NPC’s housed, the dungeon was all cleared out, and I had finally found some Shadow Orbs (more frequent spawning of Shadow Orbs was also part of the update), and I was gearing up for my epic showdown with the Wall of Flesh. I wish I could tell you how it went, and that my new Meteorite Armor performed admirably along with my new Phaseblade, thereby ushering me into victory. Much to my chagrin…Such is not the case.
I will say this however: If there was ever a game that I would restart from scratch, that I would dig, fight, craft, rebuild and grind my way through, all over again… Terraria iOS is it. In fact, that is exactly what I’m doing. On any platform, Terraria is one of the most fun and addictive games that I’ve ever played. A combination of exploration, building, fighting, crafting, and for me, as I still remain a video game hoarder, collecting. I’ve never personally had an iOS title of the year category, but if I did, this would be my pick for this year. Terraria really is a magical and elegant gaming experience. Now to have it in the palm of my hands, and on my recently updated next generation phone, running the ever trending iOs7, what more could a gamer on the go want.