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My house has moved on. We were a Minecraft house. Minecraft for breakfast, Minecraft to tuck you in at night, Minecraft in your dreams. On the time scale of a 7 year old, we stopped playing that decades ago. In reality it has been weeks. The obsession with Minecraft has been superseded by Terraria.

To the uninitiated both games seem fairly similar. Both are sandbox style toys that allow the player to change the world as they see fit. They can tear down the world as it is, and recreate it to suit them. The player can use resources extracted from the world to create new, more powerful items, which can be used to extract more valuable resources, and build more spectacular items. So it’s a lot like real life.

Even though they are much the same mechanically, I think the draw of Terraria over Minecraft is the constant progression. Where most of the world is available to you from the outset in Minecraft, Terraria must be tackled in stages. You can’t craft this item or enter that area, until you defeat this boss, or complete that quest. There is a gated progression. There is narrative. This then that.

You have to play Minecraft to play Minecraft. Any time that you are not playing the game, you could imagine the things that you would like to build, but without the tools there, in front of you, you can’t really do anything concrete. There are very few goals, besides the ones that the players impose on the game.

Terraria on the other hand, can be played while away from the computer. There are plans to be laid, strategies to consider. You can approach each boss battle or world event in dozens of different ways. You can compare the relative strengths of stacks of armour, weapons, tools, and equipment, choosing the ones that best suit your play style. Each puzzle or enemy that you best will spawn new possible challenges. In Minecraft you construct a world, in Terraria you construct a story.

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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