Video Games Weekly: Terraria WiiU
Last September, I reviewed Terraria for the PS4. I found the controls didn’t translate well to the PS4 from the PC, and suggested circulating collections may not want to buy a copy. Well, this month Terraria came out on the Wii U, and I wanted to give it another chance because the controls would be different.
Platform: Wii U
Single or Multiplayer: Multiplayer
Background: Terraria is a survival side-scrolling game with a sandbox feel. You begin Terraria by creating a 16-bit character (male or female), and you can personalize everything from their hair to skin color.
After you are done creating a character, you can choose the size of the world you want to explore as well as your difficulty. “Softcore” mode means when your character dies, you only lose half of the money in your inventory, do not lose any of your items, and you will respawn at your home base.“Mediumcore” mode means your character will lose all of the money and items in your inventory, but you will respawn at your home base. “Hardcore” mode is the most difficult mode, because when your character dies, you cannot respawn. Your character becomes a ghost, and will be deleted when you exit the game. I am a wimp and only play on “Softcore” mode, because I like NOT losing everything in a cave.
You can also select the size of the world, and what biomes you want. There are many different biomes and layers to the world, which means there are different enemies, resources, and bonus items.
After you are done selecting a world and difficulty, you are dropped into a forest biome with only a copper pickaxe, copper axe, and copper shortsword. You also have a computer character known as an NPC, who helps you figure out the controls and crafting items.
There isn’t a goal in the game per se, other than survive and kill boss enemies. Players begin with these three tools as a way to start collecting resources from the world. As you collect resources, players can create items ranging from bricks, furniture, swords, shields, armor, potions, etc. The idea is the more resources you gather, the easier it is to make better stuff.
Controls: Terraria’s controls on the Wii U GamePad feel a lot more natural compared to the other consoles. This is because the GamePad has a touch screen which allows you to select items quickly. You can easily fight enemies smoothly, or craft items without jumbling around with the controls. Sadly, the Wii U can only have one GamePad hooked up at a time so that means if you want to play multiplayer, one player gets to play with the GamePad while the other is stuck with a clunky Pro-Controller or Wiimote.
One way to combat this is have the player with the GamePad be the “scout”, meaning they go out into the world to explore caves and find items. The other player with the Pro-Controller or Wiimote can stay at home base, building up their fortress and crafting items.
Alternatively, you have both players scout the world, but you make the player with the GamePad act as a “warrior”, meaning if any enemies spawn that person fights them while the other player carries the items and mines for materials.
Verdict: Terraria on the Wii U is hands down the best console adaption of this PC original. The GamePad allows players to make quick selections, and players who use the GamePad will feel immersed in this Minecraft-like game. While the setback is you can only use one GamePad at a time, multiplayer groups can figure out how to enjoy to game by sticking together or assigning different roles. Either way, Terraria requires teamwork and communication for success. I highly recommend this for both circulation collections and Teen Game Night programs.
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By: Alanna Graves
$50 on Amazon
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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