Terraria is an indie treasure which originally released over eight years ago on PC. The game has grown, developed and built up such a huge community of fans that you could argue that the “indie” moniker is no longer an accurate descriptor. With releases on PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, Mobile, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS and Wii U, it was only a matter of time before the game came to the Nintendo Switch; that time has come.

We initially reviewed Terraria on PC and PS3/Xbox 360 back in 2013, however, the game has changed so much since then that those reviews hardly still apply.

Terraria has sold 27 million copies to date across all platforms and has catapulted developer Re-Logic into the kind of spotlight usually reserved for triple-A developers, despite the fact that the studio has only twelve employees. At the time of release, Terraria was initially passed off as a 2D Minecraft clone, however, it rapidly shook off this reputation and proved its right to be considered a legendary title with a style of its own. While it does share some similarities with Minecraft and undoubtedly took some inspiration from it, Terraria has a much greater focus on completely self-led objectives such as finding and beating bosses. Where Minecraft is mostly just a sandbox game, Terraria adds action-adventure gameplay elements atop this. However, if you are player which require a plot and an end-goal in your games, Terraria certainly is not the type of game for you. If you want practically endless amounts of content and a game which you can continually jump into and sink potentially unlimited hours into, then you are in the right place!

While Terraria lacks a plot, the game compensates for this in near-boundless exploration and freedom. The randomly generated world will give you no assistance in what you should do as you head off to explore dungeons, caves and huge variety of different biomes all the while collecting new gear, materials and weapons. Everything you see in the game can be harvested/mined/picked up once you have the right know-how! At night, Terraria offers up a wide array of threats which will kill you if you have not adequately protected yourself. Terraria’s night time tends to prove far more threatening that Minecraft’s mobs.

Crafting tables and other utilities exist which allow you to craft items and gear to use in the world. One of the great things about Terraria is that the number of items which can be collected in the game is absolutely enormous. New items are being added constantly so it is difficult to keep track of just how many, however, the game currently (as of time of writing) has around 4000 items. This absolutely dwarfs Minecraft’s <500 items to collect. As a player of the game for five years, I have not come even close to encountering and collecting every item in the game at this stage, despite hundreds of hours of play time. Terraria throws up new items and surprises constantly, on every new world, almost every time you play. The game truly feels like it is impossible to "complete" and always has something new for you, no matter how much of a seasoned player you happen to be. Terraria offers you advanced and precise systems for many different things, which just adds layer upon layer of possibilities to the gameplay experience. Weapon and armour stats can be upgraded and modified in countless different ways and the game is very transparent about these stats, unlike the hidden stats for weapons in Minecraft which require the use of online sources to confirm. The game also has random events which can occur, some rare, some common, however they have the ability to completely change the face of the game for a temporary amount of time. It is astonishing and captivating to behold the amount of work and content that the developers have packed into Terraria and they must be commended for their work. Terraria is a rare masterpiece in its genre.

In terms of the Nintendo Switch port, the game runs extremely stably and has great performance. While the game is not demanding by any means, due to the simplistic art style, it is nice to see that the port has been brought over to feel rock solid and very bug-free, however, this is quite expected given the number of platforms which the game has been ported to at this stage. The porting studio, Pipeworks, has added some nice little features to the Switch version, such as some touchscreen controls while playing in handheld mode. In addition to inventory control, some further touchscreen controls like pinch-to-zoom and even automatic mining/wood-cutting upon tapping a block. This makes playing in handheld mode a very pleasant experience. Playing in docked mode is essentially just like playing on any other console with a controller and the controls have been refined and tuned over many platforms and feels good. I found the gameplay experience to be excellent in both modes and free of any performance drops or stuttering.

The only downside of the Nintendo Switch port is the lack of local couch co-op multiplayer. This is a feature which is present on most other platforms which the game is available on, however, Pipeworks have confirmed that this will come down the line in a patch. Despite this, I do believe that this is a feature that the game should have launched with and it is unfortunate that the developers did not decide to wait slightly longer before releasing with this feature baked-in. In the meantime, online co-op multiplayer is available in the game assuming that your friends also have Nintendo Switch consoles and a copy of Terraria. The developers have also not mentioned anything regarding cross play between platforms at this time, which is a feature which I believe would greatly suit the game considering the wide array of platforms which it is available on.

Overall, Pipeworks have delivered an excellent port of an indisputable indie masterpiece on the Nintendo Switch. The game delivers on almost all fronts, barring the temporary lack of couch co-op. Slightly concerning is the high price point, with the game available on the eShop for $29.99/£24.99/€29.99. While this is higher than the PC and PS4/Xbox One prices, Terraria is definitely still worth the inflated price on Nintendo Switch due to the sheer volume of content and this platform delivering the best portable experience for the game.