If Minecraft were made in the 16-bit era, it would resemble Terraria, Re-Logic's creative effort built on exploration and gathering. It shares similar goals, whether you chop down trees, dig underground to collect resources or survive the night as a bunch of monsters and bosses emerge. Now it's available for iOS, and we highly recommend it.
In the game, the developer rewards you for investing lots of time. As you learn more about the crafting system, the stuff you create and improving primary tools - a sword, an axe and a pickaxe - you'll see the potential. You'll build intricate and sometimes weird structures, which you can then take refuge in once those creatures appear.
If you're a newbie or didn't get into Minecraft: Pocket Edition, the first place you'll visit is the tutorial. This is a helpful tool that shows you around the menu, explaining how to craft items and use them in your 16-bit style world. It really sets the pace for the stuff that lies ahead.
As for the gameplay system, Re-Logic, working with Codeblue, did a tremendous job with touchscreen interaction. The left virtual joystick moves you around, and even jumps automatically over ridges, so you don't have to worry about continuous button taps. The right virtual stick allows you to use tools in any direction, whether you feel like digging for precious material or chopping down trees. Other control options are available, but the default scheme works best.
Terraria also benefits from a charming 16-bit style presentation. The characters resemble classic Square Enix RPG sprites, and interact with each other and the environment in their own unique manner. The tools look crude but get the job done, and the ability to zoom in and out to see what's happening is a nice touch. The music is good, a bit repetitive at times, but still easygoing.
If anything's missing from the mobile version, it's multiplayer, where you can invite friends to create items within your world. 505 Games already promised this will be added later through a patch, but it would've been a good idea to include at least a little something to get players intrigued.
Although Terraria requires a big investment of time, it'll open up your creative side. The control scheme works great on mobile devices, and the presentation is slick enough to make the game stand out over the competition. If you need a break from Minecraft: Pocket Edition, this should be your next stop.
Download Terraria: iOS
What's Hot:Easy-to-use touch-screen system, gets incredibly deep after a few hours, charming 16-bit style presentation, helpful tutorial.
What's Not:No multiplayer, takes a good amount of time to get into.