Terraria

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Terraria App Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Well-done Minecraft-like game, with action twist.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 38 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about geology, mining, crafting, construction, and conservation. A world ripe for transformation allows players to experiment and see how different materials can be harvested and used to create objects useful to human existence. Astute players also may recognize how, with the passage of time, their relentless expansion leads to a resource-depleted setting. Through its open-ended environment and almost limitless play options, Terraria offers opportunities for exploration, problem solving, strategy, deduction, and collaboration.

Ease of Play

The game offers a thorough tutorial and controls that work very well for the platform. 

Violence

Monsters -- floating eyes, zombies, worms -- attack the player's character regularly. Kids can choose either to flee or to attack with swords, bows, and magic. Attacks sometimes result in tiny square bits of blood being shed. Should the player's avatar die, he or she will leave behind a tombstone with an inscription that might embellish the circumstances of the death, suggesting, for example, that the hero's face was "ripped off." Player-vs.-player mode allows users to kill each other in-game as well.

Sex
Language

There are some tongue-in-cheek names for game items, such as Master Bait (special fishing bait) and Golden Shower (a weapon).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players can craft kegs and brew ale.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Terraria is an open-world sandbox game, much like Minecraft and its imitators, and the app is a mobile version of the console game. It differs, though, in that it adds more adventure to the formula, pitting players against numerous enemies and offering many more options than the Microsoft-owned game. There are plenty of secrets to discover, and the combat is a welcome addition to some, though that might make the game inappropriate for very young children. Players can compete in multiplayer games locally but not online -- meaning they won't interact with unseen strangers. There is a loophole in the form of an secondary app, Multiplayer Terraria Edition, which allows online, multiplayer games.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGameMaker May 19, 2015

Has hidden mature topics - unfortunate

Our son loves this game - and generally, we're OK with it. However, there are a few references to very adult themes that ruin the child-safeness of it:
htt... Continue reading
Adult Written byTUnified September 9, 2019

Just nothing like it

I have played Terraria since its release in 2011, it's a highly creative game (like Minecraft) with a lot more action content and complex loot system and b... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycharlottevillet December 3, 2015

Not for younger kids.

Lots of blood and killing. Lots of violence. Would not recommend for children under the age of 13.
Kid, 10 years old January 15, 2017

HAS MILD VIOLENCE

This game is fun, i play it all the time and it is fine but i know that there are some evil monsters that will scare youngsters under 8. the point is to kill mo... Continue reading

What's it about?

In TERRARIA players are dropped into a randomly generated world, where they must mine for resources using the tools available to them and create structures, such as houses, and other equipment. Movement of the character and the character's tool or weapon is done via two virtual joysticks at the bottom corners of the screen, while a menu of tools sits in the upper-left corner. Players also will encounter monsters, which they can fight or flee from. Every time players start a new map, it's an entirely different game. 

Is it any good?

Minecraft has some serious competition: Terraria not only lets users indulge their inner builders, creating whatever their imaginations can dream up, but it makes use of those creations by having nonplayer characters live within them. A well-done action element lets players do more than spelunk and build, breaking up what can be a monotonous process to some people. The maps are huge, there are tons of items to craft, and defeating the bosses takes some thought. One potential drawback is that the controls might not be intuitive to kids who are unfamiliar with this type of game, and, although the open-ended nature of the game is endlessly enthralling to some, it might be overwhelming and confusing to others. If a kid is initially daunted but determined to play, there's a large community and lots of resources that can get a new player over the hump.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about creative energy and how to channel it. What can you create with the resources you mine in the game? 

  • Talk about environmental impact and using resources wisely. What happens if you chop down that many trees in the real world? 

  • Discuss the aspects of the game and game modes they like best. Do they like building things? Killing the bosses? Using player-vs.-player (PvP) mode?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sandbox games and engineering

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