A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone
- Subjects: Science: engineering
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, deduction, problem solving, strategy
Creativity: making new creations, producing new content
Self-Direction: goal-setting, initiative, work to achieve goals
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: $4.99
- Release date: December 4, 2014
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 86.30 MB
- Publisher: 505 Games
- Version: 1.2.6508
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love sandbox games and engineering
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.