The first 2D game based on Minecraft, met great a great success with 12 million copies sold in 4 years. The purpose is of course, to survive and explore. Unlike Minecraft, you are given at the beginning the 4 main tools: Pickaxe, Shovel, Sword and an Axe. Also, at the beginning, an NPC will be near you which will provide you tips about the gameplay as well as serving as a crafting table for you to create objects that aren’t possible without one.
You get to build houses in the manner you wish and paint the walls in almost color you want. Each house built that has also a chair and a table, will host one new Shop NPC, each specialized in a different trade. At the beginning though, most of the items will be extremely expensive.
The exploration consists mostly in underground caves where you can find old chambers filled with spider webs, corridors, tougher enemies and lots of treasure chests, of every kind: Wooden, golden, ice and so on, each containing various items, from money to potion ingredients and even weapons and armor. You can also take the chest with you if you have a hammer with you.
Unlike Minecraft, all the recipes are shown directly, based on what you have in your inventory and you just have to select it and click on it to create it. There are also a few more materials from which you can create important items like Cobalt, Chlorophyte or even fancy names like Demonite and Hellstone.
The player is also able to craft, capture and summon mounts, pets, defenders, for easing up the gameplay. You can also summon bosses to fight against in order to receive rare or unique loot. There are far more bosses in Terraria than Minecraft as well, each summoned in a different way, either through certain objects or just by being in that spot.
There are 2 types of difficulties in this game:
– Character difficulty – Split into 3 different difficulties, character difficulties specify what will happen with the character upon death. The softcore one will allow you to keep all your money and items upon spawning, mediumcore will drop everything you have on the spot you died, and can be picked up after respawn, while hardcore ends the game when you pass away. Though the character will not be deleted until you exit it. In that time, you can explore the map as a ghost but you will not be able to interact in any way with it. Everything stored in the chests will not be deleted.
– World Difficulty – In this category, there are only 2 difficulties: The normal one where nothing is changed and the Expert mode, meant for veteran players, where everything is toughened up and bosses have a chance to drop special items that are not available in the normal world.
2. Zombie Party
The second top-down shooter in the list, this one is focused not only on zombie, but mummies and squids as well. It still is in Early Access but the reason why I chose it is that it’s already extremely fun and addictive.
Zombie Party is a top-down wave-based shooter. Between the waves you have the possibility to level up your perk tree in order to become more resistant to the threats. Perk tree involves upgrading your health, overall damage, luck and fire rate. At the beginning you choose which character you want to play as. Each character has a base setup on the perk tree as well as a signature weapon (most of them anyway). Not all characters will be unlocked from the beginning, the need to play a few games first being in place. After you die, the money you raised and have not spent in the play, are reported in the main menu allowing you to purchase new character or increase their stats.
The weapons can be customized with up to 3 mods + an artifact (except for the signature gun). The mods can be both positive or negative on weapon’s performance, depending on how the user wants it.
The mods can affect the fire rate, damage, spread, bullet speed, bullet size, etc. The artifacts change the weapons type of ammo altogether. You can shoot with flames, electricity, explosion and even rainbows. Besides the signature weapon, every other weapon has limited ammo. The ammo can be either dropped by mobs or bought between the enemy waves.
The second type of weapons are the pre-made ones. Those carry various combinations of mods or behaves differently altogether, usually overpowering any kind of enemy. You have the Firewall, a weapon that shoots with grenades that create a fire wall after it detonates or the teddy bear launcher, which, well, shoots with huge teddy bears that go boom.
The game is split into 2 gamemodes:
– Adventure – a 5 + 1 waves gameplay, with the last wave being a boss bent on destroying you. After the boss is defeated, you are allowed to collect everything you missed previously due to the constant running. After you’re done collecting the coins, upgrade points, ammo and everything else, you’re invited to jump into the teleporter and a cool map transition takes place with no obvious loading menu.
There are so far around 6 maps each one in different places like forest, the moon, the desert and so on, each with its kind of enemies and bosses. The transition to the 6th wave is made immediately after the previous one so there is no time to purchase anything. Once you finish going through each map once, the hardmode is activated and you basically through all of it again but the enemies are a lot tougher.
– Survival – Same thing only that the boss is once every 10 waves and the map doesn’t change. You play until you die.
1. Risk of Rain
Risk of Rain is a 2D side-scrolling platformer shooter. The point of the game is to advance as further as you can.
You start the game by having only one character unlocked. Each character has its own skills. Once you’re deployed on the field your task is to explore the area in search for the teleporter that will send you onto the next level. You can wait as much as you want before activating the teleporter in order to level up and gain perks, but take in consideration that the longer you postpone the activation of the teleporter, the harder the gameplay will become: more powerful versions of the enemies (distinguishable by their different color).
The player can gather perks and abilities (can only use 1 at a time) by killing enemies, unlocking treasures by paying for their unlock or purchasing them directly from a mini-shop findable on the map through exploring. The player can gather money by killing enemies or by completing mini-challenges such as little bugs that escape a basket and you have to shoot them all within the time limit. The money can also be spent on repairing droids that will assist you in the battle.
Activating the teleporter will start a 3 minute countdown where the player has to survive the entire amount of time until the teleporter is ready to do its job. Failing to do so, as in, if you die, you will just have to go all over again.
The maps are not procedurally generated but actually there are multiple maps for the same level to increase diversity. The enemies are also completely different in each level, with new designs, textures and movement patterns, some of them being completely creepy.
Leveling up just increases your health and, if having a certain perk, will boost the damage and regenerate the health in the area you leveled up.
The game also contains 3 difficulty modes with the easiest one not recording the progress made in the game, where the last one simply states that ‘You will die.’ You can also add artefacts to the gameplay once you find them, heavily altering the style of gameplay.
Risk of Rain is the kind of game that starts with it being a 5 minutes ride and ending up, once you get enough experience, in hours of gameplay in one single life. New characters might also help in prolonged gameplay time if they fit your tastes.