Terasology offers a beautiful open source project which combines sandbox mechanics and voxel design to create a Minecraft inspired engine that is designed with modding and creation in mind to extend the game through additional modules and thus expand on the base experience. Best of all is Terasology offers itself to gamers and modders alike for free where they can enjoy, create and break the engine as they see fit.
Terasology is accordingly ideal for the gamer or creator who wants a free to play game that offers a similar experience to what Minecraft has to offer or want to contribute to your own block building adventure behind the scenes. If you find yourself fitting into this pool of criteria then Terasology might just be what you are after. Like any open source project the number of active participants varies from time to time but there are generally a handful of core contributors that keep the project moving along with options for you to contribute smaller parts always available.
The original 2011 vision for Terasology was to go beyond offering a game of just survival and discovery by incorporating elements of other genres such as Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress into the core Minecraft formula. In doing so Terasology aims to add additional depth in the gameplay loop and encourage players to serve as caretakers of the world rather than a more active participant.
Such a vision has included discussion of base creation, NPC mechanics, fighting and minion summoning, tech trees, advanced crafting and portals. Achieving this original vision though with an open source project has been difficult for Terasology with some features never coming to fruition or being severely delayed in release as contributions flow up and down overtime.
Despite this Terasology is still impressive in its current state showing off fantastic graphics for a voxel based game through the small details in water animation, lighting effects and shadows particularly giving the game a consistent sense of quality. This is in addition to supporting the core mechanics of the genre which centralises itself around destroying and placing blocks to manipulate the generated game worlds.
Ultimately Terasology is already in a good place with nearly a decade of development effort from multiple parties within the game and is no doubt enjoyable enough as is to be considered a game experience. However, like any open source project the unknown future direction of Terasology is always a risk so players should ensure they are playing for the experience that Terasology offers today rather than a vision of a perfect future that may never come or be entirely different to plan.
- Free to play open source experience that encourages the community to contribute to the growing game engine.
- Original vision included mechanics from games such as Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper and Minecraft.
- Beautiful game experience with investment in lighting, water and shadows.
- Dedicated and friendly community of participants and gamers.
- Available across Windows, Mac and Linux.
Review Platform: PC