Terraria’s Not-Sequel Otherworld Does Tower Defence

If you didn’t entirely understand how upcoming not-sequel Terraria: Otherworld [official site] differed from Terraria then congratulations, you’re as dumb as I am. Fortunately, some GDC footage and a more detailed breakdown of stuff and things from the developers has made matters a little clearer.

The main takeaway is that Otherworld’s a little less random than Terraria, although it’s not at all a fixed narrative. Your play style will affect your skill with certain weapons, and in turn ‘early’ weapons can become more powerful, rather than have your future success depend on whether you can lay hands on something beefier.

You’ll also be trying to ‘purify’ the world rather than simply wander around it. Fortunately it means purity in an battling horrible slimy evil sort of way, and not in a telling everyone who’s ever engaged in pre-marital sex to repent sort of way. Though there’s always room for metaphor, I suppose. However, the ‘corruption’ (metaphor?) will fight back, which means you need to erect Purifying Towers (yeah, definitely metaphor then) guarded by Wartowers to defend liberated land. And this means tower defence.

Always a risky gambit – tower defence can be wonderfully inventive, or it can be a by-word for routine repetition. Given Terraria to date has been a wild grab-bag of ideas it seems unlikely that Otherworld’s take on TD will be perfunctory tedium. TD has been included because “even the best players would not be able to cover and defend the entire map at once (nor does that sound all that much fun)”, so this way you get to potentially defend your holdings without having to sprint madly around the place all the damn time.

You can see some of the tower defence stuff in the above trailer, and there are a few more gobbets about new features at this here link. Perhaps most ambitiously, the devs want Otherworld’s NPCs to evolve into more than mere merchants, instead offering their own little stories and personalities. There is an overall main storyline too, although apparently you won’t be forced into doing anything.

It sounds as though they’re aiming for something a little more focused and structured compared to the somewhat manic Terraria, and I’m down with that in theory.

Release is planned for some time this year, but devs Re-Logic are determined that it will be a “full” game at launch. Something of a tall order in this age of paid alphas and early access, but we’ll see how it pans out.


  1. MrLoque says:

    Already better-looking than Starbound. Seriously, what the fu*k did they do with all the money… Dammit.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Expensive offices in the financial district of London and relocating all their staff there. Also growing their publishing empire.

    • SlimShanks says:

      I remember thinking to myself a year ago that Starbound must be almost done.
      Terraria continues to block all contenders.

    • Niko says:

      What’s up with Starbound’s graphic style, seriously? Terraria’s visuals are consistent, and Starbound’s look… off, somehow.

  2. Lobotomist says:

    Comparison with Starbound is logical , since both are kind of Terraria 2. But not fair.
    This game went for different art style. And we will still have to see how complex it is compared to Starbound

  3. Frank says:

    Looks very engrossing, and I’m glad to hear they’re leaning towards a more focused design.

    I tried another terraria-like TD recently, Dig or Die. It’s very early in early access right now, but rather fun, with a flowing liquid gimmick that reminds me of Pixeljunk Shooter. Among the downsides: rain floods every cave and most of the surface; and enemies develop super armor after a few waves/nights so that you have to spend half the daylight finishing them off.

  4. Nixitur says:

    Hmm, color me intrigued. I’m not sure I’ll like it, since this game seems to stray a bit closer to Starbound than Terraria, but I’ll probably give it a shot.
    The combination of tower defense with one strong character dishing out damage along the way reminds me of Sanctum in a way, except side-scrolling instead of first-person.
    But it seems like you’re supposed to leave the crystals and the towers alone which I’m not so sure about. If the game suddenly threw more powerful mobs at your towers while you were all the way on the other side of the map, you’d be kinda screwed.

    Oh well, I love Terraria (got over 500 hours played on it), so I’m still cautiously optimistic about this one.