Terraria is a 2D sandbox survival adventure game. The gameplay is centered around exploring a randomly generated world while building structures, equipment, and weapons from farmed resources. A survival game at heart, with a sandbox base.
Pro Gives drive and purpose by hybridizing sandbox and adventure elements
In Terraria, the game itself provides you many incentives and goals to work toward, so it's much more "focused" during the course of play than a pure sandbox game. Exploration feels meaningful and rewarding, and assuming you start your character at the same time as your playmates, cooperation feels legitimately helpful rather than a tacked-on extra.
Pro Find servers, tutorials, and streams within minutes online
Terraria has a very large community of players on just about every platform including mobile, desktop, and console. With many players come many servers to play on, as well as tutorials and Let's Plays. Finding content or help getting started will be quite easy.
Pro Contrasting bright and happy graphics against the suspenseful survival gameplay makes for a game creates a feeling of urgency
Instead of building a deliberate feeling of suspense, Terraria uses bright palettes and arcade action to provide a fun experience outside of the survival elements. When those elements gradually appear one by one, each is all the more shocking, This contrast makes for an ever growing sense of urgency in the game, in order to craft a safe space as well as weapons to protect oneself.
Pro Allows for freedom of expression for all ages, all at your own pacing
The game has all kinds of tools and materials that you can acquire and use to build whatever you can imagine. From housing, furniture, weapons, to any type of structure, the possibilities are almost endless. Which is great for children who enjoy building and problem solving – and for adults who enjoy the same. It also makes for a great objective-less game, where you can do just about anything you want at your own pace.
Pro Playing with groups of friends allows for endless scenarios of building and destruction
Up to 8 players can join a shared Terraria world, including the worlds that are used in single-player mode. This allows for large co-op or PvP games. Build something big together, or destroy the other guy’s base. The scenarios are endless.
Pro Rewarding progression system that hinges on your own collecting and crafting abilities
The vast majority of items in Terraria can be used to create other items, often requiring specific crafting stations (which themselves must be crafted). This is the core of character advancement, since gear defines nearly everything about your character. The better ones gear is, the longer they can survive, thus rewarding the players who work the hardest at it.
Con Replay value is low for those who play it as an adventure game
Terraria might best be described as a hybrid of a sandbox game with an adventure/platformer. While it has many advantages over full-sandbox games, the 2D world can (for some) hinge on its mostly-linear boss progression to feel meaningful. Once you've cleared the game entirely, you know what to expect, and for some players this loss of challenge/goal can make continued play feel mundane or boring.