Although Minecraft has been out on the Wii U for some time, it still doesn’t make very much use of the systems killer feature – the Gamepad second screen.

Getting hands on with Terraria Wii U it is immediately clear how much time and effort has been spent tailoring the game to fit Nintendo's console. Of course you can use the stylus and touchscreen combo for more accurate building and fighting, this much I expected.

However, you can also use the Gamepad screen for a second player — leaving the other player free to use the whole of the TV screen. This is a nice innovation and not one I’ve encountered very often on the Wii U. In a family where you have more players sharing a console this additional screen real-estate will be welcomed.

Unfortunately this doesn’t enable five players to compete on a single system as we saw inSonic All Stars Racing.  Dean Scott, Producer from 505 Games, said that “Rendering five different Terraria worlds was too much for Wii U, it was important to keep the frame rate. But we do have up to eight players online.”

Terraria on Wii U

Terraria on Wii U

That eight player online mode also has a hidden gem. If you are a family with four children playing on a single system, you can go online with your Wii U and play with another family of four. Eight players with just two Wii U’s is certainly the sort of value for money that parents will appreciate.

There has also been thought put into which of the other Wii U controllers to support. “We made sure we supported the original Wii-Remote for split screen. There’s more likely hood of families having these lying around and they can use them for split screen as well as gamepads and pro-controllers.”