REVIEW: 2D World Creator

When Dinora released on XBLIG last year, it found a comfortable niche between two groups of people; those that wanted a cheaper, indie-er Terraria, and those that liked the idea of Terraria combined with more NPC interaction, including creating your own family in-game. Now developer NeuronVexx is returning to its roots, of sorts, with plainly-titled 2D World Creator ($1.00).

To be clear, 2D World Creator is not Dinora. If Dinora was meant to evoke the ‘hardcore-ness’ of survival mixed with creativity, of hard work paired with incremental progress, then 2D World Creator is the Casual Friday of crafters; zero pressure, zero responsibilities, and zero crafting. Hey, if you want to drop a toilet in a cave and call your ‘house’ completed, so be it. No judgement.

The game allows you— and up to three others, locally— to choose from a handful of avatar types, then drops you into a pristine world ripe for construction. The avatars correspond to the block sets you can build with, like a Farmer, a medieval Knight, or a futuristic Robot. I chose to play my robot ill-tempered, to make scenes like this:

And those block sets are unlocked fully from the start, no hassle required, cutting out a lot of the lead-in and busywork that traditional crafting games entail. The typical components apply, including fencing, walls, chairs, beds, dressers, and a ton of accessories. Mix and match from across the four tilesets.

Visually, 2D World Creator is an upgrade from Dinora. Structures and components look better in this game, though the idea remains the same. Stack blocks as you will, using the foreground and background to add flair and variety, set up wiring to attach switches and lamps, or interact with a radio1, TV, portal, etc. Your ‘home’ is what you make it. Build a massive brick castle or mansion with futuristic furnishings, or keep it dirt simple, and underground:

Short of having local friends to build with you, though, this world will feel cold and empty compared to other games of its type. No animals (aww man, no pets!) or NPCs of any kind exist here. There are no enemies to fight, no pockets of rare minerals / items to discover. Just you and your pickaxe.

The rest, as they say, is up to you. 2D World Creator cuts out all the boring stuff like, you know… Challenge, Progression, and a sense of Purpose, and hands you the controls to the entire thing from the start. Creativity takes the place of all that ‘rest’, and if you’ve got an idea in your head, the game gives you some means to realize it.

  1. You can sample from the game’s limited soundtrack, turn it off completely, or use your own from the hard drive. I totally forgot I had an old My Chemical Romance album on mine, which made for ‘interesting’ construction music. 

13 thoughts on “REVIEW: 2D World Creator”

    1. Kodu Lab? [Goes to look it up] ]Whoa, now that’s an older XBLIG. 2009 for that one! 😮

      Actually, it looks kind of intriguing, and the visuals look nice. Did you ever play / buy that game? I’m curious if it’s as easy as the description makes it sound. Don’t know how fun it would be for non-developers, but looks like it could be a decent sandbox game for making stuff. Of course, I’m sure there’s better alternatives out there for people that are more serious about it.

      As for 2D World Creator, yeah, it’s a much simpler design. Easy to pick up and use, no troubles for anyone. All the assets are there. Might be a little limited, though, that’s why I’d recommend anyone looking at it to possibly try out Dinora instead. More or less the same idea, but you just have to work at it. Also, more stuff to do.

    2. Kodu Lab is very interesting, even for non-developers And easy to manage. But i let it down because of the characters (robots and animals) completely useless for the games i wanted to create. I would prefer humans. Thanks for the piece of info on dinora.

    3. No problem. May have to set Kodu Lab up for download the next time I log in. I’m not in any way, shape, or form, an aspiring developer, but I do like to mess around with tools that don’t require any in-depth knowledge. Even if the options are limited, could be an interesting way to spend a few hours here and there.

  1. Hear this kid, as the book “Contemporary Proverbs… with boob elements” says: Tits come in pairs, you cant just stick with one boob for too long, because when you get to the other one, it will be there no more. Sometimes you got to divide things equally in life, you cant aim for just one thing, because when you move to another one, it will be too late, Always get time to enjoy your friends, family, strippers and peek on your redhead neighbor. And that boyo was my error, I bough many AAA games and only played a few of them, I played mostly indies and now I have to beat all those titles before I got current gen next year. Thats why I not playing indie games right now (only Dead Kings and Escape Goat 2 until I beat my other games). I got Witcher 2, Bioshock 2 and Infinite, Super Mario Galaxy, Darksiders 2, Dark Souls etc. etc… But honestly the indie scene on Xbox right now is not that hot, so Im not missing that much. Also I bough my Xbox last year, so I came pretty late to the X party. But as always keep the good work and see you on the Ultra Secret Biohazard place indiepitome. And if you do a goodbye post in the future or something maybe you should mention that site, I visit here frequently and I was not aware that site existed until a few months ago.
    As they says… boobs are not for the weak.

    1. You are right, good sir. XBLIG is running on half a tank of gas (or… er… half a boob 🙂 ) at the moment. Some good games, spotty here and there, but the bad definitely outweigh the good. You’re not missing out on too much, as you said. Gotta take the time where you can.

      I’ve been getting caught up on some of my AAA stuff, but not as much as I’d like. I just add new games onto the pile, leave them there for a rainy day. I therefore applaud your efforts to get through your backlog of games! All the way back to Super Mario Galaxy, though? Man, you DO have quite the list. 😀

  2. 2D World Creator cuts out all the boring stuff like, you know… Challenge, Progression, and a sense of Purpose

    Thanks, I need my daily dose of sarcasm.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed Dinora, and that’s from someone who couldn’t wait to get his hands on Terraria last year.

    But… but there’s no pets in 2D World Creator?! 😦 Oh, and cool idea to embed those Vine videos.

    1. A world without rampant sarcasm is a world I don’t want to live in. 🙂

      Yeah, I thought I’d switch up the format a bit, try and go a different route for screenshots. Now that I have your blessing, I may well do it again.

      I enjoyed Dinora too, and there’s something to be said for the way 2D World Creator skips the work and gets right to the reward. Personally, I don’t know if there’s a reason to buy this if you already own Dinora or Terraria (especially for the pets / NPCs), but if you’ve got a friend / girlfriend / boyfriend, I could see people tooling around with this for a few hours.

    2. I got Terraria 10 minutes after it finally showed up on the marketplace, literally. Hey, it was one of my most anticipated games for the 360 last year. 😀
      Never understood all the hate Dinora received, it’s not like the world comes to an end when a game copies another one.

      But how large are the worlds in 2D World Creator, and does it feature different biomes?

    3. Oh, good question. You know what, I don’t really know. :/

      I kinda just started building my castle right about where I spawned into the world. No idea how big it is, or if you can wander into forests, swamps, deserts, etc. Didn’t run into any water when I was messing around, either. I do know there’s a day / night cycle, at least. Some investigative journalist I am, eh? I’ll probably boot up my 360 later tonight, so I’ll take a closer look and report my findings.

    4. Okay, little late, but I can confirm there are no other environments, just the greenery you see above. There’s no ‘loop’ to the game world, either. You can start at one end and walk to the other in about two, maybe two-and-a-half minutes. That’s still plenty of space to build on, and you can always dig underground. Tried to get to the very bottom, but gave up after a couple of minutes. 🙂

      Point is, plenty enough space for what you’ll need, at the expense of environmental variety.

    5. Thanks for the update. No need to explore then, and it’s really just about building stuff, I presume. But hey, no complaints. Must be quite relaxing to build a castle without being harassed. Speaking of castle, any chance you can post an image of yours?

    6. Oh, you mean the one with a tiny wine cellar (that holds a stereo system instead), a first floor that’s like ’10 steps’ across, with a futuristic door and egg chair, with a crude, pseudo-staircase leading up to a second floor that doesn’t yet exist? That one?

      Let’s just say it’s ‘not ready for primetime’. Hey, I said I was building a castle, not that I had a castle. Damn recession. 🙂

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