Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Minecraft

What time is it, when I show you my house out of sand and dirt, this guy over there punches trees with a feather, my friend is crying because he ran out of minecart rails and someone just found 7 diamonds?
That's right, it's time to talk about the indie smash-hit of 2010: Minecraft!

Minecraft can't really be described using words. You have to experience it. Thus, I will start a new game, and show you what it means to play Minecraft.

You wake up on a lonely island. There are no other people around.
First thing you notice is the landscape. Everything consists out of blocks. The hills are blocks, the water is blocks, and even your arm is a block. I took some time to explore my map, and found various interesting places. Even though Minecraft just uses blocks, the map generator can make some really nice places. The world is never ending, you can travel in any direction and the generator produces new islands, mountains and caves in your map.

If you played Minecraft before, you know what to do. But I'll just pretend I'm new, and I leave you with these pictures from the night.

Seems like you're not THAT alone. Now that you've learned that there are indeed dangers, it's time to get to work. Your base material is wood. You can gather materials by simply punching them, which - in this author's honest opinion - is pretty badass. So, we grab few logs and craft ourselves something. This is where the Minecraft Cycle starts - you craft a tool, use it to get better materials, and make a tool out of these, until you finally have a pickaxe out of pure diamond in your hands and mine the fuck out of the entire continent. This is how Minecraft works.

This is my cozy little shack as of night #2.
But if I had a lot of time on my hands, it could look more like this.
Anything is possible when you play Minecraft.

Minecraft gives you the world; you do whatever the hell you want to in it. There is no set goal. You can set your own. Want to survive 10 days? What about building a castle? Or visiting an alternate dimension?
Just let your creativity flow into this game and see what you can do. There are some really awesome projects on the internet, like a 1 to 1 replica of the Starship Enterprise, or the city of Rapture from Bioshock. The possibilites are endless. This game definely deserves IGF's Grand Prize.


You might also want to check out PC Gamers Minecraft Diary. It's a really good read and shows you what Minecraft is about - building, exploring, mining and adventure in general.

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