There is a game out there that successfully combines genres in gaming that I previously thought were not able to be blended. The game in question, Minecraft, is an indie game by programmer “Notch.” Notch is a swede developer who recently put forth the alpha version of his brainchild, and in the span of only a few months went from unknown indie dev to unknown indie dev MILLIONAIRE. But enough about Notch, you want to hear about Minecraft.
Imagine taking the build-ability of Legos, zombie/monster horror and survival, adventure games, and mix in a delightfully pixelated world and you’ve got Minecraft. Minecraft has several modes for you to enjoy, from the classic mode where you spawn in your world with unlimited resources at the tips of your fingers with which to construct whatever you see fit.
Survival, or single player, spawns you in a world like no other, but I will touch more on the worlds farther on. in survival your aim is to do just as the title says and survive. Survival Multiplayer is the newest mode added to the alpha of the game which puts you and your friends in a world together. As of right now, SMP is rather buggy and the monsters are invincible, but to cope with that you are given immortality until the mode is smoothed out.
Let’s talk about the actual world of Minecraft, in all of its blocky glory. Minecraft is unique in that no two player worlds are the same. You spawn in the game as the world is being spawned, and this world will continue to spawn as you move to the edges of what is rendered in the game. To put this in perspective you could render a world that has up to 64 times the surface area of the planet earth, so long as you have the space to store this world on your computer. From mountain ranges to vast oceans, forests and caves, to the absolutely massive cave systems that sprout up beneath the surface of your block kingdom.
You have nothing to start with but your two pixely hands, and with those hands you can punch trees for logs, which can be turned into planks and boards, which can be turned into sticks, and from these very simple products you can make weapons, armor, signs, doors, entire worlds of items, just from the simple few bricks around you. By making a pick axe and shovel you can begin to mine, digging deep into the earth in search of caves and treasures, from iron, to gold, diamond, obsidian, and even redstone. Stones can be destroyed for cobble stone, a simple and effective block used to craft a shelter that will keep you alive on your first night in minecraft, when things get dark and monsters come out to play, and potentially eat your pixelated hands.
Minecraft is unlike any other game, and my humble review truly does it no justice. People make entire worlds, castles and villages, grand galleons and fortresses, to more modern tools such as calculators, and ALU’s using redstone dust, which acts as a sort of in-game circuitry. The world is truly your playground in Minecraft — there is not an ocean you cannot sail, a mountain you cannot climb, or a ravine you cannot bridge as you carve out your own creations.
If you already knew about minecraft, great! If this review is your first word on the game, I urge you to check out minecraft.net to see what it’s all about. There’s even a trial version you can test out. At only about $14, it is a great deal, simply because once you buy it you own it. No fees, no paying when updates or beta versions come out, you have it for good.
Score: 9.5/10 (Outstanding)