Developer: Mojang AB
Release Date: 11/18/2011
For Fans Of: 8-bit graphics, blocks, God powers
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The Good: Extremely easy to mod with tons of great user made mods available, user-friendly interface caters to both hardcore and casual gamers, varying difficulties
The Bad: Poor AI, Almost no time to pick up items after death, lava is the only element that can destroy your equipment, ending is hard to find and doesn’t make any sense, using Java as an engine is bad
Minecraft is a unique game right out of the gate from new developer Mojang. The game uses Java instead of a proprietary engine which is really strange. This makes modding the game a pain as well as not being able to push the game as far as it could be pushed.
You would think the game would be terrible due to the simple 8-bit looking graphics and the “blocky” look of it, but the simplicity is the genius in this creative indie game. You start out with nothing at Dawn and you have to build a shelter before night falls. The first thing you do is break the blocks with your fist, either Wood from trees or dirt from the ground and build a small shack sort of shelter for the night so you won’t be killed repeatedly by the enemies that spawn during nighttime. After you survive the first night you can go on to create a Crafting Table, a Furnace, and a Bed to reset your spawn point to your home in case you die. Then you can create Armor, tools, weapons and various other materials you’ll need to tame the world of Minecraft and survive. When you build your first house, it’s usually a crappy shack (unless you’re hacking), and it moves up and up from there.
You can dig deep into the earth to find ores such as Coal, Iron, Gold, Redstone and even the luxurious Diamond, arguably the most valuable item in the game. If you don’t fancy spending all your playing hours underground in dark caves using Torches to light your way and fighting off Zombies, Skeletons, Creepers or even the mysterious Endermen, there are other things you can do on the surface. These vary from different block types to build homes, craft fences, and gates, to house animals like sheep, chickens, cows, and pigs. These animals form the many foods and items such as Mushrooms, Wheat, Melon, Sugar cane, and others, and explore the different Biomes such as the Forest biome, Mountain biome, Snow or Tundra biome, Desert biome and more.
With the blocks you dig up you can build and create anything you can imagine, from small rural villages to large Medieval castles or modern-day sky rises like the Empire State Building, and with Redstone you can create large contraptions that do whatever you can imagine at the touch of a button (which includes slaughtering thousands of creepers for stress relief or creating a symphony from “Note Blocks!”)
For the hardcore gamers, if you think the game looks too simple and easy don’t worry, there’s the Hardcore mode, where you fail the game if you die even once. Zombies can break your door down, and the spawn number of monsters is dramatically increased. Besides that, there’s Peaceful mode in which no creepers or enemies can spawn and ruin your fun while playing only for building, and Easy, Normal and Hard modes, which are self-explanatory.
Past the creative and user-friendly game interface, there are a few problems that can get in your way while playing the game. To lead animals into a pen you can hold wheat in your hand to get them to follow you, but they suddenly lose interest and stray off at times as if they forgot you even existed, and they walk infuriatingly slow. This can cause problems if the animals spawn far from your house and night comes while you’re still leading them. Sometimes the game can have collision detection issues causing you to not be able to enter doorways, climb down ladders, or fit a sheep through an open gate. At times you will not be able to move away from an enemy in time before it hits you.This is all due to poor AI and needs a serious overhaul.
Overall, Minecraft is the perfect sandbox game for people who love to build (Gmod fans are welcome!) There is so much content that you will probably never get bored. How much fun you have with the game depends on the player, but there are still a few problems that need to be ironed out such as the terrible AI.
–Review written by Zonadow