Build, destroy, and explore with Minecraft, the blocky building game

If you’ve been around the web for a while, chances are you’ve at least seen the word Minecraft somewhere.  But what is it? Minecraft is a game where you run around a giant, cubic world and build.  In Minecraft, which costs €14.95 (approximately $20), you look for resources while evading things like zombies, giant spiders, arrow-shooting skeletons, and the horrible exploding creepers.

One of the greatest things about Minecraft is its horrible, amazing graphics.  Although your first thought was probably something along the lines of, “I thought the nineties left already,” once you start playing Minecraft, you’ll get so absorbed you’ll start wondering why your computer isn’t a cube.  In fact, Minecraft is so engrossing, you may find yourself trying to find more time in a day!

Anything goes

Surviving your first night entails finding some coal, chopping some trees, and building a shelter. Often times these things can be found or built near cliffs, which is one of the best places to make a house. Though there exists many hundreds of YouTube tutorials for surviving your first night, one of the shortest, best-produced is X’s:

One of the great parts about Minecraft is building things.  If you can think of something to make, it can be built–from things like logos…

…to circuitry…

…to giant castles:

In Minecraft, you can build anything you set your mind to: even a giant castle, like mine above!  Just be sure to build a house before the night comes… or bad things will happen.

Another favorite thing to do in Minecraft is to go spelunking, or cave exploring.

Image Credit: Minecraft Wiki

Inside caves, you’ll find horrible, evil beings. These range from the slow-moving zombies, who run towards you and attack, to the evil skeleton, who shoots you with arrows.

You’ve also got the evil creeper, who silently stalks you and then blows up behind your back, and the spider, whose long-range jumps will get you down in no time.

Another great way to play Minecraft is to play with friends: multiplayer. In multiplayer Minecraft, you can either build and explore with friends, or go against and raid your enemy.

Minecraft Classic: Build, Build, Build!

Another, older type of Minecraft exists: Minecraft Classic.  Minecraft Classic is a free, less-developed version, and includes only the building aspect, not the resource collection and survival aspects. In Minecraft Classic, you are free to choose any building material and build whatever you want.

Image Credit: Nova225

Unfortunately, most don’t find Classic as much fun as the Survival Beta version.

Conclusion

Minecraft is one of the best games I have ever played. Ever. I’ve actually never really sat down and played a game for so long before, but somehow, Minecraft manages to wrap me in. It is worth its $20 in so many ways I can’t begin to count them: I love Minecraft, and though it is in beta, it is a really fun game for anyone.

Minecraft is still in beta and requires a fairly fast computer. Be sure to try out Classic to make sure your computer is fast enough.

Version Reviewed: Beta 1.4_01

Price: €14.95 (approximately $21.57)

Supported OS: Windows, Linux, OS X (requires Java)

Minecraft Homepage | Minecraft Classic | Buy Minecraft!

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13 comments

  1. Damon

    Locutus, I just wanted to thank you for bringing this game to my attention. I had never heard of it until I read this article. I did a bit more research (just in case your taste was very different from mine) and decided to give it a try.

    I am a PS3 gamer, mainly 1st person shooters so this is very different from what I usually play. With the PSN downed by hackers I gave this a shot and wow, it is addictive. It’s taking the world by storm. People are ignoring brand new $60 games and several hundred dollar consoles to play Minecraft. There are people who admit to taking vaction days and calling in sick because of this game.

    I got off to a rough start (about 8 to 10 games not surviving through the night) before I got a hang of it but now I lov it. Today is my birthday, I have all of these gifts, including Crysis 2 that still remains unopened because this game satisfies me so much.

    It’s exciting to discover a success story like this. One person makes a game that’s got tens of thousands of fans and the word is spreading like a viral video. What a great inspiration for anyone interested in game devlopment, especialy onb the heels of DarkBASIC Professional coming out with a free ad supported version of the program.

    I highly recommend anyone not sold on this game by the above article written by Locutus, please reconsider. Watch some youtube vids, read some other reviews as well. Before you play, I recommend you watch these:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MqkEZn8pN4&feature=player_embedded
    These are good but they do not reveal the controls:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylVtj-1Ccgg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qss4uy6C_g0g
    and look through this:
    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Crafting
    Lastly, here is the forum:
    http://www.minecraftforum.net

    PS – What’s more is you can host a server which is great experience in the field of gaming and computing:
    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server#Insert_a_world

    Thanks again Locutus for turning me on to the next game craze that is getting 100os of male and female fans each day!

  2. Nature410

    Actually, I know of a great server. Mako’s Minecraft. It is very civilized and deals with everyday life, like business, speaking of which, i”m making a hotel later on. The address is 209.236.124.164. I hope you like it. Oh, and there is a castle in which you can post suggestions in. You will see blank spaces. Just fill those in. The castle is Mako’s, so dont mess with stuff in there. If you end up nowhere with a trail of torches, wait ’till day and follow them. That will lead you to a village. There will be a wooden place that says vacancy for business. Don’t get on for a while after it is available as I will be making the changes that I am saying now. *Be a crafter and be prosperous*

  3. MCplayerz

    I torrented the game back then to see how good Minecraft was. I played it, I enjoyed it. Using a friend’s account for now, but going to buy this game as soon as possible lol. :)

    I torrent the games before I buy it, just to see how good the game is. Or if it’s not available in stores, then it’s a bit of a different story. :P

  4. Refpeuk

    I’ve been playing this since it was in alpha, and still love it. The graphics can be fixed by custom texture packs if your computer can handle it, though everything stays a cube. I recommend Bumpmaft.

  5. Jyo

    Awesome guide Locutus. I’ve been playing the free server version for a little while, and it’s been pretty good. The demonstrations above is only for the paid one right? Cause I don’t ever remember having nighttime on these free servers, only daytime.

  6. Connah

    @Locutus: Your not the only one Lorcas ;)

    When you look at this game, at first it seems kind of….pathetic, if you look at it and compare it to modern games and FPS. But try not to, this game is absolutely amazing and rather addictive. It’s just the building aspect that captures you, the ability to build anything and everything your heart desires. There are even Minecraft supported Mods on the MC forum that will allow you to expand you experience of the MC world. Give it a try if you can, this is one of the best games i have played for a while, as it keeps you entertained for…..well…..i would say infinitely, as the actual maps are infinite, they are generated as you explore, meaning that your world and your exploration could never really end.

    I actually only got this about two months ago and i’ve been playing ever since (not solidly, i have moved :P). It just really captures your imagination. I currently have my singleplayer world which i keep developing day by day and i also play with some friends on a private Hamachi Server as Lorcas said. A dotTech server would be rather interesting if we could do that! :D I’d be there ;)

    Oh and since i’ve been gone for a while, Hey everyone! :D

  7. Locutus

    @Toast: No :( the only servers I ever played on were 1) a friend’s private Hamachi server, never used anymore, and 2) the server for an Ubuntu magazine, now offline due to lack of speed.

    Maybe we should make a dotTech server! :D

  8. Locutus
    Author/

    To think that the only reason I didn’t write this for a while is because I was playing Minecraft…. but now that’s a non-issue because I kinda lost my world save :( That giant castle above. It took weeks and had a giant amazing underground area :(