Online games are dime a dozen and more new ones keep popping up every day. Many of them have tastefully designed artwork and eye popping graphics with a great storyline, but how can an online game that doesn’t have any of the above mentioned trifecta still be a phenomenal success? Minecraft is a game about using blocks to build anything you can imagine.
Read on to find what makes hundreds of thousands of people go gaga over this game with an arcade style design.
Loved building things in the sandbox as kid? Or a fan of Lego building blocks? Then there’s a very good chance that you’ll love Minecraft. In Minecraft you use blocks to build anything and everything from the real world in true sandbox style. Maps that mimic earth’s terrain. grassslands, forests, hills, sandy beaches, mountains, and even tunnels and caves are available. Find the map that you like, use your imagination and start building things.
The more vivid your imagination is, the more fun the game is to play. Minecraft succeeds in letting you have so much fun exploring maps and building things.
Minecraft comes in two versions — classic and the new beta version. While the classic version is free to play online and to download, the new version is not. You’ll have to pay 14.95 Euros to purchase the game and the developers make it very clear that this is just a pre-launch offer price — the game will be priced at 20 Euros upon launch. Personally, I would advise you to play the classic version first for a few days and if you’re totally into it, then pay for the newer version.
User Interface & Design
Before getting into the review, I have to warn you that the design elements of the game are not going to be pretty or full of eye candy like the iOS games you’ve been used to. Minecraft is totally retro and will remind you of the 8-bit video games you played decades ago. All the fun is in the gameplay, or if you ask one of the tens of thousands die hard fans out there, this design is what enhances the fun!
The freely available classic mode is a wide open and no holds barred sandbox for letting your creativity go loose. Blocks of many different colours and textures are available for you to create something unique and give them distinguishing attributes. You can change or access the various blocks by using the scroll wheel. There’s no limit to the number of blocks you can use or to that matter the terrain your creation occupies. Use the W, A, S and D keys to move around the map and the left mouse button to place blocks where you want.
Not satisfied with the way your creation is shaping up? Use the right mouse button to destroy the blocks to make way for new ones. Building multiple layers or towers of objects can be accomplished by using the space bar to jump on top of existing structures and then placing blocks over them. Maps are randomly generated at the start of the game and if you don’t like where you are, just reload the game until you find a terrain you like.
Connecting to the multiplayer server is the purest form of Minecraft nirvana. You can connect to any one of the listed servers and if you’re a die hard fan, you have the option to host one from your own server too.
Immediately after connecting to the multiplayer world, you’ll get to see other players loitering and jay walking the terrain. For most part they won’t bother you, but if you’re in the mood to chat up someone, use the Tab key to see the list of players and the T key to start a conversation.
I was stunned to see a lot of wonderful structures in their larger than life forms. Case in point, a huge deck with an ocean view, a giant snowman and an enormous Christmas tree.
Survival mode adds a new dimension to the Minecraft adventure. In this mode, your primary focus will be to build things during day time that will save from the creatures of the night that will try to to eat you. That’s right, you will be all alone in map and monsters will come hunting when the night falls! Racy, isn’t it?
You won’t an have unlimited supply of blocks like in other modes and you’ll have to collect building blocks on your own. Chop trees by holding on the left mouse button until the entire tree is cut down and repeat the process until you have enough blocks to build something that will help build things.
Collect coal to keep yourself warm at night and use the chopped blocks of wood to create planks and sticks from the Crafting section. From this section you can create work benches, tools, etc. for use in the map you live in.
It might sound a bit silly to read, but is unbelievably interesting and engaging in the actual gameplay. Basically this mode is like Cast Away with weird graphics!
Minecraft is a great pastime — no arguments there. It’s laudable that the developers are distributing the game only via digital channels and that too without pesky DRM restrictions. However, what’s so ridiculous is their pricing policy. Absence of a free trial version (for the beta version on sale) is a clear red flag and might turn away a lot of new users. Charging a steep price that is about half of what popular Xbox 360 and PS3 games for a game that’s still in beta doesn’t look too good either. All said and done, Minecraft is a great time pass if you’re into quirky graphics and love to explore a new virtual world.
Share Your Thoughts!
Would you be interested to play Minecraft? If yes, will you pay for the beta version?