Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: Minecraft(beta)

So while I am playing through Diablo II for a friend, I have decided to write a review for everyone's favorite game, minecraft! To be honest when I first started this game I knew I wouldn't like it, I could tell I would quit after 30 minutes or so and never look back. 8 hours of playing it straight without stopping later I admitted it was a little fun.

To start with, the graphics on minecraft are well... terrible, however they are easily ignored for the most part. For those of you who have ever played minecraft, the world is made up by blocks, entirely by blocks, and the blocks are colored by.. you guessed it, smaller blocks. There are very few exceptions to this block rule. The music and sound is alright, except the nighttime, and morning time sequence is very appealing to the ears. That being said, I usually have my own music playing in the background.

The gameplay itself is very interesting, minecraft is a true sandbox game. There are 0 goals, and I mean 0 goals. You click play and you start in a randomly generated world(that goes on forever and constantly randomly generates land) with nothing but your hands. What you do from there is your choice, if you're playing on peaceful mode(whimp!) then you usually don't rush anywhere. If you play on hard mode(my preferred mode) then you might make a mad dash to the nearest tree so you can begin building a shelter. You build a shelter due to the fact at nighttime(or dark areas such as caves) monsters are spawned around the world, and these monsters will try to molest you in anyway possible. Once daylight hits these monsters will die from the light.

The game features a crafting system and many of the items you use will utilize this system. It is quite ingenious but not very intuitive. You see, the way you craft is by placing different resources in a certain pattern(it resembles the item being made), however there is no way to know this unless you either have help from a friend, look it up online, or like to waste your time experimenting. There are plenty of things to be made, and it's quite interesting how many patterns there are.

When you destroy a block, you get to pick up that exact block in your inventory. Most things stack up to 64 times so you can carry quite a bit. In turn you can place these blocks where you please. This is one of the parts most people enjoy, as this allows you to build anything from a castle, to a house, to a farm to well... it's like virtual legos with monsters, your imagination is your only limit really. Currently as we I write I am drawing out(yes drawing) plans to build Helms Deep from LotR(nerd score +1)

The game features multiplayer(albeit very buggy multiplayer) where you and friends can do what you please online(if you have a server) I haven't done this much but I have seen amazing videos online of what some people have done.

All that being said the game is still in beta(just recently from alpha actually) and as such is still being developed, it has made amazing strides since it's introduction and I look forward to seeing what Notch comes up with.

So on to scoring the game.

Freedom to do, go, and build what you want.

Addicting(countless hours of enjoyment)

Very high replay value


Encourages imagination instead of holding your hand

Music/sound(it's not much, but it is pleasant and nothing like hiding in your hole praying for the sun as you can hear zombies moaning outside)


Addicting(Between this and facebook, productivity in America has fallen to dangerous levels!)

Graphics(not a bother to me, but I have seen it turn off graphics whores)

CREEPERS![also called another name that resembles a male body part by 99% of the playerbase] (these SOB's have caused me more grief than any monster in a game, and that's including Ninja Gaiden. Nothing like leaving your house thinking it's safe and having a creeper jump on you from above and blow up half your house)

Buggy and poorly scripted, it actually requires a lot to play multiplayer and even run it single player due to various coding and programming flaws.

Overall the game is highly fun, addicting and creative. I would recommend it to basically anyone who likes to have fun. So if your idea of fun is filing charts and hating your life then move on, nothing to see here(shouldn't you be off knocking ice cream out of children's hands?)

Score: 9/10