Review: Minecraft

Rating: Not yet rated
Genre: Sandbox
Publisher: Mojang
Developer: Mojang
Release Date: November 11, 2011 (currently in beta)


This face will haunt you

I’ve always enjoyed building things. Whether it was with blocks or lincoln logs as a kid. or later on building ridiculous houses and neighborhoods in The Sims, a favorite time sink was always building things. So it’s only natural that when I skepticly started playing Minecraft, thanks to a co-worker, I got sucked in almost immediately.

Minecraft is blocks. Simplistic, pixelated blocks that make up dirt, sand, stone, coal, water and even lava in this crazy world. Each world is randomly generated unless you choose to load a seed world in single player. Single player mode is a basic survival with a day and night cycle. Nighttime is dangerous as that’s when the things that can attack you spawn. Your main enemies are Skeletons, Zombies and Spiders. Zombies and spiders will just follow and hit you (though spiders can climb walls), while Skeletons can shoot arrows at you.

And then there is everyone’s favorite enemy you love to hate. The Creeper. It’s cold, dead eyes will bore into your soul as you stare at the one that seems to have found the door to hour house and sits and stares at you from the outside. Staring. Waiting for it’s chance to hiss and destroy you and everything you’ve created. Why yes I have screeched as they have snuck up behind me only to explode. I know I’m not the only one either. Creepers will silently stalk you while you are punching trees, harvesting crops, building a structure or spawning en masse in a secret dungeon you may randomly have sumbled upon while excavating a cave system.

Plus it’s not just monsters that give you a challenge. You will need to figure out (or cheat and look up) recipes for items like swords, doors, glass, and beds to name a few. And precious minerals like Iron and Diamond used in higher quality items and armor can be tricky to find depending on your spawn location and how the world is generated. Basic resources like dirt, wood and sand are generated by using your bare hands to punch the blocks. Once you have enough wood you can then begin to make weapons and tools like a pickaxe or shovel to help you gather more advanced materials and gather them quicker. Diamond is the highest prized weapon and armor one can have, and it’s one of the more rare resources.

Once you’ve gathered building materials then you can start to build a basic structure to keep yourself safe at night. As you gather more and get a better idea of how the game works you can then move on to making your house larger, or even moving elsewhere which could be a better location for you.

All of this just adds to the fun of trying to create massive castles, bridges, lava waterfalls or anything else you so choose to create. That’s the great thing about Minecraft: there is no limit. Well, there is when you dig too far down as there is a bottom to the world, but you can go in any direction and the world will keep generating anew. You can even go pretty high up into the clouds, and I have yet to see any “top” to the world.

Another great way to enjoy Minecraft is to play on a friend’s server. The servers from what I’ve heard a relatively easy to set up if you know what you’re doing, and it’s the only way you can really do multiplayer at this time. I’ve been able to play on two different friends’ servers and each one has been super fun. It’s great to work on projects together or to even go off in secret and build something only to port your friends over to show off what you’ve made.

So far in my time playing Minecraft I’ve made my own little dungeon room in a friend’s lava castle, a massive castle that has two main parts which are attached with a massive bridge, and the current project is creating a cabin in the sky thanks to some inspiration from another friend. Once I feel I have the proper muse, I do plan to try and make something crazy like the guy who did a scale reporduction of the Starship Enterprise or even more recently the recreation of some of the worlds in the Studio Ghibli movies (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc).

Does this look or sound complicated? You’d be surprised. The controls are super simple. Players move their avatars around using WASD, jump with space, and punching happens by holding down the left mouse button. Plus for any kind of info you can ask your more experienced Minecraft friends or check out sites like the Minecraft Wiki. If you are so inclined, the game is a mere $22USD for a lifetime. Yep you just pay one flat fee now and you have a permanent Minecraft account!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pixels to punch and need to start a dance party (skip to 1 minute in).


My brother got me hooked on Minecraft, and we love exploring some of the adventure maps for multiplayer (we live in different cities). We help each other out with our single-player maps, too. Talk about a simple, fun game that has great single and multiplayer! As for Creepers...well, this video may have changed my mind about them: