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Minecraft Review

publisher: Mojang
developer: Mojang
genre: Adventure

ESRB rating: E

release date: May 10, 09
» All About Minecraft on ActionTrip

When beginning the game, you can choose between two modes: Creative and Survival (with a hardcore option), and there's also multiplayer. In Creative mode you're free to fly around the map and build whatever you want, without any restrictions and monsters to bother you. An unlimited amount of every resource is at your disposal and everything else depends upon your own imagination. Survival mode is best described as Robinson Crusoe with evil creatures lurking in every dark corner. It's an unusual and rather lonely experience. All you have for companions are farm animals and maybe a pet wolf and a snowman. Besides exploring, crafting and fighting for survival, you can also farm, keep livestock and build traps to protect your domain. Nasty things come out to play at night and you'd better be indoors or armed to the teeth, when they pay a visit in case you plan to take them on.

When playing on hardcore, you must eat regularly in order to stay alive, and once dead, you stay dead (That sounds familiar. - Ed. Vader). What's very amusing about it is that should you die a cheap and totally unexpected death, you're presented with the option to delete your world and everything in it. Did I say option? Well, no, it's just one lonely button in the middle of the screen. The first time it popped up for me, I stared at it real hard for a while, trying to wish it away. It didn't work and eventually I had to put my session out of its misery. But a few days later I recovered emotionally and it was back to world generation for me. There's no option to choose what type of environment you'd like to spawn in, so if you'd prefer playing in a snowy biome, you'll have to keep on generating new worlds until you end up in one. There's an easier way to do it, but you can read about it and a lot more on Minecraft Wiki. You will spend a lot of time on that site, and that brings me to the game's one major flaw: the lack of an in-game tutorial.

I don't know if this was intended. Perhaps players were meant to experiment and discover what they could and couldn't do on their own, but I doubt there's even a handful of people who play without consulting some online knowledge base at one point or another. My other beef is the map being next to useless and the settlements of mute NPCs serving no purpose whatsoever... yet. Now that the game is officially out, developer Mojang revealed that they are working a new game called something like, um, The Elder Scrolls of Bethesda's Oblivion. Did, I get that right? Anyway, this did not swing the spot light away from Minecraft, which is a good thing, of course. More goodies will arrive with future patches, just less frequently than during the Alpha and Beta days.

I could talk some more about other things you can busy yourself with, but I see no reason to get into too much detail. This game can be as complex or as simple as you like. It's all up to you. I've seen tons of entertaining user-created videos and if you need some inspiration, I suggest you take a look at how others are having fun. I've even come across a series with a family (including mom) happily building and adventuring together. Quite an amazing sight for someone who grew up with Counter-Strike in shady Internet cafes, while mommy and daddy were busy treating each other like dirt (Welcome to the club, pal. Ed. Vader). Perhaps it's for lack of trying, but I can't think of another video game that might bring a family together so easily, or at the very least, help parents encourage creativity in their children. As awesome as they are, all the Half-Lives, Fallouts, WoWs and Skyrims cannot do that.

Indie gaming is the latest thing and it's flourishing on every major platform and Minecraft was one of the major triggers for that. The game's worldwide success proved that gamers want to do more than compete for the 'Deadliest Killer' title all day long, and I'm happy to note that other indie developers have been encouraged by this.

While Minecraft may not be everybody's cup of tea, I doubt anyone can deny that it's an important step into new territory. It has already inspired a myriad of titles (Terraria, for example, has become a huge success) and there are many more on the horizon. These are exciting times, but in order to acknowledge that, you'll need to broaden your horizons too and tread into these vast and mysterious new territories yourself. Don't be shy now, give it a try.

PAGE 1 2

9.2   Excellent

The first true sandbox game, enjoy your freedom;

Constantly searching the Web for crafting recipes, some might object to the absence of an actual storyline and a sense of purpose.


9 post(s)
Reader Comments
ICU Jan 30 2012, 07:32 am EST
Un Om Bun will be writing articles for AT from now on too?
  Vader: Are you even a real person?
Un Om Bun: I'm more like a temp. Just contributing a little on t…
Vader: To tell you the truth, I only asked him to write beca…
ICU: To be honest, if that question was directed at me, th…
Vader: It's a fine review. As for the question. I apolog…
ICU: No problem ;) "I thought you were someone else." H…
Sigma_100: This conversation is way too surreal for AT.
MoCus Jan 30 2012, 07:42 am EST
Good job Un!
the game is especially fun if you have someone to build a project with :)
  Vader: Thinking of asking the wife to join me, but the last …
MoCus: dude, you MUST teach her!
BmmB: Pandora's Box was a nice game back then, very relaxing.
RenegadeCZ Jan 30 2012, 08:32 am EST
We could start an AT Minecraft sever, we're like a family here anyway! I can already imagine everyone trying to grief, and noone trying to build. Ahhh, idilic.
  im_stardust: If we are like a family, you must be our retarded bro…
Un Om Bun: It'd be nice if we could organize an AT meeting somet…
RenegadeCZ: Aren't there some sex simulation MMOs (or something l…
im_stardust Jan 30 2012, 10:16 am EST
WTF what an unbelievable shitty review. Dude, it's not that way at all!! lol. You suck more than Vader and that's hard to achieve. Dude, never write a review again! IN FACT never do any writing ever again!

P.S. - you're shit.
  Vader: Valid argument.
Un Om Bun: I love you too stardust, but you seem to scare away o…
im_stardust: QQ more !! I'm bad for business. BTW I lol'd at Va…
RenegadeCZ: QQ more? Say whaaaaaaaaaaat?! Just by the way, I n…
im_stardust: For your usual attention span, which is around 2 seco…
RenegadeCZ: How many seconds again?
Doomsday. Jan 30 2012, 10:50 am EST
What stardust said! ;)
  Un Om Bun: Why you little !
Sigma_100 Jan 30 2012, 11:28 am EST
You got some good writing chops there Un Om Bun! You ever considered writing for
  Un Om Bun: You overestimate my talents, my Lord Abbot.
Rick_Hunter Jan 30 2012, 11:33 am EST
I was expecting to see a babe made out of crafting blocks in one of the review screenshots .... am I in Actiontrip or did I open the wrong page?
Breedy_Mcfluff Jan 30 2012, 09:18 pm EST
Good review, but who the fuck is Om Un Bun?
  TrevorOreius: You're kiddin' right?
Towndrunk: He is ofc. captain of the pessimism boat, also known …
BmmB Jan 30 2012, 11:17 pm EST
This game is highly overrated and very boring. I wouldn't even call it a game actually. Tried it, got fed with it in like ten minutes and went on with true gaming (Deus Ex it was at that time). What people see in this is beyond me. But I guess I'm stupid and have a total lack of creativity.

But the reviewer is cool.
  Vader: He is. And that's all that matters really.
Un Om Bun: Perhaps you only tried Survival mode on regular diffi…
Nameinuse: It's probably just not your cup of tea. Now that I…
Sigma_100: I would love it if somebody could define "True Gaming…


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