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Minecraft (Windows)

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92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Apr 25, 2011
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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Summary

A good game, but certainly not flawless

The Good

The game is currently in its Beta, so it still receives constant updates which I, as a single-player fan, really like. I hear the people who play online have frequent problems with the updates, but personally I like it that a game I bought for less than fifteen euros has received at least thirty euros worth of content since. One recent update gave us pets and another one introduced a bed that allows you to skip the night, those two really changed the game a lot and made it fresh enough for me to play it again.

I prefer it when a game takes just a few mechanics and makes sure those have a lot of depth then when a game has many different mechanics that are very shallow. In Minecraft you are always either building, crafting or breaking stuff and it works fine. I especially like the crafting because it's fun to figure out the right combinations and create new an interesting items like paintings or ladders. Mining is also a lot of fun once you get deep enough to find the good stuff like gold and diamond.

The game has a lot of character thanks to the graphics it uses and the way they present everything, the most popular part of the game is probably the Creepers which became an internet meme thanks to their creative design. It actually reminds me a lot of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the world is very beautiful and calm (even more so now that we have rain and such) while everything beneath the ground is dark and filled with monsters, I like that balance a lot.

I have seen some beautiful things in this game that were built by humans like an on-scale copy of Minas Tirith that we created on our own server, complete with the rings and everything. I have also seen cathedrals, cities, skyscrapers and pyramids just to give you an idea of what is possible with this game. I will always support creativity and this game is a great tool to realize any ideas you might have and if you're not the creative type you can still use this game as a wonderful survival-simulation.

The Bad

The combat is probably the worst part of this game, if you're unarmed you have a much better chance at survival if you just run away and most weapons aren't really any better. The only weapon that was really useful was the bow because it was a ranged weapon, which meant I didn't have to worry about the awful hit detection. Another problem is that if one enemy is around that means there are more around because the bastards always spawn really close to each other, but always so that the second one will show up in your back.

I really hate this game when it's dark because it was incredibly boring, during the night you are pretty much stuck in your home with not much to do. You can craft a few items and put some stuff in your chests, but that won't last you the seven minutes you are required to stay in there. You can also go underground and mine for more materials, but that is rather boring if you're just going after stone, plus you won't know when it's day again. The new bed item fixes that, but you have a big chance that something will attack you while you're asleep.

It's very tempting to just look everything up on a Wikia site and ruin the idea, I fell for this myself and I haven't really liked this game that much since. You can pretty much go to the internet and look up a whole list of items you can craft and how to do that, you can also look up where to find the resources required to craft them and the best ways to reach those. It's not really the game's fault as much as it is the fault of the players, but it could be prevented by giving us some more directions and suggestions.

The Bottom Line

Minecraft is a very fun and addictive game which allows you to create some of the most amazing structures ever built by human hands or just mess around and throw snowballs at chickens. There are some flaws though and a smoother combat would fix the worst ones, but if you turn the zombies off, that could help as well (if you are willing to remove your only enemies).

There is no better way to say this: Just try Minecraft sometime and see for yourself. You do have to give it an hour or so to really kick in, but once you start to understand the basics of the game, you will be hooked for months to come.