aka: Indev, Infdev, Minecraft Alpha, Minecraft Beta, Minecraft: Java Edition, Survival Mode
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Minecraft is a game which mixes elements of sandbox, survival horror and construction game. It is an evolved version of Minecraft Classic.

As in Minecraft Classic the player is dropped in a randomly generated world made out of cubes. Unlike the classic version where the player can add and remove blocks at will, in this version all blocks the player wants to place must first be "mined" elsewhere. Some materials require special equipment to be mined. Stone requires a wooden pick axe to be mined; gold requires an iron pick axe and obsidian requires a diamond pick axe. The player can also create shovels and normal axes to mine sand, dirt and wood faster. Mining is no longer instant but requires the player to hit the block a couple times, tools reduce the time.

Some blocks can not be found in nature but require crafting. Clay, for example, can be split into clay balls, which when baked turn into bricks which can be combined to form brick wall blocks. Baking happens in a stone oven, which requires a steady supply of coal and the oven itself needs to be crafted at a workbench, which needs to be constructed first.

This time the player(s) are not alone. During the day pigs, chickens, cows and sheep roam the land. Some of them, when killed or struck, will drop valuable items such as leather required for protective clothing or pork chops which when baked can heal the player. But at night and in the dark randomly generated caverns monsters rule the land. There are various different monsters, including the zombie, a skeleton archer, an exploding creeper, deadly spiders and gelatinous cubes. Aside from randomly spawning in dark areas, they also spawn in so-called "mob spawners" which spawn enemies indefinitely until properly illuminated or destroyed. To defend himself against enemies the player can craft weapons such as a sword and bow, and protective clothing to reduce damage. When the player dies his items are dropped at the place of his death, but the player respawns at his original spawn point. Items can be recovered if the player reaches them within five minutes (unless they fell into lava).

The randomly generated worlds are structured in such a fashion that more valuable resources are either rare or only spawn in deep caverns far below the ground.

Aside from building blocks the game also, unlike its previous versions, offers more complex building. The player can create railway systems and ride mine carts, row in a small boat, and build pressure plates, switches, doors and electrical circuits to power various contraptions.

The game features no pre-set goals and advocates exploration and construction.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Created by
Game Design
Music and Sound
In-game Artwork and Paintings
End Game Narrative
Website Development
Logo and Promotional Artwork
Business and Administration
Director of Fun
Number Crunching and Statistics
Additional Programming
[ full credits ]



Average score: 91% (based on 36 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 92 ratings with 3 reviews)

[v1.1] Playable, but may eventually leave the player unsatisfied and wanting.

The Good
Review Version: v1.1 - Typo, grammar fixes, and some sentences that just didn't make any dang sense :p.
Review Date: April 3, 2011
Review Length: 5 page(s).
Game Version: v12.1.2.0 Alpha.
Game Mode Used: Single Player (Offline).
Tech Specs Used: Intel Core 2 6300 1.86 Ghz CPU, 3 GB Memory, 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT Video Card.
Finished: Sandbox game - Not applicable.
Last time played: March, 2011.

There has always been this fascinating admiration I suspect for many people in terms of creating and growing things. However, it is to my absolute horror and disgust that the games industry really hasn't picked up on these type of games. You know, games where you can build anything and everything to your hearts delight. Or in a gamer's vocabulary: customization utopia (which unfortunately has only transformed to being just a modder).

I. Introduction – What is Minecraft?
Note: This section may be skipped. For gamers unfamiliar with the game.

Ever wanted to build structures from your wildest imagination? Floating palaces, lava-maze dungeons adorned with flower gardens, or a gigantic boobie-shaped toilet structure occupied by grazing cows? (well, some of my imaginative ideas are somewhat disturbing). This is the game where all your incredible and nasty little architectural fantasies come true.

Minecraft is a game where the player may build structures out of basically (almost) any material in the game. These materials consist of pixel cubical blocks which may be placed upon each other to create structures. Some of these cubes are subject to the laws of gravitation (e.g. sand, etc.) while most others do not. This allows the player to build structures that were technically impossible to create based on the laws of physics (e.g. a flying glass thong-shaped citadel).

To create this structures (if the player so desires), the player must first mine the building materials, by digging using specific tools (when applicable) or using the character's bare hands (in the beginning). The player starts carrying nothing, but will later be able to create tools from wood, stone, iron, etc. Certain tools are also more efficient in gathering these resources (e.g. axes for wood, picks for stone and minerals, etc.). Other resources may be collected from animals (cows, chickens, etc.) and plants (cactus, flowers, etc.). Though these aren't necessarily building materials, they may be used for other means (e.g. constructing armor, food for health, etc.).

Sounds easy enough, if not for roaming monsters that indefinitely and randomly spawn in dark areas. As the game has a day/night cycle as well as different degrees of light, a nearby random generated monster may quickly disrupt the player's building progress. Especially if mentioned monster is a creeper that does a kamikaze routine on the player and blows up, destroying a section of your flying G-string citadel (summer collection).

Primary gameplay is basically collecting these resources, creating structures, and designing these structures and its surroundings to the player's aesthetic desires, while trying to survive and dodge monsters by creating defenses and light sources to prevent monster spawning.

II. Architectural Imagination
The primary allure of the game is to either explore these randomly created environments and create structures big enough, complex enough, or artistically compelling enough to satisfy the player's ego and ambitions. Search the net and you'll find amazing structures that you'd thought were impossible to accomplish but no doubt be equally amazed on how other players managed to create them and how much time they have to spare in the first place :p (I'm still impressed by a player that managed to design a freakin' football field, seats and all...not so impressed by another bloke who had time to do a gigantic Spongebob Squarepants).

Although building material varieties are somewhat limited, figuring out the uses of certain building materials is also part of exploration concept in the game. Sand for example may be smelted into glass, which offers a see-through building block. Rivers (water blocks) and lava may be used for decorative or defensive purposes (figuring out how the physics work is somewhat straining however).

Due to the nature of the game, all of which comprise of pixel blocks. The world as you know it may be manually changed to your liking. Repeat: You can change the world. Sure, it's hard work, but OCD gamers like myself must obey the inner hardcore gamer voices to change all those dang stone mountains into glass-shaped poodles. Why? No idea. :)

Additionally, the game actually comes in two different worlds (three if you count surface and underground worlds). The second world (the Nether) is another dimension which is similar to hell. Lava and creepy monsters. Only reason why the player needs to go there (well, why not?), is to gather infinite amounts of lava to create indestructible obsidian blocks. Though surviving that place all together will quite a feat in itself.

The Bad
As I suspect, gameplay may be primarily intended for multi-player experience; please note that the single-player (offline) may not quite as exhilarating, which is the focus of this review. The following also may or may not be applicable to the multi-player experience:

I. Under Construction
Well, the most obvious problem is that the game isn't really finished and probably (seeing the trend of similar games) will probably never be finished. This results and some good and bad things. The good thing is of course that in the course of time, many new easily down-loadable features may be implemented in the near future. The bad, are as the following:

  • A. Next Update? TBA (To Be Announced)
    You'll never know when a new feature will be implemented. When a new version of the game is finally released, there's also the issue of whether or not this new version will screw-up your previous saved game and its buildings (if you decide to use old saved games) or if its even supported. Coming back again and again just to see if there are new versions or features is a straining chore and somewhat disrupts gameplay immersion.
  • B. Limited Everything
    So the game is still in Alpha. Or is it Beta? Well, one of those. Which basically means that everything in the game is limited if you really want to be ambitious, in terms of item and building material variation. Though this is only noticeable when you've played for a few days. Each new version may or may not include new materials.

II. Annoying Spawn Algorithms
Spawning apparently occurs near the player (or may appear to be so). Whether it may be in the form of docile animals or horny monsters, it usually occurs in near the vicinity of the player, instead of what you'd expect: anywhere. This introduces some annoying features, which include:

  1. Spawning in later versions also occur ridiculously fast and any creature is not permanent in affect after you move out of range;
  2. Creepers (and any monster for that matter) jumping on you out of nowhere (if it's dark);
  3. Traps that are particularly useless since if you're not near the place, there won't be anything to trap anyway;
  4. Creating permanent animals farms is technically not applicable as mentioned above. Herding isn't really possible (well, possible but difficult and redundant). Don't even know why I bothered mentioning this in the first place, since domestic animals don't breed, but spawn. :p

III. Non-Educational Value and Disruptive Learning Curve
The game seriously lacks description when it comes to items or basically anything. The first time around it is equally exciting and frustrating to figure out how to combine materials to discover new items. As there really aren't many hints in-game, eventually the player will be forced to go to Minecraft Wiki and find out how the hell to create a dang shovel.

Unfortunately, as game wiki articles go, they disclose practically everything about the game. This may basically kill all forms of excitement and anticipation in the context of discovering new stuff. Other sandbox games were imaginative enough to create certain random events that still offer the player something to look forward to. All surprises are eventually nullified by visiting the wiki since such events do not really exists and the last surprise worth waiting for is that hell-dimension, which isn't really much of a surprise since you already know what's in store there from the wiki.

IV. Creepers and an Un-Medieval Context
A creeper in Minecraft is what I call a party-crasher. No doubt any Minecraft player will agree to a certain extent, that the creeper damages gameplay more than it does in terms offering a challenge. This is because creepers blow themselves up with significant damage to the environment (particularly your structures) and possibly killing yourself in the process. In addition to the spawn anywhere near the player feature, creepers may also drop in on your uninvited behind if you're digging around a mountain (or anywhere else for that matter) if you aren't too careful.

The explosive capacity of the creepermay or may not be related to a somewhat unimaginative inclusion of the items such as gunpowder and TNT in what a player may presume is supposed to be a medieval-fantasy world. Personally, if the explosive capacity of the creeper, gunpowder, and TNT were removed, Minecraft would be a much more less annoying place to build sand castles. Though this is an obvious subjective opinion.

V. Disappearing Items
If items aren't stored, they will eventually disappear from the game permanently. For a game that has emphasis on building and (possibly) material conservation, this is somewhat an extremely stupid idea. Although this may well have to do with memory allocation and efficiency, there really must be a better way to resolve this.

VI. Redundant Surface World
Sooner or later you'll figure out that the surface world (above ground level) isn't worth exploring or building (except if you want to building structures you can see from afar). Most of the unique metal materials are located far, far, underground...and the player is demoted to from building lovely structures to just digging straight down in an un-imaginative fashion just to find these materials.

VII. Sound Lag
When starting a new game, sometimes the sound doesn't...er...show. Depending on luck, it may pop-up later in in the game after several minutes (or not at all). This has occurred in at least two versions I've tested.

The Bottom Line
It is undoubtedly clear that this game has the capacity to become an extremely complex and ambitious game in terms of architectural possibilities. The obvious problem, also found in many other sandbox games, after finishing your first mega-project, what reason is there to continue? Unless there are more diverse and unique features to be implemented, the single-player game will quickly warm out its welcome after a few days of gameplay. Might as well wait a few years and see what it'll evolve into in the meantime, since there are by far (at this point of Minecraft development) more interesting and demanding completed games out there that deserve our immediate attention.

Although perhaps the reason why I'm not particularly thrilled to the possibilities of Minecraft is because I have already played by far a more complex mining/architectural strategy version of Minecraft called Dwarf Fortress (freeware) which practically makes Minecraft look like a mini-game as far as features goes. It's also unfortunately, buggier than Planet Insectesoid in Bug Universe. :p

Windows · by Indra was here (20633) · 2011

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.

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2011

Best game of 2010

The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Building is fun and intuitive
  • Build your own world from scratch
  • Randomly generated games have never been this scary
  • Most fun you'll ever have exploring a world
  • Full of surprises
  • Build inventive contraptions and rollercoasters using simple tools
  • Charming visual style
  • Dying in this game will hurt a lot. Especially when it involves lava and all your stuff gets melted. But that makes the game all the more exciting

**The Bad**
  • Multiplayer not yet working properly at time of review
  • Some grinds just take too long (stocking up on gunpowder, mining obsidian)
  • The Nether's loot isn't valuable enough to make venturing there worthwhile
  • Encountering certain resources is pure chance. It would be nice if it were possible to scan for the existence of certain resources within a certain proximity

**The Bottom Line**
When at first I saw a short video of Minecraft, I thought it looked quaint and slightly interesting but dismissed and forgot about it. Then I met an old acquaintance who mentioned he was playing it and was totally addicted. So I decided to check it out. So, first I booted up Minecraft Classic with some friends on our own private server. The game only lets you build but it proved rather addictive and for a couple days we were all hooked on the experience. I decided to make the big leap and make the investment of 10 Euros for the full version (in alpha state at the time). I'm glad I did, because this is hands-down the best game of 2010. So I started on the beach of a deserted island. Although? Not quite deserted. To my amazement I see pigs, chickens, sheep and cows roaming the land. After some initial experimentation I start to understand that to build something in this game the materials must first be harvested. After finding a suitable location at the shoreline on the foot of a mountain I build my first wooden shack out of planks I make from trees I cut down. Before it's properly finished night falls however and I'm surprised for the second time. Zombies and skeleton archers besiege my shack. Scared shit-less I block the doors and windows with mud and wait for dawn while the moans of zombies are heard through the walls. And this is where I got hooked on Minecraft Most of the time in Minecraft I spend exploring. Usually mapping huge subterranean cavern structures, on the lookout for Creepers while prospecting for precious ores, but also sailing in my little boat along the coasts of thousands of islands in search for clay deposits. It might not sound as much fun but I assure you it's awesome. Minecraft has no levels or experience points. Rewards in this game are purely in the form of resources and what resources allow the player to do. Some resources (such as clay) don't even serve a real purpose other than the ability to build buildings out of red bricks instead of wood, stone or mud. But you just have to have. I know I do! I love RPGs, but in this game I didn't miss levels and experience at all. It's already incredibly rewarding to find a new diamond vein, because it'll allow you to construct more durable tools or armor. Building things consists of placing blocks which happens instantly (unlike removing blocks which takes a variable amount of time depending on the tools and material hardness). You can basically build anything you can think of as long as it consists of square blocks; but it doesn't end there! Aside from static buildings, the player can also build contraptions and railway systems. using a material called redstone the player can place wiring between pressure plates, railway switches, levers, buttons, doors, lights, TNT. This can be used to build traps for monsters (how about a block of TNT hooked up to a pressure plate?) or create automated train systems. With the most recent major update it is now also possible to visit the Nether which is scary as hell. Huge monsters will continuously scream in tormented childish voices and there's lava and fire everywhere. Interesting about the Nether is that every step you take corresponds to many more steps in the real world, so that this alternate dimension can be used as a sort of means for fast-travel. But other than that I felt that the whole Nether-world added little to the game. Its sound effects are nerve-wrecking and thus I don't go there for my pleasure, and the spoils to be gained there are rather mediocre, although this will likely be fixed by the next update. The graphics are rather simple, but I find them very charming. There's unofficial "high-res" texture packs for download, but frankly I think they all make the game look uglier. Why would I want a photo of the actual moon to replace my perfectly square moon? The engine also runs surprisingly fast. Sound in the game is not very remarkable. Most of the effects don't get old, except the Ghast's sound effects in the Nether. But none of the effects stand out as good either. The sporadic music is nice and can be very haunting. It always sets in when you least expect it. What also happens when you least expect it is that creepers sneak up on you and explode in your face just after you found some invaluable diamonds. "Gosh, I didn't know that there was a lava stream just below the floor." You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll look at marvelous sunsets from the most exotic locations. You'll cower in fear and entomb yourself just to avoid the overwhelming odds. You'll sail the seven seas. Throw snowballs. Ride pigs. Journey to the centre of the world. All the while wondering how a game so simple in its premises can be that much fun. Honestly, I haven't had this much fun in a game in years. I had just started Mass Effect 2 when I found out about this game and that game has been collecting dust ever since.

Windows · by vedder (68275) · 2011


Subject By Date
On the way to MS? Cavalary (11397) Sep 21st, 2014
How do you play? Daniel Saner (3467) Nov 30th, 2011
Pocket edition CrankyStorming (2913) Sep 16th, 2011
Horror? Indra was here (20633) Apr 12th, 2011
An unfinished game? (Beta policy again) MZ per X (3010) Oct 25th, 2010



A number of books based on Minecraft have been published, both unofficial and official. Apart from numerous game guides, there are also several novels available (mostly aimed at children), such as the Gameknight1999 series by Mark Cheverton or the books by Danica Davidson. In 2017 the first official Minecraft novel was published, Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks.

References to the game

Minecraft was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 09/2011.


Indie developer Paul Eres first suggested to call the game Minecraft.


  • 4Players
    • 2011 – Best Simulation of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2011 – Special Award
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2012 - Best Indie Game in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Surprise in 2011 (Readers' Choice)

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 48604


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by vedder.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), Ozone Sama, Patrick Bregger, Titan10.

Game added October 24th, 2010. Last modified August 20th, 2023.