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Minecraft

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Critic Reviews 92% add missing review

Eurogamer.de (10 out of 10)

Erkundungstouren auf der Suche nach dem Ende dieser Welt, nur am Verlauf der immer nach Westen ziehenden Wolken orientiert, zu seinem ersten Quartier zurückkehrt, lacht man über sein früheres Selbst. Die Anfängerfehler in seiner frühen Hauskonstruktion, die unbeholfen aufgestellten Fallen, in die man oft genug selbst reintappste, und erinnert sich ein bisschen peinlich berührt an seinen damals noch so beschränkten Horizont, nur auf Kohle, Eisen und - großer Gott - Gold konzentriert. Man sieht, wie weit man gekommen ist, legt doch jeder einzelne Block wissend Zeugnis davon ab. Was für eine treffende Analogie auf das Leben, Lernen, Älterwerden.

Dec 2nd, 2011 · Windows · read review

Bright Hub ( )

Minecraft is currently in Alpha, but it isn’t free (you can play older versions for free, but they’re pretty limited). You’ll have to pay 10 Euros (13 in U.S. Dollars) to buy Minecraft. Having to pay for an Alpha release may seem odd, but don’t worry – Minecraft is not a buggy game by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Minecraft is more fun and more stable than games I’ve paid forty or sixty dollars for. The Civilization 5 comparison is very apt for me – I bought Civilization 5 and Minecraft at about the same time, and while I’ve played a lot of both, I find myself booting up Minecraft more often. This is an excellent game. If you have even the slightest interest in sandbox games you should buy it – now!

Oct 10th, 2010 · Windows · read review

Original Gamer (10 out of 10)

However, no other game in existence manages to pull so many elements together into such a cohesive, accessible, and absolutely incredible package. Minecraft is a game that will dig down into your soul, and surgically extract the joy and innocence that gaming used to provide; one that has since been tarnished with heated fanboyism, controversy, excessive analysis and a complete and total lack of imagination in an industry that has evolved into a crude, lumbering beast devoid of any emotion or joy. You will feel the way you did when you first picked up a Nintendo controller, when you first went into an arcade: a sense of wonder, a sense of excitement, and most importantly, fun. There is no such thing as a perfect game, but Minecraft is about as close as it gets because it excels in all of its positive points. For this, it receives my highest possible accolade. Simply put, this is the best game I have ever played, and one that should be experienced by everyone.

Nov 26th, 2011 · Windows · read review

GameSpy ( )

The story behind the creation of Minecraft is even more incredible than the game itself. So glad to see it make it to its final version and can't wait to see what Notch comes up with next.

Nov 22nd, 2011 · Windows · read review

1UP (A+)

It seems inevitable that some time in the next year or so we'll see some of the bigger studios realize what veteran Minecrafters already know: There's gold in them there hills. Whether we're treated to slicker looking, soulless knockoffs or wildly divergent games that retain the game's premise of ultimate freedom in a near-infinite world, there's already a lot to look forward to. Meanwhile, Minecraft, with all its flaws and quirks, has already joined Super Mario Brothers, Wolfenstein 3D, and Tetris in the pantheon of games that prototyped an entire genre. No, it's not perfect, but you just don't give a game like that anything less than our highest score.

Nov 21st, 2011 · Windows · read review

The Telegraph ( )

Minecraft is by far one of the most fascinating and progressive games ever made, both in terms of its leanings towards procedural generation and emergent gameplay, and the way it has been so openly developed. In an era where the development of most games is a closely-guarded, PR-managed secret, millions were invited to buy and play Minecraft years before it was even finished. This approach has led to an unparalleled amount of useful feedback for the developers, while simultaneously making them a fortune. If you haven’t already, you absolutely must play it. Just, for goodness’ sake, make sure you’ve built a hut before the sun sets.

Dec 14th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (10 out of 10)

Minecraft is a towering achievement in the very possibilities of gaming, and it does this without losing itself to either esoterica or cynicism. It is a game anyone can play and anyone can get something out of, no matter how skilled or imaginative they are. They will make something and they will have an experience that feels like theirs and theirs alone. The last two of years of public-eye development also make for a vital and joyous lesson for modern gaming itself: go your own way, listen to your players, celebrate what human beings can do rather than what you can make them do. Minecraft might be inseparable from its own fame by this point, but one thing's for sure - it deserves every bit of it.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Hooked Gamers (10 out of 10)

When it comes down to it, Minecraft is unique, great fun both in solo and co-op play, and has proven to be both a phenomenon and a revolution in gaming. Let us never forget it.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Indie Game Magazine (98 out of 100)

At this point I realize that I have only just began to touch on what Minecraft truly contains. The rabbit-hole runs deep indeed, or rather, the mineshaft. Even if you don’t see a reason to try it on the PC, fear not. Ports are on the tracks and scheduled for arrival within the year — an Xbox Live version is promised, while iOS and Android versions are in early release. Minecraft is without a doubt worth the purchase, and even if you don’t immediately see the appeal and decide to go do something else, Minecraft will still be around in the future, with more goodies in its already gargantuan backpack.

Dec 24th, 2011 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (96 out of 100)

Intuitively interesting and contagiously fun, with an unparalleled scope for creativity and memorable experiences.

Dec 25th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Multiplayer.it (9.6 out of 10)

Se non vi erano piaciute le versioni Alpha e Beta, la versione 1.0 di Minecraft non potrà convincervi del fatto che il titolo di Mojang è un capolavoro. Purtroppo per voi lo è e non solo. Si tratta di un prodotto storico che merita di essere studiato come fenomeno e che va ben oltre il suo essere un videogioco. Da questo punto di vista non esiste niente di paragonabile nè sul mercato dei titoli tripla A, nè sulla scena indie. Semplicemente, e lo stesso vale per tutti gli eventi storici, potete amarlo o odiarlo, ma non potete ignorarlo. E forse non esiste motivazione migliore per giustificare il voto finale.

Nov 23rd, 2011 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (94 out of 100)

Eines der einflussreichsten und wichtigsten Spiele aller Zeiten, ein stilbildender Mix aus Überlebenskampf und Kreativbaukasten.

May 16th, 2015 · Windows · read review

Game Informer Magazine (9.25 out of 10)

Reviewing a game that sold four million copies before its official release may seem like an exercise in futility, but Minecraft is a phenomenon that deserves all of the many accolades it has already received. I’d love to see achievers thrown a bone at some point, and for NPC villages to have some kind of interaction, and for more interesting monsters to appear, and for Mojang to give me a pony. Focusing on what isn’t present is doing Minecraft a grave disservice, though, because Mojang has created a unique and wonderful star in the greater gaming sky.

Nov 22nd, 2011 · Windows · read review

Pelit (92 out of 100)

Minecraftin yliluonnollista koukuttavuutta on vaikea ja turha kuvailla. Ihan kuten Chilen epäonniset kaivosmiehet, myös Minecraft kaipaa pelastuskapselia, joka kuljettaa jumittuneet kaivosmiehet sen synkistä syövereistä takaisin ihka oikeaan tosimaailmaan.

Nov 2010 · Windows

3D Juegos (9.1 out of 10)

Cada cierto tiempo aparecen títulos que marcan de forma notoria a la industria del videojuego, y tenemos muy claro que Minecraft es uno de los elegidos. Adictivo hasta cotas enfermizas, tan grande y repleto de opciones que asusta, y con una fiel comunidad de jugadores que día a día continúan sorprendiéndonos con sus creaciones, Minecraft ha entrado en el Olimpo de los más grandes sin discusión alguna.

Nov 22nd, 2011 · Windows · read review

Good Game (9 out of 10)

Sure, there are no Achievements to rack up, but I'd argue that there's still a story: your own journey of discovery. Whether digging down to the world's 'Adminium' core, or crafting your first pair of leather pants, you're always learning — always shaping the world in your image. Minecraft has got that certain something. It may not be a WoW-killer, but it's most definitely a time-killer, and that's good enough for me. I'm giving it nine out of ten rubber chickens.

Sep 20th, 2010 · Windows · read review

CD-Action (9 out of 10)

Minecraft, prawdziwe maleństwo pod względem miejsca zajmowanego na dysku, produkcja gotowa do odpalenia nawet z przeglądarki, to wciąż zbyt wielkie zjawisko, by dało się je opisać w recenzji. To tak naprawdę narzędzie do przeżywania spersonalizowanych przygód i zdowywania własnych, niepowtarzalnych wrażeń. Stąd też tak dużo w tym tekście odniesień do moich doświadczeń zamiast prób wysnuwania prawd ogólnych i stąd też widniejąca obok ocena, o całą przepaść odległa od perfekcyjnej dziesiątki.

Jan 2012 · Windows

CNET ( )

If you're uncomfortable with lack of direction, then this game isn't for you. But when it comes to open-world gameplay and mechanics, Minecraft is a primitive but fine demonstration of thriving on bare-bones gaming. Grab an ax and start digging.

Feb 26th, 2013 · Windows · read review

IGN (9 out of 10)

Like any review, my feelings on Minecraft are the result of my experience with it. Maybe you don’t thrive off random adventures like I do, or maybe you won’t feel the same sense of accomplishment I did when I completed my first house. If not, then you likely haven’t or won’t enjoy Minecraft in the same way. And that’s OK. Minecraft, more than any other game I know, isn’t about playing it a specific way; it’s an open-world, a blank page just daring you to jump in and do with it what you will. The question, then, isn’t what you need to do to succeed, what’s needed to win, but what are you willing to do to make your dreams come to life?

Nov 23rd, 2011 · Windows · read review

The Escapist ( )

There really isn't that much on the market today that's like Minecraft, an open sandbox for you to play and build in. This simple freedom can lead to some truly complex accomplishments.

Jan 24th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Edge (9 out of 10)

“I will not tell the player how to live,” reads the poem marking the conclusion of version 1.0.0, and the sentiment rings true. The central achievement of Minecraft is a willingness to let the player define the experience; to make them the most interesting element in a world that’s already dynamic and fascinating. It’s a decision that has made designer Markus Persson a millionaire, and it’s ensured that the most important PC game of the past five years is also the most timely. Minecraft creates pockets of unmapped wilderness in a world that’s increasingly cluttered, and offers the illusion of control in an era in which genuine control is so rarely available. It’s the promise, particularly potent these days, of ownership; of not just shaping a landscape, but also calling it home.

Nov 28th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Gamereactor (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

I en tid då fler och fler spelföretag begränsar vad spelaren kan göra, gör Mojang den exakta motsatsen. Vi slipper förenklad spelmekanik, förutbestämda sekvenser och förutsägbara händelser med ett spel som är nästan uteslutande fritt och öppet. I slutänden skulle jag vilja likna Minecraft vid min absoluta favoritserie på TV, Seinfeld. Det är ett spel om ingenting. Men mitt i detta ingenting är allt möjligt. Det älskar jag.

Nov 28th, 2011 · Windows · read review

VentureBeat / Gamesbeat (90 out of 100)

Minecraft, the review? It’s impossible. There’s only experiential description to keep this reviewer from falling into a recursive, procedurally generated nightmare of Borgesian proportions (and shuddering at each use of the word “you” in a professional review). If we must, then, score this kind of game, we give it a 90/100. Whether you find joy in creating the Taj Mahal in square-ish blocks, building sky castles with friends in multiplayer, or derive an obscure satisfaction of a good life well lived in Hardcore mode, Minecraft abides. The cost is low and the computer specifications are fairly generous. Mac or PC, you can play this game. And you should.

Dec 19th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Mana Pool (9 out of 10)

Minecraft is a survival-horror, adventure, simulation, casual, surreal, beautiful, first person experience that you need to play. It’s less than $15, and provides plenty more than the cost of entry. Minecraft is not only the Indie Game of the Year, it’s one of the contenders for Game of The Year.

Sep 11th, 2010 · Windows · read review

GamesRadar (9 out of 10)

Now that it’s finally “finished,” Minecraft stands as a remarkable achievement - not only a well-rounded gaming experience, but a chance for players to experiment, explore freely and reshape their environment to an almost ludicrous level. If you own a computer and haven't given Minecraft a try, you're missing one of the most unique experiences of this generation.

Dec 15th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Games Finder (9 out of 10)

Mine craft is truly a game where you can do it all, be it building, adventure or something completely unintended through mods or maps (such as Player vs. Player arenas, adventure maps and games inspired by The Hunger Games).

Apr 9th, 2013 · Windows · read review

Softonic ( )

Minecraft is a wonderfully inventive sandbox game that really deserves the title, as your creation in it is only limited by your imagination and time!

Sep 21st, 2010 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (89 out of 100)

Minecraft legt een wereld aan je voeten die smeekt om veroverd te worden en is nu al een klassieker. Creatief aangelegde gamers met een gezonde dosis fantasie mogen hun vrije tijd vaarwel zeggen.

Dec 23rd, 2011 · Windows

Out Of Eight (7 out of 8)

The addictive nature of Minecraft cannot be denied, as exploring, manipulating, and constructing your world is a fascinating experience. However, common features expected in a released product are missing, such as extensive in-game help and more rounded online components.

Nov 28th, 2011 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (85 out of 100)

Nein, das große Abenteuer ist Minecraft nicht. Es ist etwas anderes - und zwar nicht weniger als die hervorragende Simulation eines riesigen lebendigen Universums. Dort geht es nicht um vorgezeichnete Geschichten, dort verwirklicht man Träume. Denn nur in Minecraft kann man buchstäbliche Luftschlösser errichten, die Fantasie ist die einzige relevante Grenze. Es spielt überhaupt keine Rolle, dass die Welt aus gigantischen Pixeln besteht: Wenn man mit eigenen Händen Rohstoffquellen erschließt, die Materialien verarbeitet und aus etlichen Bauteilen schließlich kleine und große Meisterwerke errichtet, dann erkennt man in jedem Winkel den Schweiß und die Kunst, die dahinter steckt. Man ist Jäger, man ist Gärtner, man verteidigt seinen Hof gegen unheimliche Eindringlinge. Man ist der kreative Kopf in einem Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten!

Nov 22nd, 2011 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (8.5 out of 10)

Minecraft has been a work in progress throughout its lengthy public beta, and the "official release" still has an unfinished feel to it in spots that won't sit well with everyone. Visual glitches pop in at regular intervals, and some game elements seem incomplete or thrown together in haste. What's amazing is that the core game is so ridiculously absorbing that these flaws matter little in the grand scheme of things. Even in its current form, Minecraft remains one of the most conceptually impressive indie games out there. It's a game changer to be sure and one that will live on in the annals of gaming history for a long time to come.

Nov 29th, 2011 · Windows · read review

OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network (8.2 out of 10)

The shortcomings are most likely due to the fact that the game hasn't even hit its beta stage, but even though it doesn't quite seem fully fleshed out, there's no doubt that for an alpha, it has a lot of content. It may not be for everyone, but we'll see when the game goes gold.

Dec 17th, 2010 · Windows · read review

Indius (16 out of 20)

Finalement Minecraft est un très bon jeu, bien qu'assez rebutant de par son aspect graphique et son absence d'explications du début à la fin, il saura séduire les joueurs passionnés et débordant de créativité souhaitant découvrir une expérience manquant encore un peu de contenu après tant de développement mais heureusement doté d'une communauté si active compensant largement les défauts du jeu.

Feb 16th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Softonic ( )

Minecraft est un jeu au scénario infini incroyablement innovant. Son qualificatif de sandbox est largement mérité car les uniques freins à cette simulation sont le temps et votre imagination.

Nov 10th, 2011 · Windows · read review

Capsule Computers (7 out of 10)

The game is still in its Alpha stage, so there is still a lot of work to be done. The game gets updates every couple of weeks, so there’s often new content to try out, and there is a thriving community based around the multiplayer servers that the game supports.

Oct 19th, 2010 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) N/A

Auch für 15 Euro ist Minecraft eine uneingeschränkte Empfehlung, insbesondere im Vergleich zu Vollpreistiteln wie Call of Duty. Weit über 100 Millionen Dollar hat Activision in Black Ops investiert, um ein Spiel zu erschaffen, das seine Käufer zerstreut. Man muss froh sein, dass es Ein-Mann- Projekte wie Minecraft gibt, die zeigen, dass Computerspiele so viel mehr sein können als nur das.

Dec 2010 · Windows

Player Reviews

Best game of 2010
by vedder (64373)

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.

Jan 23rd, 2011 · Windows

A good game, but certainly not flawless
by Asinine (1003)

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.

Jul 13th, 2011 · Windows

[v1.1] Playable, but may eventually leave the player unsatisfied and wanting.
by Indra was here (20775)

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

Apr 12th, 2011 · Windows

Plus 64 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, vedder, Kabushi, Tim Janssen, ryanbus84, Evolyzer, VVP, 666gonzo666, Cavalary, Asinine, lights out party, Ƒreddƴ, Jess T, Scaryfun, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger.