Create your own adventure with Minecraft
If you were to ask an avid indie gamer what they believe to be the most important indie release of the last few years, they may well mention Minecraft without even pausing for thought. With over one million sales and nearly four million registered players, it may come as a surprise to learn that the game has not even been fully released yet.
Currently in the beta phase of development, Minecraft has already been a phenomenal success, with thousands of player communities formed around the game, video series dedicated to exploring what it has to offer, and Minecraft forums filled with people talking constantly about their latest play sessions. The game was originally a one-man development project, but now there is a team of seven to keep up with the high demand for support and content.
Minecraft is essentially a sandbox exploration game with building and crafting elements. You awaken in a vast and blocky land, and are tasked with creating your own story. You can choose to simply go for a walk, exploring the surroundings and discovering all sorts of wonderful sights, or perhaps begin cultivating the land, gathering resources and building whatever type of structure you like.
The world is made up of cubes with pixelated textures, and each has its own characteristics and uses. Wood from trees, for example, can be crafted into a torch for lighting up dark areas, while coal can be put into a furnace to melt other materials down into more useful elements, such as sand into glass.
Rather than staying out in the open, you can choose to craft a pickaxe and go mining into nearby mountains or simply straight into the ground. Hidden caverns filled with treasures and nasty creatures await, along with underground rivers and lava streams. It can be dangerous to adventure too far into the depths of the world, but ultimately very rewarding indeed.
As the sun goes down and nighttime approaches, harmful creatures come out to play and will hunt you down if you don’t find shelter. Fortunately, you are able to build anything at all by placing blocks down in whatever fashion you choose; hence it’s possible to build a tiny house to keep the bad guys away, or even huge castles if you have the time and patience. Weapons can also be crafted if you feel like venturing out and taking the spiders, skeletons and Creepers head-on.
Each Minecraft world is procedurally generated, meaning that everything you find has been randomly positioned, from the huge towering mountain ranges to the wide-spreading seas. The world itself is so big that it would take you actual years to walk all the way across it, so there’s always somewhere new to explore.
What this all boils down to is that the player can choose to play Minecraft however they like. If you are a creative person by nature, then there’s a whole playground for you to explore your craft in. The more adventurous players can gather essential supplies and then head off to create their own journey. Minecraft is whatever you decide to make it.
The game can also be played online with friends, giving a group of players the opportunity to explore the depths of the land and fend off baddies together, or work as a team to build huge structures and cities. You can even join online communities and work with other people from around the world to shape your own digital world.
Currently, Minecraft is available to purchase in the beta form, and anyone who does so will receive the final product once it is released later this year. There is also a free-to-play Classic version that serves as a taster, allowing you to build and practice in smaller environments with friends.