[Review] Minecraft Comments Off
You know, I still get asked “What exactly is Minecraft about?” With over 18 million registered users it’s hard to believe there are still people who don’t quite get it. I’ll do my best to explain.
Minecraft is exactly as the name implies. You “mine” materials which you use to craft items. When you start the game, you appear in a randomly generated world filled with dirt, trees, sand, stone, water, pigs, chickens, and cows. Your first goal is not really explained until you encounter your first night. Night time brings all kinds of monsters, zombies, skeleton archers, giant spiders, and more. As you may have guessed, these monsters attack you and without shelter or weapons you’re pretty much defenseless to their attacks.
To start off you’ll want to collect materials. You can build a house out of any material, but there are only a few you can collect by hand. Go punch a tree and see what happens, you end up collecting a wood block! Open your inventory and place the wood block in your 2×2 crafting square to make wooden planks. 4 wooden planks in a square makes a workbench. place the workbench down and right click it to access a larger work area. Here, its easier to explain with pictures:
Make sure to place the Crafting Table in your hot bar or you wont be able to do anything with it.
You can craft all sorts of items even just having wood blocks, but we’ll focus on the essentials
The most important tool you’re going to want is a Wooden Pickaxe. Why? Because without it you wont be able to collect stone or coal. You can make these four essential tools out of Wood (lowest durability), Stone (second tier), Iron Ingots (third tier), or Diamond (highest durability). You’ll need at least a Wooden Pickaxe to mine Stone, Stone to mine Iron, and Iron to mine Diamond. This will make more sense once you start mining.
The beauty of Minecraft is that there isn’t a story to follow. There are goals yes, and achievements of course, but nothing linear and no true end to the game. It’s a sandbox and if you explore and find a desert that term can become literal, but Single-player is not where this game shines.
After a while I’m sure you’ll grow bored of being the only person to see your amazing creations, so you hop on over to the multiplayer. Here’s where things get a bit tricky. You’re probably used to games that have matchmaking or servers like in MMOs, Minecraft doesn’t have those. There are ways you can play with just a friend or two, but honestly, there are better options.
To get started on multi-player you’re going to need a server to play on. You can start your own, purchase hosting for one through a company such as Provision Host, or play on one that’s already set up. (link to our server page) You can find a lot of great servers on the Minecraft Forums and I’m sure a ton of other communities have their own as well.
Beyond the natural vanilla enjoyment, there are countless mods and plugins for single-player and multi-player.
- BuildCraft – “BuildCraft is a new game mod aiming at allowing users to build advanced structures and mechanisms. ”
- TooManyItems – “Create and delete items in-game, including mod items. Save and load entire inventories. Create unlimited stacks and tools. Test mods, create huge survival worlds, and more.”
- BetterThanWolves –
To run Multiplayer mods, most will require CraftBukkit so check that out for a ton of awesome things you can add to your server.
- mcMMO – “If you want an original RPG experience like no other mod out there, mcMMO is for you.”
- iConomy – “A simple, and easy to use economic core. It provides an easy to use API / service for other plugins to utilize to create innovative and new creations like lottery systems, card games, shops, and more. Your imagination is the limit, and iConomy is just plugging in.
- War – “War lets you create warzones, arenas that host team deathmatch and capture-the-flag battles.”
The unfortunate thing is Minecraft doesn’t really support mods at this time. It’s easy enough to install them, but with more support they could really make the game beyond limitless.
Minecraft features a soundtrack by C418. The ambient and slightly depressing music in the game really adds to the game in a way I cant honestly describe. You’ll get the full effect in Single-player, when the music kicks in you get a sense of being alone which has left me in awe quite a few times.
I give Minecraft a Gold, but just barely, because even though the game is officially out of beta it’s still not a fully polished game. I don’t think it ever will be and that adds to the charm. If you’re still asking questions, go get the game, its worth it.