Mar 17, 2011

Review : Minecraft

Ooooh Minecraft... I spend countless hours playing this game and I must say I love it. It is definitely not the first time I spend a lot of hours on a game, but the fact that Minecraft doesn't really have a goal to it makes it different from your normal game. If you haven't heard of Minecraft in the last months you have been living in a cave ( looking for diamonds? ).

If you are that one person that hasn't heard of Minecraft before here is a small explanation of what Minecraft is all about. You are all alone, you wake up on an island where no other human beings are present, it is you versus nature, you must survive all by yourself, you must survive all the horrors that come out at night, you are the only one that is able to shape the world around you, you must manipulate your surroundings so that you come out on top of the food-chain.

So how do you survive? By chopping down trees you gain wood, which you use to craft tools like an axe, a pickaxe, a hoe, a shovel and a sword. With the tools you acquired you can start digging down in the search of caves, in which you can find coal, iron, gold and even diamond. Maybe you enjoy shovelling the beach away so you get yourself some sand. Maybe you are hungry and you start yourself a farm, finding seeds with the hoe and harvest your own wheat. At night all the monsters come out and you want to be safe. With all the materials you collected during the day you can build yourself a nice little house to keep the monsters outside.

As you can see on the screenshot the world of Minecraft is very "blocky". Almost any block can be removed and can be replaced at a different spot, or you can change the block into another one, by heating it. For example you can make bricks out of clay, and dye wool in all sort of colours. The possibilities are endless.
Being successful in Minecraft is really hard to define, one could say making great complicated structures is an amazing feat, while other prefer to make small cosy houses.

As you know I rate the other way around, I do not focus on the good points but on the bad points of a game ( Minecraft is far from finished and still in beta so +5% ) so here is what I don't like about Minecraft. Minecraft is different than your usual game, so it can be hard for new players to understand what is going on. Suddenly you are in this world with no clear idea why you are there, and if you don't hurry up you are surrounded by monsters and you will die a painful death. You may walk around and get yourself some materials but without any pre-knowledge of the game you will never ever be able to make yourself the most basic tools needed to enjoy the game to the fullest. Making tools by -1. Chopping down a tree 2. Convert tree chunks into wood 3. Placing wood in a square in your inventory 4. Make sticks and put them in a shape of a pickaxe on your workbench- is just not the first thing you would think of, therefore it can be really hard for a new player to understand what to do, this game needs some sort of tutorial to help new players. ( -4% )
I understand one of the praised features of the game is the unknown, and that figuring out stuff yourself is one of the key concepts, still I feel like coming up yourself on how to make tools is just a little bit to hard for the average person.

How exciting building is, there will be a point where you feel bored and don't know what to do anymore. There is no interesting story that keeps you with the game, when you feel like you have done everything, then your done. ( -1% ) Some people might be bored pretty quick and give up on the game after building their third house, or maybe some people just don't know that there is so much more to do than what they figured out themselves ( again a tutorial would be nice, maybe something basic for new players and something more advanced like redstone wiring for people who are ready for a new challenge ). The lack of content and "your inspiration is the limit" is the biggest flaw of this game. Luckily Minecraft has an awesome community with amazing builders which can inspire you to make the most amazing buildings/mobtraps/cactusfarms etc, stuff you would probably not come up with yourself, looking up on the internet how to keep your interest in the game isn't a good point. ( -4% ) Just search on Youtube for Minecraft related videos, maybe check out some Lets Play's, or maybe even my own waterslide video!

You won't hear me complaining about the 'crappy' graphics of the game, I think the blocky world is THE Minecraft trademark and won't be forgotten for a very long time. Minecraft has some interesting music which really adds to the feeling of being all alone on some random island. Multiplayer is really fun but sadly very bugged from time to time ( -1%) ( I know, still in beta, already gave you plus 5 percent for that! ), which can really kill the fun.

Personal playtime : A long time, probably more than 40 hours

Final score : 95%

Stay tuned for more Minecraft related tutorials!

Next up : After certain requests on Youtube, written Arcane Mage Guide


  1. I really liked minecraft too, but paying for the beta was a turnoff.

  2. I love minecraft as well, running a SMP server. The point you mentioned with new players not getting it is a very serious one, it's a big turnoff for some of my friends. While I nerd around building some calculators and stuff via redstone, they lurk around and just farm some sugar and then stop playing it ;)
    But how exactly is the MP so bugged? I can not whine about any really annoying bugs so far