Thursday, 2 December 2010

Gamingheap Review - Minecraft

 MINECRAFT  -  Gamingheap Review

Minecraft is a brick-based First-Person Sandbox game that can be downloaded from for 50% of whilst it is still in the Alpha version. I actually got it for free when the servers crashed in late September.

Title Screen for "Minecraft."
It always has a irrelevant, meaningless comment at the top right

Basically - There are 5 different worlds you can save your game in and it autosaves when you exit Minecraft itself. The Minecraft worlds are all randomly generated, so you'll never get the same map twice. Minecraft cycles through day and night, each lasting about 5 minutes from my experience. At night, if the difficulty setting is set to easy or higher, monsters (mobs) will spawn at night and will come after you to kill you. When you die you drop all of your items where you died and return to the world's spawn point. When you get back
to the location you died you can pick them up again but 1 item will usually be missing.

It is highly recommended that when the game starts (in the day) that you collect wood by demolishing trees with your fists and making planks by going to your inventory and putting the wood into one of the crafting squares.

Chopping Trees for lumber

Then by putting 1 plank in each of the 4 crafting squares you have a 3x3 crafting workbench instead of the standard 2x2.

Making a Workbench in the Inventory

After crafting tools like pickaxes, shovels and hatchets from the planks, you can begin to
mine ores like coal and iron from cliff faces. By this time night should be drawing in. Next, most people construct safe places away from the mobs by making caves in the side of mountains and patching the entrance up. They also put up torches to keep monsters away and light up the darkness.

Minecraft is all about collecting materials from around the world your in and crafting them into useful objects which you can build with. For example arranging 8 cobblestone pieces around the edges of a 3x3 crafting grid will reward you with a furnace and smelting iron ore and coal within that will give you iron bars. These can then be used to construct iron tools, armour, weapons, mine carts and mine cart tracks. There are many things to make and places to explore. You may stumble across a cave at some point and with torches in your inventory you can light it up and begin to search for rare ores. Animals also roam the Minecraft overland and killing them will give you the specific animal's produce (chickens will give you eggs and feathers and cows will give you leather hides.)

Watching sheep trying to enter my
house and failing miserably

The further down you mine, the rarer the ores you will find, but it will get dark so you will need to place torches to light up your mines. But, mind out! You may come across some lava! Lava will drain your life hearts killing you slowly find some water quickly and put yourself out! The good news is around lava - diamonds tend to appear and they can be used for all sorts of things.

The entrance to my vertical mine.
It reaches to the very bottom of my world!

Climbing down a ladder to the bottom of my mine.

Creating a "Branch Mine."

A natural cave at the base of my mine.

A large red-brick tower i constructed. It reaches
Minecraft's vertical height boundaries!

Minecraft is a great little game with a big idea. The game's mechanics work very well most of the time and when they do slip up a bit it's only a minor glitch which is expected in an Alpha version of an Indie game. The gameplay is addictive and will get you working on large scale buildings and models in no time. The controls and gameplay are also really easy to learn and exploring is fun to do. The large scale of the worlds mean you rarely have nothing to do. This game may not look very appealing - but... boy... this is living proof that graphics aren't everything!

My Rating: 8.5/10

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