Minecraft - Imagination is the Only Limitation
By Umar Farooq (Kluey)
Imagine being able to play a video game that allows you to do whatever you like. Imagine being able to create complex circuits like a 16-bit computer or even simple mechanisms like an automatic door. Imagine having to survive in a realistic world where various monsters come out at night. Having to build your own shelter and hunt your own food. This is all possible in the extremely successful B2P 'indie' game by Mojang, Minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox type game that uses a unique block graphic style. There are various textures of blocks and the combination of them can make marvelous creations. Minecraft also has a well designed survival mode where building isn't your primary goal; surviving is. Furthermore, Minecraft's community has been extremely passionate about mods and add-ons to the game that supply an endless supply of fun.
Starting off, you can choose between survival and creative. Creative allows you to not worry about food, monsters or gathering resources and only focus on building. Blocks are already set in your inventory and all you have to do is lay them down. The second choice is survival, the mode in which you must start a new life and survive on your own. In survival mode, you must hunt food to stay alive and gather resources to upgrade your equipment. While this may sound bland, Minecraft has little that you must do. The choice of what to do next is entirely yours. Many players like to focus on projects that make life easier like automatic farming or experience farms in survival. In creative mode, players prefer making large architecture and showing it off to others.
Automatic wheat farm! Water pours down, harvesting the crops.
Multiplayer is quickly becoming the norm in Minecraft. Playing with friends vs. playing alone isn't exactly a hard decision. The Multiplayer feature is quite simple. One player needs to host their map and anyone he or she allows can log on. Manpower allows you to make bigger and better structures. It's also an opportunity to fight each other as PvP is now a thing. And lastly, PvE is also becoming a thing in Minecraft nowadays. Dragons and other stronger monsters are being released which require more than one person to fight. Currently, the only official boss monster is the Ender Dragon.
Multiplayer also comes in the form of public servers. You may have to search around for a bit to find a server that you really like as most are full of trolls or are just empty. Public servers may have features such as clans, raids, banking, economy and many more.
Special Gameplay Features
Minecraft is always being developed. New content will always be introduced and this is one of the best things about Minecraft. That being said, this list of Gameplay Features may not include every single feature present, it will only feature the ones released at the time of this review.
Redstone - Redstone has been one of the key features in Minecraft. I personally think that without Redstone Dust, Minecraft wouldn't be nearly as popular. Without going into too much detail, Redstone dust is the wiring used in Minecraft. Any automatic anything uses Redstone plus many other types of blocks such as repeaters, torches, switches, pressure plates and more.
Mining/Logging/Digging - There is grinding in every game. If all you had was reward, reward, reward, you wouldn't feel the accomplishment as deeply. In Minecraft, the grinding comes in the form of mining, logging and digging. These are made easier by achieving better tools like wood, stone, gold, iron, or diamond.
PvE - In survival mode, monsters such as zombies, spiders and skeletons come out during the night. Also, the creeper is a moving bomb that will explode when it comes near you. On the contrary, pigs, cows, sheep and chicken are abundant during the day and can be used as a source for food. All these monsters will drop experience points that can be used for enchanting.
Enchanting - After acquiring the experience points, an enchanting table will allow you to enchant tools and armor. Enchantments like "Sharpness II, making your sword do more damage" or "Fortune III, giving a chance for an ore to be multiplied when mined" are extremely helpful. Also, your tools/armor will glow.
The Nether - The Nether world is a second dimension in the Minecraft world. It's commonly referred to as "hell" because of the fire and lava textures it has. You can enter into the Nether by creating a portal with obsidian blocks. In the Nether there are valuable resources as well as Endermen, teleporting mobs that can be a challenge without the right equipment.
Overall, Minecraft is an absolutely brilliantly designed game. It's not a graphics showboat but rather a game that uses its gameplay as the main attraction. I've been playing Minecraft for over a year and have never gotten to the point where I have nothing left to do. The only thing that I can complain about Minecraft is the lack of challenges in PvE. The Ender Dragon is starting to address this issue but it is still only a large dragon with a lot of hit points. That being said, Minecraft isn't exactly a PvE focused game.
Rating - 9.5/10
- Gameplay quality
- Gameplay quantity
- Various modes to play
- Large community involvement