Minecraft – the end of my life as I know it

Over the Christmas holidays I had spent some time relaxing by playing a few computer games. I managed to get through Portal, Left 4 Dead, Serious Sam and Max Payne but these are all action games. I really wanted a slower paced strategy game where I could build a city or a nation. I wanted to have it on in the background, while I did other things. I had searched for days for a suitable game and came up with nothing.

Then, I stumbled upon the PC Gamer website and wondered what their highest rated games were. That’s when I saw it. The game I had heard a lot of buzz about recently called Minecraft had been given 96%. That’s a phenomenal score so I read the review and was intrigued. I then watched a tutorial video for the game on YouTube and was hooked. I knew I had to buy it…

The next day around lunchtime I caved in and bought it. I downloaded it, installed it and seven hours later I realised I hadn’t moved. Minecraft has taken over my life!

So what is it?

Essentially it is a very simple game. The entire world is made up of blocks, these blocks come in different types (stone, wood, gravel, dirt, sand, etc.) Armed with the appropriate tools you dig, chop or hack your way through these block, picking them up as you go along.

Once you have the blocks you can use them to build structures or create objects (wood can be crafted into planks, planks to sticks and sticks (with a bit of stone) into a shovel, axe, pick or even a sword.

From that point the game is down to your imagination. You can construct a farm and raise animals, you can dig a whole into the ground and go mining for iron, gold or diamonds, you can even go spelunking and fight monsters in deep dungeons or you can construct the dream home you always wanted.

Personally, I like to do all of these things and more. One day I’ll build up my farm, the next I’ll get out my pick and go diamond mining. It depends what mood I’m in.

As this game is taking up so much of my attention at the moment I’ll probably post up more articles up as I explore and expand. For the past couple of days I have finally moved out of my temporary mud tower and into a newly constructed farmhouse where I can keep an eye on my livestock and crops. However I can already see my iron supply diminishing so I reckon I’ll be building a new mining facility soon!

My old temporary mud house (with watchtower) My new and improved farmhouseThe view from my "bedroom" windowMy farm from my watchtower at night

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  1. I must admit I’ve never played the game, but it seems to get so much attention. I thought it was only a block placing game, but raising animals, diminishing supplies, ability to make tools etc? Is there much to it?
    I’ve been wanting to build a game that essentially ‘runs in the background’, one that focuses on building up a city, as I’ve never found one that ticks all the boxes I have.

  2. Takes me back. Only 2 games have had a major impact on me/state of being: Tetris for the GameBoy and SimCity for the Mac. Around 1993 I must have put 00s of hours in on both. SimCity in particular took over for complete weekends playing it on a Mac Classic.

    ..and that’s why I don’t play computer games any more (or since then really). They’re designed justb to keep you playing in the main which does not necessarily lead to you having the best experience – just one that’ll keep you coming back for more. So I took the red pill.

    That’s why I’m such a happy soul.

    Moral of that story – May as well keep playing them games :-)

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