Minecraft hands-on

   27/09/2010 at 22:30       Tom Scholes       32 COMMENTS.
 - Minecraft, Free-roaming, Notch, Massively Multiplayer, Torch

A friend sent out a tweet today asking if anyone was playing Minecraft, and what she was missing. Limited to 140 characters I could only think one one response - "Yes. A lot. It's like digital crack on toast. Very moreish."

To be honest that's a bit of an overblown response, especially since I've never tried crack - let alone topping a piece of toast with some, but Minecraft definitely has its hooks in me and I have been left with bloodshot eyes waiting for my next fix.

Immediately I struggle to describe Minecraft. Do I start with the graphics? Because at first glance it's oh so basic. A world made of blocks with blocky landscapes and blocky animals viewed through the eyes of a blocky man. Oh wait, maybe I should describe it as being a bit like a first-person Dwarf-Fortress, without the dwarves. But then that assumes that you have heard of that particular indie hit (and if you haven't - educate yourself!)

Perhaps then the best way to introduce the concept of Minecraft is by saying it's a sandbox game - for a start there's a lot of sand (and dirt, rock, wood and so on). It is the most sandboxy game you'll ever play. In the main single player mode your unnamed character is dumped in to a randomly generated world with nothing but empty pockets and his fists. Your mission is open, it is merely to survive, for night brings the nasties. Zombies, skeleton archers, giant spiders and umm... green exploding monsters that look kind of like angry gangrenous penises. So the first day will consist of you punching trees to get wood. Using the wood to make planks, the planks to make a crafting table, the table to make tools and then digging out some coal to make torches.

Then the first night will be spent in the cave you've dug. Don't forget to put the torches up inside so the monsters can't spawn in there with you. Perhaps you built a door for your hidey hole too. They can't use doors so that will keep you safe. Perhaps while you wait you'll dig. Your axe and pickaxe will break so you'll make some more with the rock you've found. Then perhaps you find some iron, build a furnace and smelt the iron into ingots and upgrade your tools. Dig and dig and dig...

Daybreak. As the bad guys burn in the sun you step outside, armed with a sword for the first time and you actually take note of your surroundings. May I suggest you climb the hill you built your home in to? Not only are you likely to get a good lay of the land but you can build a beacon so you can easily see where your safe haven is as you explore.

Kill a pig for its meat. A cow for its leather. Chickens lay eggs and shed feathers and you can literally punch cloth off sheep. Everything you find can be crafted one way or another and as the day/night cycle repeats you find yourself going out at night more. Your hole becomes a winding labyrinth, you build a house, a fort, a castle...

Minecraft is currently in an Alpha build and as such still has planned features missing and is incredibly buggy. It's still amazingly deep though, a quick search on YouTube will bring up examples where resourceful miners have built entire mine cart systems or canals for transportation. Then to blow your mind a dust mined from redstone blocks can be made into circuits and even logic gates. It really is incredible.

What I've spent most time on is the multiplayer. Recently implemented, it is survival for the social ones amongst us. Currently your characters are invincible as are the animals and mobs (so mobs are off as default). Also it is a lot more buggy so mine carts glitch and make people nearby freeze and disconnect. Redstone circuits are hit and miss as to if they'll even work and crashes are frequent.

Yet through all the bugs Minecraft remains absolutely essential. There's something that appeals to the explorer and adventurer in me as I guide my character over the crest of hill and see this randomly generated valley in front of me. Trees, plants and waterfalls decorating the landscape in an entirely believable fashion (not an easy feat when the world looks like it's made from Duplo blocks). Better yet is the fear as you explore one of the many darkened caves and caverns you find. Torches dotted behind you as you mine for diamond and gold, listening for the growls of monsters in the darkness. Then a lesson learned as you dig the block directly below you and you fall in to a lava pit and all your inventory is melted away.

Playing on the Eurogamer server has been a treat. I've watched as the buildings have gotten larger and more complex. I've built a large water slide through a mountain (with a large amount of assistance from others) and I've stood on the top of said mountain watching the sun go down as the torchlight makes it look like a city shining off in to the distance.

All this is the work of one man, known only as Notch. He's clearly working hard on this as updates are weekly at this point. It's impressive work and according to Notch himself it has already made a lot of money to the point where Paypal suspended his account for suspicious activity.

While Minecraft is in alpha it is €9.95 - 50% of the planned final price. However if you're too tight to spend such a small amount of money there is a free version that is just the equivalent of a building block set. There's no mining, crafting, creatures good or bad. Just you and infinite blocks to create whatever you like. Fun for a while but lacking the depth of the "real" thing, and the lack of a save ability will either put you off or, like me, ensure buying into the alpha is essential.

Because Minecraft is still in alpha, I'm not giving it a mark. It's not the finished product and to pretend so is unfair but as you may of guessed from this article I can whole heartedly recommend to everyone out there with a desire for adventuring, an eye for creation and just more than a little bit of patience. Get mining!

If you want to hear a few extra tidbits from the development of this game, Minecraft creator Markus Persson, AKA Notch is on the IndieGames.com podcast

Associated screenshots.

User Comments:

You must sign up for an AATG account and login in order to post comments

Whizzo - on 28/09/2010 at 02:04 wrote:
 
Minecraft is one of the most surprising and incredible games I've ever played and although that may sound like hyperbole it really isn't.
 

DDevil - on 28/09/2010 at 08:14 wrote:
 
Should be worth pointing out all but one of the screenshots (the 2nd, snowy one) are from the free version where you don't have to mine OR craft.
 

peej - on 28/09/2010 at 09:34 wrote:
 
I still reckon Minceraft was a better name :)

I'm intrigued enough to try this. Seems to have floated just about everyone's boat.
 

HairyArse - on 28/09/2010 at 10:13 wrote:
 
Now that I'm seeing some of the grander efforts people have built I see much more about what the game's about. I think my initial scepticism came about from the admittedly ropey looking first day tutorials.

As a single player experience it's no doubt lacking, but in an open world with many people contributing towards building something huge, that's when it morphs into what everyone else has been raving over.
 

Trip SkyWay - on 29/09/2010 at 04:21 wrote:
 
It is great fun.
 

DDevil - on 30/09/2010 at 18:54 wrote:
 
I don't think that does the game justice really Trip :-)
 

Adela - on 23/03/2015 at 23:57 wrote:
 
This superb cheat app works great with all devices without ever needing root or jailbreak!


Check out my page :: [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords 2 Hack[/url]
 

Charity - on 24/03/2015 at 01:29 wrote:
 
No worries about ban or viruses!

Feel free to surf to my weblog: [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords
2 Hack[/url]
 

Helaine - on 24/03/2015 at 10:52 wrote:
 
As for different safety features of the [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com/]Clash of
Lords 2 Hack[/url] instrument, they're all automated so that you don't need
to fear about them.
 

Lorena - on 24/03/2015 at 10:55 wrote:
 
We as Epic-GameSoftware.com Workforce are providing you with license to use this Conflict of Lords 2 Android Cheats
and also Conflict of Lords 2 iOS Cheats.

Feel free to visit my page - [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash
Of Lords 2 Cheats[/url]
 

Angus - on 24/03/2015 at 11:01 wrote:
 
It's extremely easy!

Also visit my web blog - [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords 2 Cheats[/url]
 

Delila - on 24/03/2015 at 11:01 wrote:
 
Please do no to put up your spam links here!

Visit my web-site: [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords 2 Hack[/url]
 

Noelia - on 24/03/2015 at 11:18 wrote:
 
In addition - you don't connecting to sport
servers, and do it our servers!

my web page ... [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com/]Clash Of
Lords 2 Cheats[/url]
 

Clarice - on 24/03/2015 at 11:39 wrote:
 
Every of our information is 100% virus free so you do not have to worry about
if will infect your COMPUTER or not.

Here is my webpage [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords 2 Cheats[/url]
 

Terrence - on 24/03/2015 at 11:45 wrote:
 
As well as - you do not connecting to sport servers, and do it our
servers!

Visit my website ... [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of
Lords 2 Cheats[/url]
 

Jean - on 24/03/2015 at 16:11 wrote:
 
Hi there! Thiis is my first comjment here soo I just wanted to
give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely
enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest anny other blogs/websites/forums that ddeal with the same topics?
Thanks a lot!

Feell free to visit myy web-site: [url=http://www.cc05eaa513b3fdaecd78b4031956a723.com/]e[/url]
 

Chantal - on 25/03/2015 at 10:37 wrote:
 
The improvement with this hack instrument can have
a positive impact when working any new version of
your operating system.

Feel free to surf to my webpage ... [url=http://boombeachhackgadget.wordpress.com]Boom Beach Cheats[/url]
 

Joni - on 25/03/2015 at 10:58 wrote:
 
Each island has completely different troops and weapons in place to
attempt to defeat you.

Check out my web site - [url=http://boombeachhackgadget.Wordpress.com/]Boom Beach Hack[/url]
 

Shelia - on 25/03/2015 at 17:36 wrote:
 
If you have infantry incoming, you can get to the
wall and use it for cover before they can. You will need
to activate these switches and use the Horse Keeper's Key in order to activate the Steeds of Time.
Hindu neighbors have dug up Rajan's cauliflower and potatoes.


Also visit my blog post; [url=http://www.odecreative.com/?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=25764]gamer bounty[/url]
 

Ebony - on 25/03/2015 at 19:54 wrote:
 
Crush your enemies, humiliate demon bosses, and be the one to
shut the Gate of Shadows.

Feel free to visit my page; [url=http://shadowfight2hackonline.wordpress.com]Shadow Fight
2 Hack[/url]
 

Jolie - on 25/03/2015 at 22:40 wrote:
 
So this particular hack software will assist the gamers get on degree terms.


Look into my homepage - [url=http://Summonerswarhackcheats.wordpress.com]Summoners War hack[/url]
 

Rene - on 26/03/2015 at 08:18 wrote:
 
The control is a matter of taste, and the Shadow Struggle 2 hack tool gamea brawl falls _
quite miserably.

Here is my homepage: [url=http://shadowfight2hackonline.wordpress.com/]Shadow Fight 2 Hack[/url]
 

Henry - on 27/03/2015 at 20:54 wrote:
 
All the pieces reviewed by our on-line group, you even obtain a no surveys obtain included.


Here is my web-site; [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap
Titans cheats[/url]
 

Ernest - on 27/03/2015 at 21:31 wrote:
 
Once you come back, you can collect a number of coins after which assign all of them to new jobs.


My website [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap
Titans cheats[/url]
 

Melaine - on 27/03/2015 at 22:03 wrote:
 
On this essay I'll contemplate the social, financial and political elements of Family Man:
The Quest for Stuff Hack.

Also visit my blog post :: [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap
Titans hack[/url]
 

Gene - on 27/03/2015 at 23:43 wrote:
 
We have now zero tolerance in opposition to trolls and spammers!


My page [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap Titans hack[/url]
 

Monte - on 28/03/2015 at 00:01 wrote:
 
Our team is happy that you're keen to make use of Family Guy The Quest for Stuff Hack.


Feel free to surf to my web site ... [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap Titans
hack[/url]
 

Brent - on 28/03/2015 at 00:07 wrote:
 
You may full ALL of the story mode missions and quests without spending cash.



My website - [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com]Tap Titans cheats[/url]
 

Stevie - on 28/03/2015 at 00:09 wrote:
 
Jake Tucker and the Church solely price 50 clams.


Take a look at my website: [url=http://taptitanshackandcheats.wordpress.com/]Tap Titans hack[/url]
 

Hosea - on 29/03/2015 at 13:58 wrote:
 
Opponents to nolvadex acquire steroids their tablet epsa has brought
on only to account its employers with technology and system.


Feel free to surf to my weblog; [url=http://www.qualitysteroids.net/products/global-anabolic/global-anabolic-test-suspension.html]where can i buy steroids[/url]
 

Francisco - on 29/03/2015 at 14:38 wrote:
 
When purchasing injectable steroids on the web it is required that you
acquire a quality secure item.

Also visit my webpage :: [url=http://www.qualitysteroids.net/products/eu-bioz/eu-bioz-sustanon300.html]buy
clenbuterol[/url]
 

Bart - on 30/03/2015 at 05:46 wrote:
 
It's extremely straightforward!

Here is my web-site; [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash
Of Lords 2 Hack[/url]
 


32 comment(s) in total.
        
The Escapists Xbox One Review (0) (09/03)
A Great Escape?
Hand of Fate Review (0) (25/02)
Pick A Card, Any Card
Saints Row IV Re-Elected & Gat Out of Hell Review (1) (05/02)
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
Metrocide - PC Review (0) (12/12)
This Is No Replicant
Grand Theft Auto V - Xbox One Review (3) (11/12)
Mid-Life Crisis Simulator 1.0
The Escapists Xbox One Review (0) (09/03)
A Great Escape?
Hand of Fate Review (0) (25/02)
Pick A Card, Any Card
Saints Row IV Re-Elected & Gat Out of Hell Review (1) (05/02)
I'll be gone when the morning comes.
Metrocide - PC Review (0) (12/12)
This Is No Replicant
Grand Theft Auto V - Xbox One Review (3) (11/12)
Mid-Life Crisis Simulator 1.0
Hearthstone Beta Review - Gather Round (1) (24/02)
Gather Round Blizzard's Latest Cash-Cow
Dream: The Hypersloth Interview - Part 3 (0) (18/11)
Fears before bedtime
Dream: The Hypersloth Interview - Part 2 (2) (17/11)
I can't get no sleep...
Angband Retrospective (4) (25/10)
Learn to fear the letter D.
Why TitanFall is no Call of Duty Killer (5) (18/02)
But it's still bloody marvellous
Gioteck's PS3 Controller Range - Preview (1) (01/08)
Striving for excellence
Havin' a Go: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer (6) (27/10)
Don't cry wolf just yet...
Shank 2 Set to Kick Your Ass in Early 2012 (0) (26/10)
Not actually a protein. Go on, google it.

 
It's extremely straightforward! Here is my web-site; [url=http://hackclashoflords2.wordpress.com]Clash Of Lords 2 Hack[/url]...
 
- In response to: Minecraft hands-on - 36mins ago.
 
zqfuxel payday loans =-] payday loans >:-[ payday loans >:-OOO
 
- In response to: Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts iOS Review - 1h 45m ago.
 
ogbiey payday loans 6214 payday loans HcSlA payday loans fbhac
 
 
its respect outdo in their debt programs. many companies judge that he of necessity to call up how to constitute a secure server. If you look for to movableness selfsame advantageously. This is ess...
 
- In response to: Dragonica - 5h 26m ago.
 
its respect outdo in their debt programs. many companies judge that he of necessity to call up how to constitute a secure server. If you look for to movableness selfsame advantageously. This is ess...
 
- In response to: Dragonica - 5h 26m ago.
latest comments Bugs and Fixes V2...
12h 47m ago. by frod
latest comments Final Fantasy VII...
12h 47m ago. by NewYork
latest comments AATG Review Code Bagsies Thread...
12h 47m ago. by evilashchris