Graphics have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years, with designers having the ability to make their games characters look almost lifelike. However one game, with its basic, blocky and pixelated graphics holds a place in my heart. Markus ‘Notch’ Persson’s brain child, Minecraft. Some may say it is outdated and childish, but I think it is unique, charming and almost iconic in the way it is instantly recognisable all around the world. A game where you can build, hunt, farm and craft everything you own from scratch, from necessities such as torches and weapons, to decorative items such as windows and bookcases. Fight ‘mobs’ such as Zombies, Skeletons and Poisonous Spiders to survive and collect XP to enhance your weapons and armour.
The main selling point of Minecraft is the creative license it allows you. If you have met me, you will know I am about as creative as a brick wall, and last Mother’s Day I gave my mum a piece of cardboard with some Rose petals glued to it, but one day when playing Minecraft I decided to build a replica of the Taj Mahal. It actually looked incredible and I have never felt so much self-pride! Minecraft opens up this world of creativity that most people do not think they are capable of. Most people start small, building a hut or a basic mine, then slowly you start to get cocky and by the end of the week you are attempting to build a full scale model of the Eiffel Tower.
Minecraft can be played in several modes: creative, survival, adventure and hard-core. You can create whole different worlds in any of these modes, which you can play according to your mood. If you are in a bad mood you might want to play in survival mode as there is nothing more satisfying than slaying cave spiders when you are angry, and if you are feeling badass you can play in hard-core mode, where once you die, the game is over. The different modes allow for progression, and keeps the game fresh. On top of this Mojang are constantly releasing updates, bringing in new items for crafting, new enchantments, new mobs to fight and new animals to find. My personal favourite, in update 1.6, is the inclusion of horses, which is a big step up from having to ride a pig… There are also modifications and texture packs available, to allow the gamer to personalise their worlds to their own taste. However, Minecraft is not just a limitless game that goes on forever, you can chose to fight the ‘Mob Bosses’; giving gamers a target and something to aim towards, which some people prefer.
Minecraft, however, does have some annoying problems. Crafting in this game is vast, and it is almost impossible to remember the countless crafting recipes, and none are documented in the game itself. To find the recipes you have to go to forums such as ‘MinecraftWiki’, Mojang’s version of Wikipedia. I use this website so much it is bookmarked on my internet browser, as whenever I am playing Minecraft I am constantly having to click between the two. If you want to play Minecraft with some friends, you may also have some problems as the multi-player mode is so complicated it practically requires a PhD to get it set up, but if you do manage it, it is definitely worth it. If you are playing online you may find the game has noticeable lag, which can be frustrating when waiting for new landscapes to load. There are also some technical glitches that can occur occasionally which can result in random holes in the scenery.
Overall though, Minecraft will always be a favourite of mine, and according to the 12 million people that have currently downloaded it, I am not alone. If you love adventure, or have a creative flare that you just can’t satisfy in the real world, Minecraft is definitely for you.