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Minecraft 1.0 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Building any blocky thing you can imagine
  • Stumbling onto interesting new areas and caves
  • New, detailed potion/enchanting system
  • Enjoyment is directly proportional to effort
  • Breaking a pick deep inside a mineshaft
  • Your social life disappearing

Why is Minecraft one of the most famous indie games of all time? Versatility and near-infinite replayability. Want to accomplish a series of goals and clear the final boss? Minecraft has that. Want to explore a series of underground ruins and caverns, unearthing fabulous treasures? That, too. Want to create a 1:1 scale replica of the battle of Sekigahara using snowmen? Hey, if you have the time, Minecraft can accommodate you. Now, after a development cycle of over a year and a half, as well as many patches, the final version of this long-in-progress phenomenon is finally upon us. So how does the finished product stack up?

Above: Get it? Because of the blocks?

To begin with, here’s an introduction for those not familiar with the game: You start with nothing in a randomly-generated world made of cubes, filled with various types of environments (called Biomes), as well as wildlife like cows and pigs, with no tools or shelter. At nighttime, the kooky cartoon vibe of the game turns more sinister, and monsters such as zombies, skeleton archers, and the dreaded explosive Creepers come out to try and kill you. Your goal is to build shelter, craft tools, find food and survive long enough to create deep mineshafts, where you’ll gather the rare materials needed to reach the end-game goal. Shelter keeps the monsters at bay, while food allows you to regenerate lost health, and keeps you from starving to death.

The presentation of the game is deceptively simple. The blocky graphics aren’t going to strain your video card, but they have a unique charm, and Minecraft’s aesthetic has become the most recognizable aspect of the game. It’s also a key part of the gameplay, as the entire game revolves around destroying blocks of the environment, collecting the raw materials this leaves behind, and using them to build something cool. (And if nothing else, those of us who tend toward obsessive compulsion will appreciate how easy the blocky design makes stacking and aligning things with one another).

Above: Symmetry is the new sexy

Getting through the game means you’re going to be using the game’s simple crafting system quite a bit, which in turn means you’re going to do a lot of mining for raw materials. To mine effectively, you need to make some basic tools out of wood, which can be punched apart with your bare hands. After gathering better materials, like iron ore, you can create iron tools, which in turn allow you to mine better materials, like diamonds. And that’s the essence of the game: one big, positive feedback cycle. Doing one thing enables you to do another better. Once you get good enough at mining and killing monsters, for example, you can build an enchantment table and use your experience points (garnered by killing creatures) to make your tools more powerful… and kill more monsters. It’s this basic wheels-within-wheels design philosophy that’s caused so many to lose hours and even whole days to Minecraft.

Unlike in previous iterations, Minecraft no longer throws you to the wolves, expecting you to find out how to make and do everything on your own. A growing tree of Achievements in the game provides guidance on how to make new items and tools, and how to use them to get to the end of the game. The gameplay itself is rewarding enough in itself, though, and the rush of finding a vein of diamonds or an ancient cave deep in the earth is something no other game really offers.

More Info

Release date: Oct 14 2014 - PS Vita
Nov 18 2011 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PC
Genre: Simulation
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Fantasy Violence

Topics

Minecraft Mojang

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  • Win_or_Wince - November 14, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    This is at the top of a few holiday lists this year, I'm sure. Mobile Gaming Taking Over the Video Game Industry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF2Y_j8d3vQ
  • jecika-chan - February 18, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    well this is cool I just got a Minecraft Upgrade Code and it was legit! Giveaway is going on here http://minecraft.cardcodes.net Read more at http://minecraft.cardcodes.net/#8c60zA7s3tGV8Gb5.99
  • Josephtomassi - February 9, 2014 3:19 a.m.

    holy moly! I got a Minecraft Upgrade Code and it was legit! I got it at http://minecraft.cardcodes.net Read more at http://minecraft.cardcodes.net/#4ee2fPTLbBl9LGB6.99
  • MonicaJae - August 15, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    why is MINECRAP in this? because of the sales volume?? please. first of all, minecrap sux for the pc. especially if you have an embedded gpu. what, you're gonna go out and buy a new pc JUST so you can play this fat piece of shit's game? because if you bought an incompatible pc/laptop BEFORE the game was released, you are pretty FUCKED. LIKE ME. worst 27 dollars spent EVER. i bought it for my son thinking, "oh i have this." what a fucking joke. and the forum is FULL of people complaining that they can't play the fucking "game" because it LAGS SO HARD. More than 90% of those "happy gamers". i'm selling my account for twenty usd if you want it. wanna make some of my money back. my son is miserable because i can't get this piece of shit to work. i mean, work out of the box, will you? i shouldn't have to alter code or download this or read that for this shit. And i most DEFINITELY should not have to spend more money on a compatible system JUST to be able to play this horse shit. this is america goddamn it and i like being the lazy, remote control holding woman i am. i have put more into trying to get this fucking joke of a JAVA PROGRAM to work than i had to reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in college. oh yeah i went there. bring it on.
  • seanbidwell - October 21, 2012 12:03 a.m.

    Did you check the system requirments BEFORE getting it?
  • iamthelol - March 3, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    OMG YOUR COMPUTER IS CRAP
  • Jalen-Steele - January 1, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    Minecraft in my opinion is actually really boring at first but after you get settled and start mining to the point where you get diamond thing it gets really fun. I didn't like it at the start too, but it grew on me, and if your like "Tobuscus" you can really have fun with it. I personally love the creepers, they can actually help you out if you need to dig a hole.
  • psycho ninja 4 - December 17, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    For some reason a lot of people i know hate minecraft. never found out why though. sham my computers to crap to run it.
  • Pwnz0r3d - December 16, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    The hilarious thing is that I can only play Minecraft on medium/low settings on a pc that can handle TF2 on high on a 100% crits server with no problems. On Minecraft, it chugs a LOT, especially at night, during a rain shower, and the Nether. Its even hard to play in sandbox mode because flying makes this thing go soooo slowwww.
  • jackthemenace - December 16, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    So, is the console version as expansive as this? And if it's NOT, is it available on Mac?
  • Person5 - December 16, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    the console version isn't nearly as expansive as the pc version (though this is the game you MUST play on a computer) there isn't a download client for mac OS that I've seen but you should still be able to play it in the browser until one is made
  • lazer59882 - December 15, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    i don't get this game. its literally just a sandbox for you to build your own game. how this could get a 9 is beyond me, but then again i shouldn't expect any better from the same media that thought little big planet was some kind of gaming revolution, when all it was was tools to build your own game.
  • huntreilly25 - December 15, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    have you tried the game? I would respect your dislike for the game if you had actually played it and were able to give concrete reasons for your dislike rather than just "not getting it". I understand that not everyone is going to like the game, but don't judge something before you give it a try.
  • gamebrain8505 - December 15, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    Well, actually it's not about making your own game like LBP, there is a story, there are many things wich you can not control, there are monsters, dungeons and such things to stimulate you. So, rest asured, this is not the "infinite resource, infinite possibility" thing, unless you specificly want it to be that.
  • talleyXIV - December 15, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    I literally play Team Fortress 2 with no frame rate lag whatsoever however the recent Minecraft keeps crashing. That's why this game deserves a 7. If he would've stopped the updates at 1.7, it would be an amazing game. The enchantment tables and the end, are two of the worst things about this game.
  • Cwf2008 - December 15, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    I think I'd enjoy it a lot more if the recent updates didn't make it lag like a bitch on my computer.
  • Net_Bastard - December 15, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    Optifine mod. I had the same problem until I downloaded that. Also you can allocate more RAM. reCAPTCHA: Igothe Original What original thing did I get?
  • BIOSback - December 15, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    Minecraft=Skyward Sword?
  • Dmancapri - December 15, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    SO ITS BETTER THAN HALO REACH?@?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! :) Just kidding, spent more hours in minecraft than any other game