Time to play: 30-60 mins
Released: November 15 2019 (US)
Made by: Ravensburger
There are times when you can't help but wonder why on Earth something hasn't been done yet. Despite the wealth of Minecraft games we've received and delighted in over the past decade, a tabletop version was one of those missing from the set - until now, anyway. In honor of Minecraft's tenth anniversary, Ravensburger (the company behind Villainous, arguably one of the best board games you can get at the moment) are bringing the video game to tables everywhere this fall with Minecraft: Builders & Biomes. Designed in collaboration with Mojang, it's for 2-4 players, takes between 30-60 minutes to play, and features straightforward rules that are meant to make it easy for anyone to pick up and play. It also has fan-favorite mobs to fight off and an honest-to-goodness block of resource cubes to mine. I can see people going mad for this; in particular, it seems primed to be a must-have board game for kids over Christmas.
In terms of what you'll be actually doing, Ravensburger describes how players must "explore the Overworld, face dangerous mobs, and mine resources to build fantastic structures." You'll earn points by doing all of the above, but defeating foes will net you additional goodies. Basically, the aim here is simple - bring the experience you'd get in Minecraft games to tabletop. That's true right down to the enemies you fight and the items you'll gather; classic baddies like Creepers and Endermen will be making an appearance.
A big focus for Minescraft: Builders & Biomes is on social interaction. As the game's executive editor Daniel Greiner mentions, "players experience their opponents live at the table. That makes their reactions, and especially their emotions, truly authentic… It’s just as intense and exciting as playing in the digital Minecraft world, but with even more direct interaction."
Minecraft: Builders & Biomes will launch in the US on November 15 2019 for $39.99, and you can pre-order it right here. Interestingly, it'll release earlier in Europe; the game is set to hit shelves across the pond during October 2019 for €39.99. Unfortunately, we've got no word on UK release dates just yet. We'll keep this page updated as and when we know more.
Want more tabletop action? Check out the best cooperative board games if you fancy working as a team, take a look at these board games for 2 players if you prefer playing one-on-one, or swot up on why you should play the Pandemic board game.