In this age of gaming, most titles that come out are high definition blockbusters with bloodlust. So, I was pleasantly surprised last week when I sat down and started a game of Minecraft. This game really shines amongst the competition. Minecraft was released on PC in 2009 and has since gone on to sell four million units and gain a cult following. What really sets Minecraft apart from most other games is the freedom you have and the creativity that is encouraged.
You start out at a random spawn point on a unique world that is generated new every time you start a new character. Your avatar is in the middle of the wilderness with no survival equipment and this is where the magic starts. You harvest wood to make a crafting table and begin making things like pickaxes, shovels, and axes to gather more resources. Mine into the earth to get Iron for armor, coal for torches, or flint to start fires. Every block you break goes into your inventory, giving you building materials. These are used to build shelter from the monsters that spawn at night. Although the game has enemies, fighting them isn’t the focus of the game. Unlike most most new releases the monsters are more of an impediment to the constant exploring and building you must do in order to survive on the day to day.
Minecraft sets itself apart visually as well. Not relying on hardware intensive graphics, it settles on uniform blocks with low resolution textures to show the world and the creatures that roam it. Minecraft has gone leaps and bounds since its initial release and has now been ported to mobile platforms. The first annual Minecon was held in Las Vegas, Nevada this year. Grab a copy of Minecraft from the official website (www.minecraft.net) and get started. I would highly recommend this game to all ages. Travel to the center of the earth, and build yourself a castle!