Initially released on November 18th, 2011 on PC, Minecraft, a procedurally generated open-world building and survival game will have you collecting, crafting and upgrading for hours on end. It was originally created by Markus Persson and later fully developed and published by Mojang.  Whether you’re a Sony gamer, Microsoft fan or even a mobile junkie, this game has your back.  Go from punching trees with your bare hands and living in a dirt house to fighting a dragon with a diamond sword, no matter the console or device!

Minecraft offers several ways to play depending on your desired experience and in some ways feels like a different game for each mode, which is actually one of its biggest strengths.  There’s Creative Mode for those who just want to build.  You are given unlimited access to every in-game item and can fly freely, take no damage and also enemies will be passive toward you.  Survival Mode is for the more hard-core player and offers hunger, health, aggressive enemies and item durability into the mix.

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Hardcore Mode is kind of Survival’s “bad boy” older Brother.  Be ready for the highest unchanging difficulty and permanent death in which your world is deleted if you die.  Adventure Mode was added into the game during the 1.3 update and is a great way for players to create and share their creations.  There are also restrictions creators of the map can impose, such as not being able to break blocks or receiving items at certain places.  Spectator Mode is exactly what it sounds like, players can fly around and watch what other players are doing, though interaction with blocks is not possible while in Spectator Mode.

MinecraftMinecraft also offers multiplayer in the form of Local Area Network (LAN) connection or via Internet Servers, though setting up a server can be rather frustrating.  Graphically, Minecraft isn’t going to win any awards, in fact, the art style is reminiscent of the Windows 95 days, where you can think back on the gaming golden age and really express your creativity.  That is what this game is great at, you can take solid cubes and make amazing structures that regardless of how square and blocky the build is, it’s simply stunning.  The character animations are done rather well and for the most part, you can tell what it is you are looking at or holding.  With such deep gameplay and an extensive crafting system graphics really won’t be high on player’s concern list.  What might be a gripe of players, though, is the extremely frustrating lack of tutorials.  Granted, there is a tutorial map, though it’s similar to an instruction booklet inside your new piece of tech and let’s face it, who wants to read the instruction book when there’s a shiny new toy in front of them just begging to be used.

The sound within Minecraft brings back the nostalgia of true 8-bit gaming and revisits fond childhood memories.  With a catchy soundtrack and convincing battle sounds it will have you wondering why you ever upgraded to modern games. Though after a few play sessions players may want to mute the sound entirely in favour of their own music playlist.

Verdict

Minecraft is an absolute blast to lose yourself in for a bit. While best played in Multiplayer, either via Lan or online through Server Connection, going at it solo can be just as rewarding.  The creative freedom and the open-ended experience that Minecraft provides is vast.  If you haven’t picked up this game on whichever device you play on, I highly recommend doing so.  The ability to pay just AUD $30 and get a game that literally never ends, is constantly updated and worked on and that can (somehow) only get better as time goes on. It’s practically a steal!

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Minecraft Review
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Pros
Open world sandbox
Deep crafting system
Multiplayer
Consistently updated
Cons
Inconvenient tutorials
Repetitive sound
Server setup is frustrating
Retro art style not for everybody
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