MinecrafI had heard of this game a lot on the internet over the last few months, but everyone who mentioned it seemed wholly unable to explain its premise or gameplay. I have played it now and I understand why. I think that the best and maybe only way to communicate its many splendors is with New Games Journalism-esque storytelling.

I was working tirelessly at my dig, clearing out a flat surface for future development.  Down to my last iron pick and lacking the materials to make more, the time had come to set out into uncharted lands to search for raw ore. It was night and I would not be able to identify the faintly gleaming metal in the dark. I climbed out of the dig site and searched the horizon for a mountain to plumb in the daytime hours.

I set out at daybreak, hopeful. Travelling west, I came upon a mountain I had been to before, but not explored fully. The side of the mountain was carved out by nature and a small, sunlit corridor beckoned me just above ground level. I built a stepping stone up to it and peered within. An almost perfectly shaped hallway of stone extended forward and jogged right, but before the bend was a large crevasse, too far across to jump. I inched up to the edge and looked down. It was quite deep, with water at the bottom. I thought I could see some ore. I hastily built a stone bridge across the gap and surveyed the other side of the corridor, beyond the turn. It dead-ended quickly. Feeling bold, I decided to jump down the hole instead of leaving.

It was deeper than I had thought. I landed and looked around. This new underground cave was quite expansive, but the only resource I spied was coal, of which I had plenty. Being far below surface level, I decided to conserve my finite tools rather than mine much of it. The cave seemed to split off into small rooms in many directions. I lit one with a torch on the wall and explored inward. Soon I was finding iron–just a little bit here and there. No major veins. I skipped from wall to wall quickly in my search, failing to keeping track of my direction. Finding a block of iron ore on the cave floor, I foolishly mined it while standing atop. There was nothing beneath and I fell deeper in.

This new area had a little underground river, and mining iron next to it, I watched the flow change, filling in the space. I moved inwards, now starting to get a little concerned about my inevitable return journey.

After a couple more unfortunate falls I found myself in a pit with a large lake of lava. Scattered about was a red ore that I hadn’t seen. It seemed to be giving off a faint light in the room. As I mined it, this light died and I was in the dark with the lava glowing eerily. I decided it was time to head back to the surface.

I crafted a load of torches and started lighting them as I climbed upwards–something I should have been doing from the start of my journey. Before long I started finding the torches I’d left, and realized I was walking in pretty small circles. I couldn’t find the hole in the ceiling where I had dropped down last and my mining had changed some of the features of the cave, making it unrecognizable. I decided to start digging.

I started spiraling my way upwards into solid rock. Carving a space for my body at a higher level, jumping into it, turning  and repeating. I figured this was the most efficient way. I worried about my supplies. This entire mission was launched because of my lack of pickaxes, and now I was depending on their ever-waning number to return me to the surface safely. I continued. Now and again I would find gravel and dirt, signaling a possible proximity to the surface. My primitive stone shovel did not last me long, and I found myself digging the earth with my hands, saving the pickaxes for their intended use.

Digging straight up, a large mass of gravel collapsed down on top of me, and I heard myself gasp for air. I cleared it away quickly with my hands and in the flash between waves of rock, I thought I saw sunlight. I tried to dig faster. Eventually, I outpaced the flow and saw the daylit sky above.

Climbing out, I saw–fantastically–that I had surfaced up through the bottom of my dig site not 10 feet from my base of operations. My furnace, workbench and wooden chests were lined up as I had left them, seeming to greet and congratulate me.

This is Minecraft.

Doesn’t sound much like any game you’ve played, does it? Probably doesn’t sound much like a game at all, but that account is 100% accurate with no embellishment. That’s just what the gameplay is like.

I am able to have these experiences because a single, incredible person created this game and sold it to me for 13 dollars. It is in the alpha stage of its development and is nowhere near completed. The files you purchase and download are miniscule; the game world literally infinite as it creates itself in front of you as you explore.

Minecraft, in its infancy, is the superior of almost every single game that you will find on store shelves today. They cost 5 times as much. Minecraft’s graphics are 8-bit and its entire game world and functions are at the mercy of your own imagination, rather than that of some egotistical developer who thinks you deserve a six-hour action movie for your $60 dollars.

This is a modern video game that does not suck.


About djsharpecheddar

Have you seen a little girl?
This entry was posted in Modern Games that Don't Suck, Original Content and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Minecraft

  1. Steve says:

    I have successfully used your article to recruit a few friends into the minecraft fold.

    superbly written, and captures the feeling of MC perfectly. thanks!

  2. Daniel Bruce says:

    Great story. Very well told and very telling of Minecraft’s gameplay. Everyone who’s played the game can relate to exploring those seemingly infinite underground caverns dungeons while slowing running out of torches and picks…

  3. Chinaren says:

    God yes, it’s addictive. I have some pics on TC of my massive building sprees.

  4. Noob says:

    Minecraft is a overrated piece of shit

  5. Colorform 2.0 says:

    Mined a bit. Bunch of ore, diamonds and a crap load of full boxes. Have a cave / safe area only as there is no reason to build anything more. Survival game play is a joke. Maybe when they release a finished game it will be more of a challenge and worth playing. On a side note pushing cows into lava was humorous for a minute or two.

    Unless you are required to sell items on the broker in any MMO houses are pointless. If you are an interior decorator you may enjoy this game.

  6. Jerubbaal says:

    I think the game is fun – but everyone who is claiming this game is the best thing since wonderbread makes me wanna slap them in the face. It was designed by a single guy using blocky graphics. Don’t tell me that is intentional or for “the charming appearance of it” because that is a load of crap – I guarantee you Skyrim wouldn’t be amazing if it was in these types of graphics. Also – its not even legos. It’s a step down. Only one block size… And in response to the guy above me, if you don’t make your own fun in this game you will hate it. Just as simple as that.

    However, I think the game is a “good” game. It is entertaining and I won’t hate on it. I have spent many an hour mining endless caverns and building random stuff because it was fun. However, it is not “revolutionary” or “Game of the Year” by any stretch of the imagination. I’d honestly rather waste hour upon hour building something in real life. For an Indy game, however, it is a rock star.

    In conclusion, and in regards to the original post. Great post. Enjoyed the read.

    • Caleb Stokes says:

      “If you don’t make your own fun in this game, you’re going to hate it.” Do you not realize that Making your own fun is the premise and purpose of the entire game?! That’s like saying “You’re going to hate COD if you don’t shoot people” or “You will hate an RPG if you don’t try to complete quests.” Anyway, what I’m trying to say here is that Minecraft is a creativity toy where half of the game is gathering materials, and then the other half is using your new and awesome tools to build anything you would ever want or need. And you’re right, If Skyrim did have graphics like these, it would be terrible. But Do you realize that Minecraft worlds are absolutely MASSIVE (each one 8 times the size of earth) And if minecraft had Skyrim-type graphics, it would be virtually un-runnable on even the best of computers.

      My point is, Minecraft has a pretty rough exterior, but it has a rich, creamy filling on the inside, and that’s why I love it so much.

  7. Mike Butler says:

    I disagree. I think the title of your site, juxtaposed to a screenshot of Minecraft is a more accurate assessment of Minecraft.

    • Cole says:

      A modern video game where you can do virtually anything including make your own games, your own computer, a 1:1 replica of your house, and [insert mods here].
      Sir, I respectfully, but strongly disagree.

  8. lesley says:

    A modern video game and I want to play it and I can’t sign in

  9. Truly no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to other people
    that they will assist, so here it occurs.

  10. This game doesnt suck to the writer because its a knock off 8-bit piece of shit. Retro gamers worship garbage like this. Excuse me, retro gamers and children between the ages of 5-16. This game sucks. Like most retro games.

    Sure they were fun in the 90s. Over 13 years ago when graphics were this kind of shit.

    The gameplay sucks. All you do is build shit with blocks. I can do that with wooden blocks for the same excitement level.

    The movements per each avitar suck and look retarded. Not to mention combat is pathetic. One generic move for each weapon.

    There is no goal or objective unless you’re playing a user created TDM on the PC and even those are bs. You beat the admin? You get banned from the server.

    Which brings me to my next point, the admins on this game all suck epic cock. Why?

    Well lets see, if the fact that most of them are clearly underage or illiterate doesnt make you wonder…maybe the fact that they ban people for things their friends do but not their friends, maybe the fact that asking for help gets you spammed with “griefer” pm’s and then banned for spamming the chat??? What happened to helping the new folks? I suppose we need to read and study the wiki before logging on for the first time? Wouldnt want to inconvenience the kids playing blocks now would we?

    There’s no realism, no sense of excitement, no sense of fun. And they want me to pay 30 bucks for pc and 20 for ps3 or xbox? LOL. I wouldnt give this game away to anyone much less charge them for it.

    Maybe you guys are content with lazily made junk that looks like an NES’s bowel contents…but real gamers prefer atmosphere. Up to date atmosphere.

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