Review by Oni_Tatsujin

Reviewed: 09/27/10

The most immersive, addicting, and scariest game I have ever played. This is Minecraft.

If I were to describe Minecraft to a person who has never heard of it before, and you most likely fit the description, I would say these words: Minecraft is a first person survival game where you must build by day and survive by night, a game where one goes from nothing but the shirt on your back to the ruler of a massive kingdom, a game where curiosity and fear mend to provide the most amazing open world game I have ever played.

You begin by generating a completely random world that is, I'm serious here, eight times the size of Earth. Yes, you'll never, ever truly finish exploring your world... And If you do, you can just make a new one. Each cave, each hill, each ocean... Each are randomly generated. No two people will explore the same cave, will voyage the same ocean. Minecraft places you in a huge, scary world, and your one goal is to survive.

With nothing to start with, you must cut down trees with your bare hands. After opening your menu and using the crafting interface, you create planks of wood. With the wood, you can make sticks and a work bench. With a workbench, your crafting square goes from a 2x2 grid to 3x3, allowing far more combinations to create amazing objects. From trap panels on the floor to fishing poles to massive mine cart rail roads, from simple stone mining picks to armor and weapons made of diamond... You can a heck of a lot of things.

With the resources you can gather on your first day, you must make a shelter from the hordes of monsters that appear during the night. You'll get your standard zombies, your bow wielding skeletons, your giant spiders, but you'll also see some unique enemies like the totally silent and deadly Creeper, that can survive in Sunlight and likes to sneak up on you and explode.

Perhaps the best thing about Minecraft is the ability to make anything you can think of. From a massive fortress made of stone, to a floating castle in the sky, to a greenhouse for your crops, to a replica of video game sprites... With many tools and blocks at your disposal, if you can dream it, you can build it.

Minecraft is one of those games where you need something to get something better. Trees make wooden picks which lets you get stone. Stone Picks let you acquire Coal (used to make torches, which generate light) and Iron. Iron Picks grants access to Gold, Redstone, and Diamond, and Diamond lets you get the rare Obsidian.

As I said earlier, the world is entirely randomly generated. This makes it the scariest game I have ever played. No internet guide can tell you what's down that dark cave. No one can say that a creeper will pop from the shadows and explode in your face. The ambient cave noises make some people I know flee from caves entirely. I know a friend who has nicknamed one of the noises as "The Banshee". That sound makes even myself jump out of my seat.

Things can get tense quickly as you explore the spider web natural caves, the magma filled caverns, and the far off lands.. Dying has a heavy penalty. You're placed back at your spawn point, the place you entered the world, and you have about 5 or 10 minutes to get back to where you died before all your dropped equipment disappears.

That's not to say it's all darkness and fear. There's plenty of tranquil, upbeat music that plays in well lit areas and out doors, and some great laughs can be had when you see pigs and sheep jumping off mountains (The AI is a little dumb).

Before I end this review, I want to say one thing... At the time of this review, Minecraft is in the Alpha stage of development. This means that new things are constantly being added to the game in "Secret Update Fridays", where it's up to the community to find the new things. It could be new monsters, new crafting recipes, new tools, anything.

Who knows, this game could be radically different from what I am reviewing. There will be Dragons, Weather, Seasons, Biomes, and more. Perhaps even native NPCS. Anything could be added in the future, and this game definitely has a bright one.

Oh yeah, and there's Multiplayer. Go survive in a massive world with friends... It'll be the most fun you've ever had in a game. Minecraft has a fantastic community with an official forum. You'll find skins to download to replace textures for the world and NPCs, the ability to share maps... You can go download some one's fortress or even their entire world.

At only 10 dollars, this tiny game has already given me more hours than most full price titles have. You owe it to yourself to get this... It's truly amazing.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Minecraft (Classic) (US, 05/10/09)

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