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When Steve first posted his thoughts on Minecraft, I have to admit, I was wondering what the hell his Multiplaying ADD mind was thinking. I mean, look at those screenshots. The game looks like a throw off of some early Atari games, all blocky and such. But people just kept talking about it. And Tweeting about it. During the free weekend, I gave it a little whirl. The controls were so simple that I found them hard to use. I rarely play first person view and that turned me off initially as well. I truly just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
One day while doing some paperwork, I finally clicked on his link for Arkenor’s videos. My intent was just to half-heartedly watch these as I worked. If you haven’t watched them and are now wondering what kind of Minecraft Kool Aid I might be drinking, you really should have a look at them. I told Arkenor that Notch should be giving him a little bonus, or at the very least, a big ol’ thank you card. Because after watching his first several days of adventures, I was truly sold.
My first foray into Minecraft was single player survival mode. The game has this whole Blair Witch phenomenon going on. You don’t need a big budget and fancy graphics to create a big amount of suspense. On your first day, you know you must find some wood and a suitable place to dig in for the night. Otherwise, you’re going to be zombie fodder. Or get blown to little bits by a creeper. There is an urgency that overtakes you. If you’re lucky, you will find some coal nearby so you won’t have to spend your first night in the pitch black. When exploring, you have to be careful not to lose your way home as there is no map to click on. Digging mines is not without risk and their is a good deal of suspense when you open up a deep cavern. Bad things lurk in the dark. I have yelled out “Oh crap!” more than once as an arrow narrowly misses me as I peep inside that cavern. I have been truly creeped out as I find myself surrounded by the sounds of night creatures, unable to tell exactly from where they originate. Escaping from your front door in the morning is not without risk as creepers and spiders are more than likely lurking to ambush you as you take your first breath of fresh air.
If you like exploration, then this game is for you. If you like to build and create things, a quick Google search will show some of the amazing creations Minecrafters have designed. Like a little suspense? Minecraft has it. Want to be social and show off your creative mind? Give the multiplayer mode a try. I initially did not like the thoughts of multiplayer. Monster play is turned off because everything is immortal. You, the undead, and those annoying undying drowning chickens. But I’ve now come to prefer multiplay over single player. You can chat with friends while marveling at their creations. Without taking damage, you can easily explore the depths of both land and sea. I find that creating, exploring and socializing is very relaxing and has been my go to game these days. My stress just melts away and I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” a lot of fellow bloggers.
Convinced yet? Well, if you are ready to go buy the game now and drink the Minecraft Kool Aid with the rest of us, let me give you some tips to get you started.
- When you are peering out through your door in the dead of night and see that little lost lamb, opening the door to make said lamb your pet will most likely lead to the following scenario: Lamb runs away. Creeper does not. Slamming door in Creeper’s face will result in explosion of your house and door. This may lead to fall damage for you as well. This in turn could lead to you huddling in the corner of your new cavernous house with your sword held out in front of you until dawn.
- Do not leave your supply chest near the door. See #1 to understand why.
- It is possible to accidentally throw your sword when you are attempting to fight off Creepers and/or spiders that are pouncing upon you after dawn. This results in you running around in wild circles in attempt to pick up your sword long enough to kill them.
- Carry an extra weapon. See #3.
- When exploring a newly found underground cavern, be aware that certain elements are prone to the law of gravity. If you happen upon a cavern with a ceiling made completely of sand, do not throw your torch up to light the cavern.
- You can die of a sand avalanche and most likely will lose all your inventory. See #5.
- If you have made a home primarily of wood and you pause a minute before lighting your new fireplace thinking “I wonder if there is enough stone around the fire”, the answer is probably “no”.
- Have a water supply nearby when playing with fire. See #7. And just note, fire spreads incredibly fast, probably faster than you can douse it with a bucket of water, leading to your neighbors referring to your place as “Mount Doom”.
Don’t let the somewhat simplistic look of the game turn you off. A little imagination goes a long way with this game. It’s been the best 13 some-odd bucks I’ve spent for a game in a long time.