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Minecraft PC Preview

It's not very often that I come across a game that manages to get me hooked in approximately 3 seconds flat, but the overnight success Minecraft managed it! I arrived late to the Minecraft scene, hearing nothing of it and then bang, it was everywhere. At first I was sceptical of it and what appeal it could possibly hold, but my mind was soon changed.

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Minecraft is a sandbox game that allows you to well, mine and craft; the rest is left solely down to you and your imagination. On paper, this doesn't sound like the most exciting premise behind a game I can assure you it is great fun.

You start the game in a randomly generated world with nothing but the shirt on your back, and it's down to you to change that. Here is where the beauty of Minecraft lies, this world is yours to do whatever you please with. You want to be king of a castle? Go nuts and make yourself one! Fancy making an interconnected series of tunnels like the Vietcong? Then knock yourself out. It will take you some time to do so, but you too can create an underground dungeon Fritzl himself would be proud of. The possibilities are literally endless.

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So how is this all done? Well its simple. The world around you is made up completely of different blocks, you just destroy these blocks and collect them where they become a resource which you are able to use. One of the first examples of making something from these raw resources is making yourself a tool bench so you can go on to create tools to help you mine quicker. 

This is done by collecting wood from the trees which are scattered around the world, and arranging the raw materials in a handy grid in your inventory. To begin with you get a 4x4 grid which is used for making the basics to get you by. You simply place your materials into this grid, for example the four blocks of wood and congratulations you just made your first work bench!

The work bench comes with a 3x3 crafting grid which enables you to create more elaborate objects. For example placing stone blocks in every slot of the grid, bar the middle one, allows you to create a furnace which in turn allows you to smelt the ore that you collect into more usable bars of metal - the metal dependant on the ore you collected. Every resource that you collect is usable in some way, from your normal blocks of dirt which make great building blocks to diamonds, which can be used to make stronger more resilient tools or even armour to help protect yourself. Even the local wildlife can be harvested for their meat, skins or just for the comedy factor of watching a square cow run away from you!

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You may have noticed me talk briefly about armour and are wondering why you would need such a thing in a game like this. After sundown every night, your world becomes over run with critters baying for your blood. To avoid being killed by them you have to ensure you are somewhere safe every nightfall, a bunker, a whole in the ground, your castle, it doesn't matter where, just as long as you are out of view of the zombies, spiders and creepers coming to get you. The zombies and spiders are a pain but not as much as the creepers. They can be difficult to spot in the dark, they look kind of like cactus plants with black eyes, not the most standout design and colouring which makes it very easy for one to creep up (as the name suggests) and self destruct leaving a nice crater in the floor, you and whatever else is around you.

Dont panic though, if having the enemies around is ruining you're enjoyment of the game you can choose to go into peaceful mode and these pests wont be around to blow holes in your city/mine/pig rocket course/whatever.

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The game during its Alpha stage gathered a staggering 2.5 million users, additionally the game netted approximately $350,000 in one single day, this is nuts for something that is not even at a retail level of polish. This makes Minecraft an already massively popular title around the globe. Thousands of people are making some truly remarkable things on a daily basis using nothing but the resources around them and the tools they create, you only need to type Minecraft into Youtube to see page after page of these incredible feats of engineering.

You can also create structural masterpieces with fellow Minecraft players which is where the building potential really kicks off as many hands can create bigger more impressive structures and cities. Going on mining adventures with friends is surprisingly good fun also and certainly adds longevity and an extra layer to the game.

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You can play a pop out browser version at www.minecraft.net but I suggest supporting the developer and paying the 14.95 Euros (or equivalent currency conversion) for the downloadable version which can also be purchased from the link above. For this you not only get a fantastic game but one that is changing and developing with new features and updates, all free of charge. Additionally this charge is a one off fee, even when the game hits it's final version, the price you pay now is the only price you will pay. There is a lot more to Minecraft than meets the eye, and even though the game isn't finished yet, the Beta version's innovative yet remarkably simplistic gameplay will be enough to get you addicted.

Angelfromabove | 20th December, 2010
Jessica's picture
Hmm interesting read Might just give it a go. Just gotta wait til Christmas to get it seeing as I am now skint from buying presents for my friends...and I still need to buy a couple more things with invisible money I have too many friends

Anyway, Minecraft looks interesting and it may help me broaden my imagination xD
Ex0dUs's picture
Come on now honestly, how much willpower did it take to resist describing creepers as giant green peni? Giant cactus plants lol

Nice review
Beanz's picture
I posted it before, but you know you want it...

http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-app...x/gaming/e71d/

Angelfromabove's picture
Thanks Exo, and it did cross my mind but i thought id best not!
Beanz, I want that shirt!!!

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