Minecraft Review

Developer:

Mojang

Publisher:

Mojang

Consoles:

PC, iOS, Android

Release Date:

November 18, 2011

Genre:

First-Person Sandbox

Players:

Single Player, Multi-Player

Rating:

Not Rated

-Samer Farag

Minecraft is the epitome of creative potential. In this game, more-so than any other, if you can think it, you can make it happen. The only limits present in Minecraft are your own creativity. If you’re getting bored, you’re doing it wrong!

Well, that isn’t entirely the case. In Minecraft, you craft blocks and items using various materials, in order to create structures, go dungeon diving, and explore to your heart’s content. Minecraft and I have had an on and off relationship for a while. I would play for a bit, get burnt out, stop, and then try to pick it up again later. The reason this occurred was that I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be doing. Both in terms of how to get things working, and a goal for the game. The former is an issue of Minecraft. It is almost impossible to figure out what to do in this game without help from a Wiki or something similar, in order to find crafting recipes to create items to survive the game. Thankfully, the game is fun enough that the steep learning curve to figure out the game’s nuances is bearable, especially as you slowly realize the potential of everything that you’re learning.

The latter, however, is my own fault. I came into the game from too traditional of an angle. I was under the impression that there was some sort of final boss to beat, or quests to undertake, and so on. I soon realized that the actual goal of the game is to spark the player’s creativity. To give a sense of freedom that is really unparalleled in sandbox games today. There really are no constrains to what is available for the player to do. Dungeon crawling? You can do that. Construction of the castle of your dreams? You can do that too. Perhaps you’d like to create a 1:1 creation of the SSV Normandy. Or maybe an intricate railway system throughout your randomly generated Earth? Or maybe you’d just like to go traveling, to see the sights there are to see? Why the hell not! The choice is yours, and that’s part of what makes Minecraft so special.

The other part is the game’s charm. The vanilla version of the game has an interesting, simple 8-bit graphical style. It may not seem the most visually appealing in comparison to something as well budgeted as say, Skyrim, but it is very distinct and memorable. Beyond that, the greatest visual appeal of Minecraft, in my opinion, comes from the natural beauty and structure of the game’s environments. The game’s organic structures are a delight to behold, especially when coming back to the surface from a long dungeon crawl. There are also the benefits of being able to install high resolution texture packs that others have made, making it easy to find a graphical style to your liking.

The music in the game is quiet to almost nonexistent, but it plays randomly, sneaking up on you and further capitalizing on that motif of organic feel that the game has. You may simply be traveling, and watching the sun set, when all of a sudden, a slow, soothing piano theme plays, creating an intense feeling of melancholy. Sound effects are also great, with the crunch of footsteps and barks and growls of various animals working to enhance immersion. Then, of course, there’s the infamous “hsssssssss” of a Creeper before getting ready to blow up, serving to instantly distill fear in any a Minecraft player, newbie or otherwise.

The greatest issue I take with the game is it’s handling of CPU resources. Don’t let the simplified graphics fool you: This game can destroy your RAM, even on the most high-end of gaming pcs and laptops. There seems to be a lack of streamlining in this part of the game. It can be a trouble for lower-end computers to play the game, but really this is a speck-on-the-glass issue that can easily be remedied by reducing view-distance and such.

To that end, Minecraft is a perfect Empty Wallet game for the basic fact that for $20 dollars, one gets basically unlimited replay value. It is the definitive Bang-For-Your-Buck game, that can inspire the childlike creativity that exists in all of us.

Pros: 

  • Inspires Creativity
  • Interesting Style
  • Endless Replay Value

Cons:

  • Not optimized, meaning frequent crashes
  • Can ruin any and all productivity

Verdict:90%

Minecraft Fanmade Trailer

A lot of readers have been asking for our Minecraft review. Do you agree with Samer’s words about Minecraft?