While the general population spends their valentine’s day evening out to dinner and a movie I too will be spending the evening with my love… Minecraft! A game that over the past year I have poured an unbelievable amount of hours into. If you’ve somehow managed to navigate through this world as a gamer without at least hearing about this indie game I am here to explain it as best I can through words.
The game is, at its core, a survival/construction game. Your character (I believe he is commonly referred to as Steve although I have no idea why) spawns into a random world with absolutely no posessions. All of the random worlds in Minecraft are constructed of blocks of different material like dirt, stone, sand, clay, wood, and coal to name a few. Okay you spawned so what now? Well good question… the game gives you no instructions on how to proceed.
Whether you learn by trial and error or by pursuing the Minecraft Wiki you will find your primary objective after spawning is to find the necessary materials to construct shelter before night falls on your world. Why do you need to construct shelter before nightfall? Well there are a few reasons… first off its bloody dark and almost impossible to navigate your world in the evening but perhaps more frightening is that monsters a.k.a. hostile mobs roam the world at night and will kill you.
That’s basically the entire game. Acquire materials, construct shelter,and avoid nightfall. Now don’t let the simplicity of the objectives lead you to the conclusion that the game is easy. “Crafting” or creation of the necessary materials you need to survive like pickaxes, shovels, axes, swords, doors, etc. is very complex, especially without instruction. To navigate you use the standard WASD keys on your keyboard with space as jump and “I” to bring up your inventory. The items in your inventory can be arranged so that 9 of them can be activated by the 1 -9 keys on the keyboard. Without a crafting table you only have a 2×2 space in which you can create. With a crafting table you have a 3×3 grid, which is essential and is the first thing I construct after spawning.
First you need to obtain wood by chopping down trees with your hand. Then turn that wood into wood planks by placing the wood block on your 2×2 crafting space. Each wood block = 4 planks. Four of these planks arranged as in the image below will give you a crafting table. You then use the crafting table to create tools used to construct shelter and protect yourself.
Each player has their own rules about what you NEED to get before nightfall but my rules are I need at least 1 crafting table, 1 pickaxe, 1 door, 15+ pieces of cobblestone, 20 wood planks, some source of food (this is a new addition to my list), and some coal to make torches. Of these coal is often the most difficult to obtain.
Once shelter is constructed you can work on improving it by adding windows, rooms, stairs, among other things. You can craft and add just about anything to your shelter. You can mine down levels of blocks in the game to obtain more rare material like iron, gold, and diamonds.
I love the adventure aspects of this game. While mining below ground you can run into monster spawn rooms and old abandoned mine sites. While walking around in the daylight you can find NPC villages. With the correct materials you can even create a portal to the nether. Recently the developers have added some new monsters and some leveling up elements. Some players take the crafting to an extreme and create what can only be described as works of art. (Example below).
With that I end my explanation of Minecraft so I can go play! I have barely scratched the surface on this game and have talked nothing of weapons, monsters, different ways to obtain food, etc. If you’re a fan of adventure, survival or sandbox games highly recommend you at least check out some game play footage of the Minecraft. I started playing over a year ago after watching some Video Games AWESOME Minecraft live streams. Warning: you may get addicted and you may end up spending holidays with Steve instead of family or friends. Enjoy and stay tuned for a post exclusively on the monsters of Minecraft!