Minecraft review (PC)

January 30, 2012

“Have you ever been way down?
Have you ever been deep deep down?”

10 word description: Independently produced sandbox building / exploring game. Mine, craft, build, achieve…

Sunrise. Yes, that white square is the sun, of course

10 word review: Blocky (of course) wonderland of infinite possibilities. Lots of fun.

This is what ducks look like in a world without curves

You will like this if you enjoy: Digging holes miles under the ground. Randomly generated worlds where you can pretty much build and destroy whatever you like. Lego…

The good news: Utterly absorbing. The mining alone can keep you occupied indefinitely, with moments of pure joy when you hit your first iron ore seam, for example. Crafting is actually very easy, but you need to refer to sites such as Minecraftopia and MinecraftWiki in order to find out the majority of useful crafting recipes and how to play in general. Minecraftopia in particular has an excellent beginner’s guide. Two single-player modes, creative and survival, plus multiplayer. Plenty of unofficial mods and texture packs available.

Crafting is fun and rather deep, once you find a website that tells you how to start doing it

The bad news: You may not like the blocky graphics. Performance is not brilliant because, apparently, the code isn’t particularly efficient. Again, you can find performance tweaks (that worked for me) on various websites. There’s no information in the game about what you can craft or how to do it.

My mine tunnels look like very basic levels from Doom. Maybe I could make an entire Doom map like this...

Arcadelife verdict: I felt I needed to review this game in order to keep up with popular gaming trends that I am missing out on! I’d seen videos of people constructing immense and awe-inspiring structures, but I was more interested in the survival mode that has recently been added to Minecraft. There’s a fantastic feeling of being alone on an alien world, as much when you’re wandering around among the randomly generated mountains as when you’re far underground in a mine tunnel that you’ve been digging for hours.

I had a great moment in one of these mine tunnels; I’d been digging straight ahead and down for ages when I broke through into a huge cave system, complete with waterfalls, lava streams and some very hard to reach deposits of iron ore. It’s remarkable how impressive something like that can be in a game where pretty much everything is just a different coloured block.

My early attempt at farming, because you need to eat to survive

I haven’t made a boat or a mine-cart yet, I’m saving those for later. Along with my plans to build a castle with a moat and a drawbridge. And a hundred other things.

Night falls and the monsters come out. make sure you're safe behind some high walls

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 7/10
Audio – 7.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 10/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1

Minecraft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 (Msi Cyclone IGD5)
4gb RAM
Windows 7 64 bit & Windows Vista 32 bit

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