Minecraft – Building Castles In The Sand

Minecraft is a browser-based sandbox game where you can build enormous structures, explore underground caverns, play with lava and water… or just watch grass grow. The game world is very flexible, allowing you to completely reshape the terrain. If you register for a free account you can also do all of the aforementioned things in multiplayer mode.

To illustrate, here’s a time-lapse video of a castle I built today :

As you can see in the video, the graphics are rather basic. However, if you’re into this kind of games you will probably find that the blocky environment doesn’t really detract from the the gameplay experience. After all, a distant cousin of Minecraft – the relatively popular Dwarf Fortress – gets away with using ASCII-based graphics that look like they came from the 80s.

The current release is pretty low on features (there are only 9 building materials and one gametype), but that’s forgivable for an alpha release. It is still under active development and the author has stated the full version will include more variety and several different gamemodes, like “Survival” where you face hostile creatures, building takes time and resources, and you must grow/gather food to replenish your health.

The downside is that the full version will cost money. Personally, I’m still on the fence as to whether Minecraft is worth my hard-earned eurobucks – building giant towers and secret underground bunkers can be fun and even addictive, but that doesn’t quite qualify as a complete game. However, if the upcoming gametypes are at least 1/5th as flexible and deep as, say, the aforementioned Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft could certainly make me part with my €20.

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4 Responses to “Minecraft – Building Castles In The Sand”

  1. […] By which I mean, of course, that it’s a hugely addictive browser-based multiplayer game (see my mini-review) that makes people stay up till 5 AM every daycycle just so they can finish the latest […]

  2. Steve says:

    $20 isn’t as much as you might think compared to other games out there. I think the appeal of MC is it’s super customizable as your entire environment can be sculpted. Heck you can even customize your own pixel character with skins.

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