This week I’m going to be looking at a phenomenon that has been spreading through the internet community like crabs at art college. So prepare to need another trip to the STD clinic as I explore the world of Minecraft.
I originally bought Minecraft last year during it’s beta stage for the equivalent of pocket change, and you know what? My pocket change has never bought me this much fun before. Usually because I’m stingily hoarding it like some sort of Scrooge McDuck, Montgomery Burns hybrid, but I digress. Now the game has officially been released it gives me a chance to look over the finished project and comment on some of the more and less favoured updates to the series.
I’m finding it hard to see the whole game aspect of Minecraft, except for the fact that there are zombies and skeletons and you can kill them with swords, axes or even shovels and hoes if you so wish, it’s your world, I’m not going to tell you what to do, but that’s not what you’re there to do. It would be like hiring a plumber to come over to your house to piss in your sink. No, you hire him to fix your pipes (in one way or another). He pisses in the sink of his own accord. Minecraft is just as it says in the title, you mine and you craft, simple.
That’s enough of the background stuff, now onto the juicy middle of the review. One of the biggest flaws of the game is how easily the game can alienate new players who enter the game starry eyed a ignorant to the world of pain that will be unleashed when night fall hits. Somehow the new player has to figure out how to gather lumber, make into wood, make a work bench, make some sticks, make a pick axe, dig some stone, make a better pick axe, find some coal, make some torches and then seal yourself in a big hole in the ground because presumingly it’s now night time and things tend to die quickly when alone on the surface at night. Things in this context being YOU. All this without one bit of guidance. A tutorial wouldn’t go amiss guys. Mojang reacted to this by adding baby’s first achievements for doing each of the above, although that is about as effective as gobbing on a forest fire to put it out.
Ok, so we’ve ready for out underground adventure we can begin. My advice would be not to just start digging and hope for the best. That’s like randomly picking a spot in the Lake District then start digging hoping you’ll find diamonds. Nope, all you’re going to find is some angry locals and soil. Try and find an already open cave or fissure to start in. That way you can acquire the most resources with the least amount of digging. Now that we’ve found some resources we’re starting to feel hungry… What? Hungry? It’s barely been half and hour and you’re hungry!? Starving Ethiopian children can survive for days without food and you’re hungry now!? One of my pet peeves with this game (if you haven’t already noticed) is the hunger bar.
Now that all that is over and we have our resources we can now start the craft part of the game. This the moment where you have to create your own fun. Be it exploring and charting the world of Minecraft or create a 70 block high cubist impression of Michelangelo’s David. The choice is yours. On the development side it’s a rather lazy move but it’s an effective one none the less. It forces you to take on your project, the kind of thing that you spend all your spare time on just so that moment of gratification after 8hrs of continuous gameplay, only to be followed by a feeling of regret once you realise that you’ve just waisted your day off building a virtual cubist Doom Fortress.
The game should come with a health warning mentioning that each time you play it has the ability to ruin your day and shorten your life-span. Mainly due to the stress of having your pride and joy blow up in front of your eyes due to a Creeper related accident. Seriously, those things must feed off of the sheer frustration of players.
On a final note. Despite the years of my life I’ve lost and the extra gray hairs I’ve gained, I do enjoy playing Minecraft. It’s a great way of killing an hour when needs be but caution must be taken when playing. Otherwise you will be sucked into it like a triple cunted hooker (I don’t steal analogies of people, honest) and the next thing you know 7 years have past, which would be odd because the worlds supposedly meant to end next year.