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Minecraft game review

Since it first hit PCs a couple of years ago, Minecraft has taken the world by storm. There’s now a yearly MineCon convention. And Minecraft has even been taught in schools. Now, the game has sold a million copies within a few days of its release on Xbox Live.

MINECRAFT
Mojang for Xbox Live

Gameplay: 8.8
Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8.0
Replay Value: 9.0
Overall Score: 8.8

Pros: Make your own creations. Blocky world feels real. Co-op ability.

Cons: World is slightly smaller than on the PC. Inventory is harder to navigate.

MINECRAFT 101

In case you don’t know, Minecraft is a building game. It’s a little like LEGO and a little like Lincoln Logs. You take various textured cubes and build what you want.

So where does the mining come in? The word “mine” is used loosely here. Gathering up trees is, in a sense, mining. You turn them into wood and then make your own structures. Finding the materials to make your own tools to build the wood into, say, a mansion, is mining, too.

It’s not just fun, it’s also really creative. You’re limited only by your own brain … and the time you put in.

ON XBOX LIVE

So let’s see if the Xbox Live version is as deep as the PC version.

First, the Xbox game lets you play co-op with friends and has its own crafting system to make things like tools. Since I’m a console guy, I enjoy making my structures with the controller as opposed to the PC mouse.

And there are tips galore, even as the game loads for the first time. The tutorials also make the game more kid friendly. With the original Minecraft for the PC, there was a ton of detective work you had to do. You had to figure out which substance would make what tool or piece of castle. That kind of research can be fun if you have nothing but time on your hands.

Now there is help for you along the way. Some say the tutorials lessen the magic. I say they add to it. You spend more of your time making things instead of puzzling over how to do things.

COOL AND CHALLENGING

When you dive into Minecraft, the experience is immediately really cool and charming. Simple piano music plays as you arrive on the shores of a beach. Use the right controller trigger to dig into the Earth and cut wood from trees. I didn’t make anything grand and glorious right away. I just set up the beginnings of a small shack by the sea.

Then, darkness fell. A square block of a moon rose high in the sky, and stars twinkled. As I stood there and gawked at nature’s beauty, I heard some steps behind me. Since I was kind of hypnotized by the sights, I didn’t realize it was a Creeper, one of the annoying monsters of Minecraft. I heard a ka-pow, and wham, I lost half my health.

My shelter wasn’t finished, and I couldn’t hide from him!

So I swam out to sea and stayed on a sandbar until morning. The Creeper, a handless creature with a twisted, angry mouth, isn’t always a night owl. Stay away from him during the day or night. He can blow up structures you make, too.

IT’S YOUR WORLD

There are plenty of achievements to get as you go along, such as when you make a furnace, open your inventory for the first time or catch a fish. Eventually, you’ll learn to make fire and electricity. If you play a really long time, you might even find the elusive Ender Dragon.

The graphics in Minecraft are old school, a nod to the early days of video games. But that’s the glory of Minecraft. If it looked too realistic, like Gran Turismo or even The Sims, it wouldn’t have the signature style that makes this game unique.

So go wild on Minecraft. Build like a modern architect. Build like a steampunk novelist. Build like a pioneer. Build high or long or with moats and forests. Build a Scout jamboree park. Then, tear it all down if you like.

This is your world. And Minecraft is a wonderful mirror that is nothing if not a reflection of you.

45 Comments on Minecraft game review

  1. What is the ender dragon?

  2. yeerk slug // July 25, 2012 at 10:58 am // Reply

    Are the trains on this one?

  3. you can sooooooooo play with people on the ipod i have done it

  4. You’re right, it is harder to navigate through the inventory. I found the PC game more interesting.

    • Minecraft just crashed on me. As I soon found out, I had to blame BuildCraft. This is on the PC kind. Too bad XBOX doesn’t have IndustrialCraft or Redpower. BTW I can’t play XBOX edition anymore because my brother just beat up on my TV and now it has colourful lines all over it.

  5. Minecraft is the BEST game

  6. Uberlyuber // July 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    The enderdragon didn’t come out on pc until beta 1.8. So “Xboxers” may have to wait 4 an update to kill the enderdragon. Same with creative, ok😀

  7. avengers2001 // July 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm // Reply

    mine craft is awsome

  8. this game is epic there are over 800,798,654,735 pepole that play minecraft

  9. smelly jelly10 // July 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm // Reply

    I am kind of upset because it dosen’t have a creative mode >:-(

  10. jack rocks // July 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm // Reply

    this is by far one of the coolest games out there

  11. SummerOlympics // July 12, 2012 at 11:01 am // Reply

    If you want to play minecraft without downloading it just go to minecraft.net

  12. video game master // July 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm // Reply

    I say its awesome on xbox and I dont know what the ender dragon is but if you want to play video games on xbox the minecraft game takes 1600 microsoft points and the
    downloading is one second long.if your getting on xbox play minecraft instead of call of duty or mass effect 3.

  13. I have a server

  14. Did you know that the Ender Dragon is hard to kill, even on creative.

  15. can you play with friends on the ipod

  16. Type in “cate” as the map seed, and you will be spawned in an NPC village!

  17. You need to have gold to play minecraft Xbox
    :^(

  18. pedro on a tuesday // June 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm // Reply

    you know you play to much minecraft when you keep a light on in your room to keep mobs from spawning.

    • you know you play too much minecraft when the first thing you think about when seeing trees is punching it

  19. cant play:(

  20. 1 Edit needs to be made in this:

    There is no electricity. It’s redstone! :3 Kitty Face

  21. I have the demo

  22. I’m goin tooo gets it

  23. Mr. Minecraft // June 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm // Reply

    where can u buy it cheap

  24. obito101man // June 16, 2012 at 8:38 am // Reply

    I have minecraft xbox 360 and i can’t find mushrooms? where are they?!?!

    • I love cars // July 9, 2012 at 7:17 am // Reply

      I have the computer one but they are in caves and underneath trees. I do not know if it is the same way in the one you have?

  25. Harry Potter Fan #1 // June 15, 2012 at 9:01 am // Reply

    I have minecraft for the computer but not for the XBOX but I have friends that have it and they say it’s fun.

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