Probably the most innovative game of 2011, Minecraft is an exploration and a creative experience. In Minecraft you can dig into anything, gather materials, mix them together, and build stuff. It's playable in single player, or multi player over thousands of servers that fans already set-up over the last few weeks.

The game is not yet really finished, it's lacking a bit of accessibility and most importantly challenges and goals for the multiplayer mode. But the game is still in alpha stage, it's cheap to buy, and it is an experience that is truely unique. Try it!

A fanmade trailer :

Right now the game is basically a sand box. In single player (paid version) you will have to survive against zombies that will appear at night, but it's more about learning the mechanics than really surviving. To survive the first night, you can have a look at a very simple tutorial, and if you want to know everything about mining, read the Elites of Minecraft Guide. For more gameplay information, head over to the official Minepedia article.

In the free single player version of the game and in multiplayer the idea of the game is just to explore, and have fun creating things alone or with your friends. This is a true "online lego" experience, in which you and your friends can build whatever they want. It's essentially about creativity and collaboration.

It's interesting that it's not the only game of this type coming out. Love, a similar game was shown a few months ago. It looks much more complex, and it focuses more on gameplay mechanics than simple exploration, but yet it is very similar.

The Love trailer :

In Minecraft, a lot of people already created crazy things, and you can find some of them on Youtube :

- The Earth
- Water Elevators using the game physics
- Columbia a city from the not yet released Bioshock Infinite.
- The Slide, a boat ride in the sky
- A computer made in Minecraft
- A river simulation
- Some fire problems

And if you browse the similar videos on youtube you will also be able to find art made in Minecraft, fortress, caves, monuments, and much more.

There is already a huge community around the game. They are texture pack to change the look of the game, mods to change the way grass is rendered, cartographing tools to show 2D top view of your world. Someone created a realtime web viewer for his world. And you can find various utilities like MCEdit to ease the creation process. Also if you want to set-up your own server, you can use Hey0 Server's Mod and the Minecraft Alpha Server Backup Utility.

Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft are very similar, so it is without surprise that you can already find tools to export maps from Dwarf Fortress to Minecraft.

It's possible to change the textures from the game by overriding the default one. You can use the Painterly Pack, or use one of the most popular called Doku's RPG texture pack.

I'm also very happy to see that the game is making huge profits, it's really delightful to see that such an innovative game is able to be profitable, potentially leading to upgrades, or another game of the same kind. More information on sales on the official sales chart.

Let's add a cool minecraft story from a guy called "Inconsiderable" :

"(...)With no idea how it works and that I should find coal to get torches I randomly digged a tunnel into a hill, found mostly stone and nothing interesting.. did craft some shit.. obviously shit spawned in my tunnel at some point and I died. (...) So yea, after respawn I grabbed my stuff and decided to go exploring for coal and a decent location. So I find this little cave with some coal, set up my workshop build some stuff throw torching around the cave and then do what dwarves in every fantasy story do: dig deep until you find evil. I made a shaft straight down with stairs spiraling around it. Took ages. Finally I crash through the roof of a cave and see.. water, right above an underground river. Me having no idea what could be down there.. start throwing torches around and going exploring.

(...) I spent the next HOURS doing nothing but exploring that cave during the night and killing pigs and farming wood during the day to heal and restock. Not sure how big those underground caves are supposed to be, but this shit must be what the Underdark in Forgotten Realms is like. Rivers, Waterfalls, Magma Streams, really big caverns, tunnels going up, down splitting... more and more. Every path I find splits again, rarely do I find any ends. There is just more. I slaughtered a fuckton of stuff, but there is always more. At some points after building a bridge across a magma stream and finding the biggest cavern yet, I manage to run into several archer things with me being vulnerable in the "open".. so I run for the next random tunnel, throwing down torches as I go to find cover --- and didnt see the hole in the floor. I drop down another 6 or 7 blocks and land in an underground river only 2 or 3 tiles wide and no way back up. The best part was, I had already two zombies and a tnt guy right next to me and short way behind me was a dead end. I took most of the stuff down coming at me, but without food and those exploding fucks I still went down."

Yeah, that's quite epic.

Let's finish with a video from an interview of "Notch", the maker of Minecraft :

Play with me on the FoH public server at echo.hyperionstudios.net.

Produced by Alexis Bacot. All Rights Reserved.
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