Minecraft is more than a game. It’s a household name, a franchise, and to some players, a way of life!
Of course, the game is also old, and it’s already inspired a new generation of games and gamers. So, is it worth it to check out this old game, or should you move on to something new?
Let’s dive in and find out!
If You Build It
It’s tough to imagine someone not knowing how Minecraft works. If you aren’t in the know, though, here it goes: this is a Lego-style sandbox in video game form.
Your character wanders a randomly-generated world made up of blocks of different material. These blocks can be broken down into different components and then remade into something else.
Creations may be very simple (such as turning trees into tools, weapons, and simple shelters). However, players with enough time and vision can bring literally anything to life. And while the game has aspects of a storyline (including bosses of a sort), this ability to bring your imagination to life is the primary draw of this experience.
A Mellow Experience
Some experienced gamers don’t like Minecraft. They may think it’s childish due to the simple graphics. Alternatively, the lack of any clear missions or objectives can be a bit baffling to a very goal-oriented player.
It should be noted, though, that the game is refreshingly mellow and simple. In a time where publishers race to crank out super-competitive games filled with pay-to-win mechanics, having a mellow experience like this is downright relaxing.
Sometimes, it’s a little too relaxing. It’s deceptively easy to nod off while listening to the extremely chill soundtrack!
On occasion, the best thing about a game can also be the worst thing. And that’s definitely the case with Minecraft.
The game is available on just about any platform. Consoles, PC, mobile, handheld; you name it and it has Minecraft on it!
However, this has also led to multiple versions of the game. And that can make it difficult for new players just trying to get started.
One version of the game has been optimized to work on Windows 10 PCs. However, you can still buy and play the original version on PC. The new version is also the only one available on consoles now, though if you downloaded the old one on something like Xbox One, you can still play it. On top of that, there are small differences between the Minecraft: Pocket Edition and the updated one on PC.
Fortunately, this updated Minecraft made some much-needed changes!
Bigger and Better
Whether you are a new player or a returning veteran, all this talk about an updated version brings a natural question: just what’s so good about it?
First, the game has never looked better. Thanks to consoles, many players are enjoying the game on large screen TVs. While the graphics are still the simple blocks you fell in love with, they positively pop off of the big screen.
Multiplayer is now easier than ever. Thanks to things like featured servers, new players can find others to play with and not have to worry about manually entering IP addresses. And for a cost, Minecraft Realms makes the multiplayer experience even easier.
Perhaps the best addition, though, is one players have spent years clamoring for: cross-platform play!
Millions of players enjoy Minecraft all over the world. Many of these players mostly played on their own for years. This is because each platform felt like a separate experience: Xbox players kept to themselves, Playstation players kept to themselves, and so on.
Now, cross-platform play is live. This means someone on their Nintendo Switch can play with someone on their Xbox, and the enhanced multiplayer makes it easy to join up and play.
Long story short: if you already loved Minecraft, you can now play a smoother, prettier version with your friends regardless of their system.
Despite all the hoopla for this updated Minecraft, the original Java version is still alive. If you’re wondering what has kept it so popular, the answer is really simple: mods. Lots and lots of mods!
Here’s the bad news: if you’ve never fiddled with it before, Minecraft mods are annoying to set up. However, once you get the hang of it, modding will give you an entirely new game over and over again!
There are mods that recreate famous franchises such as Star Wars. Others add RPG and PVP elements (including precursors to the modern Battle Royale games such as Fortnite). And still other mods make it possible to build, operate, and destroy the most complex machinery available.
Should you ever think you’re done with Minecraft, the mod community may just change your mind.
For the Good of the Realms
Despite the fun of playing with strangers, most Minecraft multiplayer is done on a small scale. And now, Minecraft Realms makes that kind of gaming insanely easy.
This is a subscription-based service that lets players host their own dedicated Minecraft servers. What do you get for your money? First, in-game server management is easy enough that a child can do it. Second, it’s easy to set up various maps and mini-games for your friends without having any technical experience.
Finally, there’s easy privacy: no one joins unless you invite them. However, this leads to the major point that if you don’t already have several friends who play, getting a server is not worth it.
In sum, everyone should play Minecraft. It’s a part of gaming history that has already influenced countless other games. And it engages your imagination like no game before.
Plus, as this review has noted, the game is not afraid to reinvent itself. It’s different now than when it first came out, and it may be a completely new game in 10 years.
And any game that is willing to evolve to players’ needs deserves a chance!