This bizarrely cuboid but nonetheless gripping open-world building game started small but went on to become one of the hugest games on the planet. Unlike other games popular with kids, Minecraft is actually pretty fun in a laid-back, low-fi kind of way, so if you’re an adult, don’t be afraid to give it a whirl.
A creative game popular with and suitable for both children and adults alike
Boxy fun that adds up to more than the parts of the whole
The first time you see Minecraft, it can be a little surprising. By modern game standards, it’s weird. Like, really weird. With blocky, cuboid cows and little people with square heads, it takes a little time playing to see where the charm is. Keep playing though, because as millions of Minecraft players will testify (as well as Microsoft, who bought the company for $2.5 billion), there’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye.
The aim of the game is nothing other than to wander around it. There are two modes - Survival and Creative. In Survival mode, there are dangers that you’ll have to face and overcome: monsters like skeletons and zombies roam around, especially after dark. You can also face death from the normal things that would kill you, such as falls and drowning. As you start the game with nothing, it will be up to you to find shelter and make weapons, which you do by scavenging in your surroundings. As you progress in the game, you’ll discover that you can combine things to make new items, and sometimes find items that are rarer than others.
If surviving seems like too much effort, you can also try Creative mode. In many ways, it’s exactly the same as Survival mode - the only difference is that nothing is trying to attack you and the usual rules surrounding death and danger don’t apply. The aim in this mode is more to see what you can discover and build, well, whatever you want really - you’re only limited by your imagination.
Getting started in Minecraft is relatively easy. You’ll need a Mojang account and you’ll download the Mojang installer. From there, you’ll pay for Minecraft, and then download the game. It offers both single and multiplayer mode, as well as a pay-for feature called Minecraft Realms, which are closed servers that allow you to play online with your friends. When playing offline in single-player mode, you don’t interact with other players, whereas in multiplayer, you do.
If you do choose to play multiplayer, you have several options. One is the Realms option, discussed above. You can also play locally, via LAN, there’s a split-screen mode if you’re playing on a console or, finally, you can connect to the Minecraft servers and play with other people online. As befits such a hands-on game, you’ll be able to tweak any settings you need - and quite a few you didn’t know you need - in the options
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