Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will have heard of Minecraft, developed by Notch and his team at Mojang comes a fantastic sandbox game where your only goal is to do whatever you like! You get loaded into a randomly generated map, and your left to your own devices.
I’ve been playing Minecraft on and off on the PC for about a year, I love the sense of “I can do anything” I get when playing Minecraft. The best way to describe the game is to imagine that being given a massive box of Lego bits and pieces. At first you might be a little over-whelmed you might be thinking, “What the hell do I do with all this”. But you dive in and start building something, you might not know exactly what the something is but suddenly, BOOM, it’s 3 hours later you’ve made an awesome Lego Spaceship and you think “Where the hell did that come from?”. Well Minecraft its the exactly the same, the game starts you with nothing but your hands and a set of tools (That you have to make from scratch). Then you can set off doing whatever you want be it building a house, mining a mine, creating a farm, forging armour, fighting enemies, making a railway, exploring the map, sailing, travelling to the underworld. The possibilities are endless.
The best part of it all is that it is now available on the Xbox 360 as an arcade download, allowing console lovers to get a piece of the action. The transition from keyboard and mouse to controller has been achieved very well. It feels very natural playing this game on the Xbox. The Xbox Edition supports both online and offline multiplayer, meaning you can play split screen with your friends and online with up to 8 other friends over Xbox live. This was my first experience playing Minecraft with friends and I can tell you I’ve never laughed so hard playing a game.
Some of the negative points of the game compared to the PC version include the size of the maps. They seem to be a fixed size, in the PC versions the maps are almost endless, one simply doesn’t walk from one side of the map to the other, but in the Xbox Edition it takes about 6-7 real world minutes to walk from one side to the other. The map is still huge and will take you a while to explore but I was a little disappointed that it isn’t endless. As a knock on effect to the restricted maps certain rare resources needed in the later game like diamonds and gold might be finite which isn’t good news.
That being said Minecraft on the PC is always getting updates and additions to the game, and Mojang has confirmed it will be doing the same for the Xbox version hopefully they will address these issues.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is well worth the 1600 Gamerpoints and I recommend that everyone at least play the demo, which is available on the Xbox marketplace. Due to the map sizes and the pure evil addictive nature of the game it should come with a warning of how much sleep you’re going to miss. If you want to buy it you can click here!
Overall rating 7/10
- Kevin Newman