It’s not often that software gets a lot of press when it’s in the alpha phase of development, but Minecraft, the deliciously open-ended mining/creating game from Markus Persson, has done just that. The buzz about this game is fantastic; indeed, it’s so popular the site was overloaded for days, and Persson’s Minecraft payment PayPal account was frozen due to suspicious activity.
After hearing all this, I felt compelled the other day to load it up and play for a few minutes just to see what all the fuss was about.
I didn’t realize the depth of my mistake until hours later.
At 2:30am (on a work night), I finally managed to pull myself together and close down the game. It is THAT addictive.
You play as someone who’d be at home in an Old Spice commercial; a highly skilled and tough individual who starts with nothing more than bare fists with which to punch trees, thereby obtaining logs. Using that as a starting point, you fashion sticks, work benches, primitive tools, stronger tools, and ultimately you’re shaping the very land around you as you dig deep into it and build high above it.
But you’re doing most of this during the day; night is when the monsters come out.
Before you go crazy building the castle of your dreams, you have to make sure you can survive the night. This means having weapons to defend yourself and somewhere to hide.
The depth of play in this game is too great to go into detail here, so check out these videos; a fan-made trailer, and one from Persson himself showing off a rollercoaster in-game. Note: Your speakers are not broken, there is no audio in the rollercoaster video.
UPDATE: I’m so sorry, readers! I was apparently more tired that next day than I realized. I failed to include a link to the game. Allow me to correct that oversight: http://www.minecraft.net.
I should also mention that while the developers had released the Alpha version free while they were having trouble with PayPal, you now have to pay for it to play it. The Minecraft Classic version is free however, and I highly recommend taking that for a spin.