Minecraft is entirely what you make of it. Quite literally, I mean. Me, I made a lot of holes. Then I had a friend come over and join me, and together, we made more holes. It’s not that there was really any good reason to make the holes, but that’s what I wanted to do. This is probably the most important thing anybody should know about Minecraft – it’s not what it is, but what you do with it – whether it’s making holes or a big heap of rocks that’s supposed to look like balls or the words “TECHNICALLY, I GOT PAID TO BUILD THIS” in 100-metre letters of solid gold.


The game is pretty simple. You get stuff, and you make stuff with it. Most of the time, the stuff you’re getting is to make stuff to help you get more stuff a bit easier, but that’s kind of how reality works too so there’s not much of a conceptual barrier to entry. Until the monsters come, anyway, and even then, I’m sure there’s a metaphor for the human condition in there somewhere.

So every night, there are monsters in the world. It’s not a big deal if you’ve got walls around you and some sort of roof over your head, but honestly, I’m also not convinced they really add anything to the game except a pointless, and sometimes very frustrating pretence at being like other games. You know what the exact opposite of fun is? Being killed by exploding Creepers, and dropping everything you’d spent the last two hours mining in lava.

Including a diamond pickaxe.

And only then discovering you can disable monsters altogether.

A moment of silence for Picky-Sparkles. ;_;

Picky-Sparkles (pictured far right) in happier times.

The transition to console and controller has happened perhaps unexpectedly without significant catastrophe or inscrutably obvious game-breaking UI decision, although it’s necessarily somewhat behind the PC version in terms of features – there’s plenty to do, of course, but not as much as you can right now on PC. To make up for this (ahead of actual game updates, which are apparently already in the works), the Xbox version includes four-way local multiplayer in addition to eight-way online multiplayer, but how much this actually matters depends more or less on how many  of your friends want to make holes with you.

The console version also includes a tutorial stage, and while PC veterans and purists will doubtless sneer at such blatant and blasphemous HOW TOing, it beats keeping a browser page open on the official Minecraft wiki to do exactly the same thing the “hard way”.

I can’t recommend this game to everybody, ever in good conscience. I’m not even sure I can call it a “game”. But if you’ve ever dreamed of owning the world’s biggest LEGO set, then Minecraft is definitely for you. If not, you have no soul.

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