Not too long ago, a relatively unknown indie programmer called Notch posted a work-in-progress version of a sandbox building game on the TIGSource forums. It was called Minecraft, and at the time, people thought it was really very cool. Fast forward to the present and Minecraft has sold over four million copies, been through extended alpha and beta phases, spawned the Mojang indie studio, and gained so much popularity, the launch of its official version took place at a Las Vegas convention dubbed MineCon. That's an impressive feat for any game, let alone one started by a single person. But now, Minecraft 1.0.0 is officially out. No more beta, no more alpha, it's here. And there are plenty of reasons to get hooked all over again!
Minecraft has technically been available for quite some time. Anyone could swing in and purchase the game during its development phases, getting a bit of a discount in favor of access to earlier builds. Minecraft has grown from a very simple "run around, destroy blocks, place blocks" game of exploration to a full-blown survival experience, allowing you to gather items, craft dozens of tools and objects, and deal with various enemies that inhabit the world. You can make working circuits, craft movable pillars, minecarts that run on tracks, cook food, create weapons and armor, and even bake a delicious cake. It's your world to sculpt and mine as you wish, and it's the best way to lose days of your life without even realizing that time has passed!
With the release of Minecraft 1.0.0, something very important has been added to the game: a purpose. Before, the only quests you had were the ones you made up yourself. Now, you can actually beat the game, something that might seem entirely pointless for the game that practically invented the modern sandbox genre. Beating the game and seeing the ending requires you to build a portal that leads to another dimension and defeat the final boss, an Enderdragon. Naturally, that's not going to happen right after you fire up the game, so it gives you something to work for, even if it's just another goal in your grand schemes to build a scale model of the galaxy out of wool blocks you dyed yourself.
The official Minecraft release also brings with it loads of other changes and adjustments, including new mobs, new terrain (mushroom biomes, anyone?), new blocks, animal breeding, potions, adjustments to armor and combat, non-player characters inhabiting villages, as well as the ability to enchant objects. The full list is even more impressive and shows that Minecraft 1.0.0 really is a different experience than the alpha or beta versions.
Analysis: Reviewing Minecraft is a lot like writing a review for sliced bread. It's there, it feels like it's always been there, so you never really think about it as a minor miracle. There's really no need to gush on and on about how great Minecraft is. We've reviewed two versions of it before, from the early original Minecraft release to Minecraft Alpha, so you know exactly what to expect.
Minecraft is still available as both a single player and multi-player experience. You can host your own game on your computer or even sign up for a hosted service that runs the game for you. The Minecraft modding community is one of the most active on the web, and they have created some phenomenal alterations to the game that include cosmetic alterations as well as serious gameplay changes. There are hundreds if not thousands of mods available, and it's well worth your time to browse Planet Minecraft and MinecraftForum.net to see what you can see.
Minecraft has official versions for iPhone/iPad, Android phones, and soon, Xbox 360. The mobile versions are far from complete, but you can place and remove blocks, which is the core experience no matter how you cut it.
In the future, Mojang plans to continue updating and adding to Minecraft, refining the experience and giving us players more thing to craft, build, and, well, run from in screaming terror. It's been a phenomenal development period, and things certainly won't slow down now that the real product has been released. Here's to more mining and more crafting!
Play the free Minecraft Classic (also in multiplayer)
Order Minecraft 1.0.0
Mac OS X:
Play the free Minecraft Classic (also in multiplayer)
Order Minecraft 1.0.0
Play the free Minecraft Classic (also in multiplayer)
Order Minecraft 1.0.0
I cried when this came out yesterday. I've been playing since the first review of this game was reviewed on JIG. I've seen it grow since it was just a cute little sandbox game and now... *cries*
Amazing game. Amazing.
Holy bleep, 1.0.0
I'm used to having extra numbers after the 1!
Psh, I don't think I've lost DAYS of my life playing this ga--
"Minutes played: 6.56d"
...I REGRET NOTHING.
I've played the free version for a long time, it's a really nice game! easy to lost track of time. It's a pty though.. I tried to purchase this game 3 times but I never receive the confirmation SMS from VISA.
I could try paypal but I'm lazy and not enough motivated :P
Bought the game and can say it does a great job as a indie game, there will be however updates.
John, you say we can make cake. Is it delicious and moist?
I think Minecraft is best enjoyed with buddies. I had fun randomly running around, but it's be so much better ever since I found out I could host a server and my husband started playing the game with me. Just running around, crafting random things, squealing and hiding from Endermen while he creates elaborate contraptions from blueprints is a blast.
Was SUPER disappointed plain ol' dragons weren't included in this update, though. I don't know why I was convinced they would be. I spent a good hour tearing around the countryside with a diamond sword before I found out they weren't in yet. :(
Dora, there is a dragon but it's found in another world.
So glad I bought this during the beta. What was the price back then? Like $12 or something. Sweet deal.
I STILL haven't encountered the mushroom biome. For some reason, that's what I'm most excited about. :-P
Also, I swear I heard a dragon when I was digging around in a cave. Swear it.
I totally remember the first time I heard about Minecraft, when the classic version was featured as a user review for some contest. I've been playing it since, it amazes me to see how far it has gone.
I CAN NEVER GET THIS GAME TO LOAD. I JUST GET THE JAVA COFFE ICON.
using a mac. trying to play free version (trying before buying and whathaveyou)
anyone experiencing same problem?
can anyone help?
JohnB, just explore it will come to you (if your playing a old map you might have to go beyond what the game determined, it's good to start a new one).
I'm grouping a bunch of friends to make it to the dragon.
I'd love to see more detail in a minecraft review -- considering how unbelievably popular it is, how large, and how varied... it's not a big deal that there are two previous short reviews. There look like a *lot* of nice (nor not so nice?) new things that have come out of the past year's work. How does that affect gameplay? what is networked local server play really like?
Thanks and JIG <3 !~
BEST! GAME! EVER!
You have no excuse to not play Minecraft. Everyone and their grandmother is playing it, so why not you?
Go get it already! 8D
I actually heard about Minecraft from you guys! So, I've been playing it since about August 2009.
I was visiting with my brother out of state, and I would play Minecraft on his computer sometimes. Within a week I had my brother, niece, and nephew all glued to the screen building, destroying, and screaming when a creeper popped out of nowhere. And my niece usually doesn't even LIKE video games.
It's still a good game, but there have been a lot of changes towards a regular fantasy computer rpg. It's still a sandbox game, but less sandbox than before. And this game became famous because of the sandbox elements.
Is sad, but this minecraft is worse than before.
For my own personal tastes, I feel the changes away from "just" a sandbox game are for the better. I like Minecraft a lot, but the lack of objectives means I tend to lose interest after a while. Having goals like "find a Netherfortress", "gather reagents to brew all the potions", "kill a freaking dragon", "find X biome" make me have something to play for. Neither my husband or I are really into building giant Pinkie Pie sculptures (... well... not MUCH anyway) so having more stuff to do other than "build a static sculpture for its own sake" is important to me.
There is a Creative Mod to play with the games elements and not worry about health, food, you can fly around to facilitate travel, construction, ect.
The great thing about Minecraft is that you can completely ignore the RPG elements if you want. There are both Creative and Survival modes; in Creative, the "hostile" mobs (creepers, etc.) are turned passive, so they can't blow you up. In Creative mode, you can build to your heart's content with unlimited blocks, no health/hunger bars, and the ability to fly. Even in Survival mode, you can turn off the hostile mobs by setting it to Peaceful. Then you're free to be a farmer/architect/explorer in peace, without having to deal with dragons and potions and different dimensions.
Minecraft may have added a bunch of RPG elements, but it still retains all the sandbox-y goodness it had before.
@Dora Is it just me, or is it hilarious that someone with your name is wanting something other than just *exploring*? ;-)
That said...the addition of RPG elements bothers me a bit too, especially things like the hunger meter that makes certain activities more mandatory in survival mode. OTOH...I am looking forward to actually finding a village or stronghold sometime--the only new feature I was seeing under 1.8 beta was the crevasses.
One thing that does make me wonder, though, as far as the 'ending' goes. It's mentioned that intersecting structures can mess up the needed portal--the thing is the key structure involved only spawns a fixed number of times in a *world*...leading to the potential of it being 'unwinnable' (barring editors and similar hacks/cheats) if all of those structures are messed up. Plus, by the time you're able to discover this, you've already invested a lot of time into that world. That...worries me, given my usual rate with Murphy.
nerdypants et al: I know that I can still play minecraft as a pure sandbox game, it's what I do. What bothers me is that all the development effort seems oriented towards a type of gameplay that I'm not interested in in minecraft.
I was hoping updates with new construction elements, like the pistons, but now I doubt that the devs add these kind of stuff anymore.
One thing that really bothers me greatly though is the land generation. Before we had mountain ranges full of trees, gravel beaches, deserts with great lakes, rivers crossing every kind of terrain, lava pools in the middle of a forest, hilly forest with big underground caves, etc. Now all we have are naked mountains, huge swamps, plain grasslands and boring forests. There's no variety anymore.
I can't get the free version to run. Just a black screen after the java icon spins for a few seconds. I 'allow' the lwjgl.org certificate (4 or 5 times) but nothing ever happens. Except that while the completely blank applet is running the rest of my computer becomes very sluggish. Ugh I hate java.
Anybody have similar problems?
I'm on mac and have tried running it in chrome and in safari.
Vulpis: You're in luck. In version 1.0, the previous limit of 3 on fortresses was removed. So even if three of them are broken for some reason, you can find another. I encourage anyone concerned about fine points of the game like that to check out Minecraftwiki, especially the version history.
The addition of the more fantasy-RPG-esque elements doesn't really bother me at all, personally. Peaceful mode mitigates them, and you have creative mode if you want to ignore even the resource-gathering aspect entirely and do nothing but build stuff or look around. In fact, on a server, if you're designated as an operator, you can even alternate between the two states (though that might or might not be seen as cheating).
The Minecraft forums (found under "Community" in the Minecraft site) have a support section. They might be able to help you out with any technical issues.
Hmm, I can't figure out how to get the new version. I haven't played in a while, and currently running Beta 1.3_01 on a Windows Vista OS. When I launch Minecraft and log in, it just says it can't connect to minecraft.net, has been saying this every time I tried for the last 3 days.
Dogfloss, you need to go to minecraft.net and update your client. They updated their launcher several versions ago, and the newer updates as far as I know are incompatible with the old launcher.
Thank you Smoothfonzo!
nerdypants: good idea. Thanks.
Hopefully I'll have the time to mess around with Minecraft 1.0.0 for a good long while when this semester ends :)
I'm wondering, if they still plan on adding things to the game, and things don't quite work exactly the way they're supposed to, what makes things different from Beta? I've had the game for a while now, and the only difference I'm really noticing is the price change. xD
But, for example...
The new music disks can't be found in game at all yet, and the dragon egg can't be acquired by regular means yet, nor does it do anything.
While it is out of beta, it's important to note that this isn't actually the final version. They'll still be adding tons of things. In fact, they've hired an AI guy to help on the NPC AI.
I cannot believe this game has come so far from it's Classic stage. I've owned the game for almost three years, and it remains tons of fun to this day (I've made 13,000 wooden planks :P) Definitely worth $30, I recommend this game to everyone.
I haven't played Minecraft in a couple months now, but I do want to say this: One of the main appeals of Minecraft is that there are regular significant updates.
You can push the dragon egg with a piston to collect it. I consider this "regular means".
What a stunning game. I've only been playing for a few months now, but I can see how amazing it is, and how it stands above all other games of its genre. (For that matter, above most other games. :-P) A massive "Well done!" to Notch, Jeb, and the rest of the Mojang team.
Oh, and I realize that the "RPG argument" is a month old, but:
If you want to play Survival without the RPG elements, downgrade to 1.7.3 (no hunger, no potions, no enchanting, no End) using the MCNostalgia or MCNostalgia 2.0 tools. (I'd link you to them, but I don't know how. They're on the MC Forums.) You can downgrade to any version you like if you have one of them.
One final thing:
Some mods I'd recommend are the Aether mod (for another dimension), the YogBox modpack (for several amazing mods, all packaged in one download), and Single Player Commands ("It's like having over 100 mods in one"). The latter two have automated installers, so no need to download 7zip or WinRAR.
One actual final thing:
One thing I didn't see in the review is that you can download some custom adventure maps; they're really easy to install, and some of them are stunning. (Deep Space Turtle Chase, anyone? Or Lux Perpetua?) Some map makers include custom textures or mods in the download, increasing the level of immersion.
Yikes, how did I end up writing a 250-word mini-review when I meant to write a quick comment?
I've never really liked minecraft. For one thing, my computer seems to think that the left mouse button is the escape key in this game. So every time I dig it goes something like this: *Dig* *dig* *game pauses* *dig* *dig* *game pauses*. This might seem like a minor problem but it gets really annoying.
I can built my house with many cube