February 11, 2011
Game developers strive to make games that are not just metaphorically, but physically beautiful. Pre-rendered cinematography and motion-capturing technology create the faces that sell games that have yet to show their genuine inner beauty (or lack thereof).
Well, Markus Persson (more affectionately referred to as “Notch”) and his new company, Mojang Specifications, have created a game that spits in the spiteful faces of monolith gaming publishers such as Activision and Electronic Arts and shouts “Oh nay nay, good sir.
Katy Perry says I’m a firework, and your pretty graphics impress no one.” This rebellious young tyke of a title is called “Minecraft.”
Boasting over one million sales even before the game has been completed, “Minecraft” is the ultimate sandbox game in all respects. You are a nameless person opening your eyes into a vast world full of raw resources. You need to survive. There is your premise. The plot is now in your hands, but let’s continue.
Enemies spawn wherever there is darkness. There could be a nearby cave and half a day of sunlight. You must learn fast or die faster. Perhaps you could make torches to light the cave walls before your ten minutes of sunlight are gone.
There could be trees to provide ample wood for torches… or for a log cabin… or for a tree house… or a tower… or weapons.
You could decide to dig a hole and live in the ground. Your mother would be very proud. Night falls. You hear the awkward stumbling and screeching of various monsters now occupying the surface world.
After a while, you make a hole and see the sun has returned. Maybe tonight, you’ll be more courageous and try to defend yourself or at least make a better home. The choice is always yours. While I’m no Tolkien, this story could very possibly be yours.
There are different difficulty levels and no two people will have the same world generated for them. Multiplayer is in the works, and the price tag is only around 20 dollars. It is a lovely distraction from “Call of Duty” where I feel like I’m compensating for some aspect of my life, and it is much more creative.
“Minecraft” is a nice reminder that some games are popular for a reason… like they’re good. If the graphics are such an issue that you refuse to give this game a chance, then go back to “Black Ops,” get mad at some kid who happens to outscore you, call him a camper, and don’t think too hard (I am no exception). It’s a rather rare occasion that I can say this: This game scores a 10 out of 10. Thanks, Notch.