Now, what am I getting for my €15, you might ask. Well, you are getting a world to explore and build in your image, some of the most interesting gameplay I’ve ever seen, and crack - fresh, tasty crack. The biggest challenge in Minecraft is knowing when to stop. My general rule of thumb is either 4:30 in the morning, or three minutes before I have to be at work. Addictions aside, there is something special about this game. You start with nothing at all, in a world made up of blocks. The first thing you should do is find a tree and punch it. After a few moments of tree-punching, you are rewarded with a block of wood. This block of wood can be broken down into lumber and sticks, which you can put together to make axes, shovels, hoes, swords, and pickaxes. These let you harvest other kinds of blocks and build better and better tools. Eventually, without realizing it, you have started to build. You can build nearly anything you want in Minecraft, from a glorious glass house on the edge of a cliff, to a roller coaster that runs for twenty miles. You can construct a giant obelisk in the middle of the ocean or a fifty-story replica of Erik Estrada. What is the fun in constructing a fifty-story replica of Erik Estrada? Well, the whole point is that you decide what is fun. The game doesn’t tell you what to do; it just gives you some tools to do whatever crazy thing you want to do.
The only thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the night. Minecraft runs a full day/night cycle, and the monsters come out at night. There are several kinds, but they really only fall into two categories. There are the creepers, and there are all of the others. All the others include the giant spiders, zombies, skeleton archers, and what-have-you. The creepers are the worst things in the world, so far. (Remember that it is getting constant updates). When a creeper gets close, it blows up. This can destroy your perfect glass house or Erik Estrada. It will also kill you. The only real way to be safe from the monsters is to hide at night and build in the day. The only real way to be safe from the creepers is to live in constant fear.
Soon, Minecraft's Adventure Update should go live. Then, the game will have more of that regular game feel, with exploration, dungeons, and towns. For now, I love it just the way it is, as a game that’s primarily concerned with punching trees, Erik Estrada, and hiding from the monster that you can hear just outside the door.