Minecraft Review and a Few Mods to Boot
This game has killed so much of my time to not write about it would be a sin. So here is both my reviews of Minecraft and a few Minecraft mods. Mojang, the makers of Minecraft, have put together one heck of a java game. Minecraft has spread like crack in the gaming community, something most indie developers never see.
So what is the deal with Minecraft? Well, it’s pretty simple. First, the game is really easy to play. It has 2 modes of play with a third mode of play coming out in the next edition. The two modes are creative and survival with a hardcore survival mode coming out in 1.9, 1.8.1 is the current official release at this moment. Creative mode is just you building whatever your heart desires in a landscape of random layouts. Although, you can create the same map over and over again by using a map generation key. The second mode is survival mode which is as it sounds survival is the key with all the fun of creative mode, except with the challenge of monsters and having to obtain the materials to survive and build. The third mode, hardcore survival will have the same thing as survival mode except upon death the world is deleted so there is no trying again with what you may have done.
Keeping the game simple enough for just about anyone to grasp the game uses blocks for pretty much everything. So as you wander around these block based worlds what you want to do is pretty much up to you. A common theme to sandbox games, except in Minecraft there are no bosses to hunt down no real objectives. Creative mode is just as it says. It gives you access to all the blocks in the game without limit. So if you don’t like to fight or have to survive you can build like it’s a virtual Lego wonderland. Really who doesn’t have fond memories of playing with blocks.
Survival mode has monsters also known as mobs that come out at night to kill you, whether you come out of your shelter to face them or not is entirely up to you. That is unless you didn’t build a shelter before your first night. In survival mode you craft materials, tools, weapons, and armor to face the threats of the night, caves or just hunting for food. As of 1.8.1 you actually need to eat regularly to survive. You can build small farms of wheat, sugarcane, and watermelons to aid in your survival or hunt for cows, pigs, and chickens. You can even go fishing if you build a fishing pole. It is all up to you. Mine as much as you want or just explore the huge map that is built for you. You can build a portal to enter a lava filled dimension called the Nether if you want a change of scenery.
With the next version of the game looking to add more structures to the Nether realm, another dimension called the End, NPCs that spawn in little villages, and an potion table, Minecraft is continuing to expand and add more with each update. It’s hard to find yourself bored in this game, but if you do there is a large modding community for Minecraft that adds all sorts of new and different options to the game. Giving you a virtually endless array of possibilities.
Not to mention there are tons of servers with different mods or just standard play of creative or survival mod out there to allow for a great multiplayer experience. Some might require you to install certain mods, but many just require you to talk to the person running it via IRC or forum emails.
By itself I would say Minecraft easily is a 5 out of 5, with decent replay value. With the mods though it has an inexhaustible level of replay value. I’d say one of it’s biggest downfalls is the silence that comes fairly often.
Now as I said I wanted to talk of a few mods that I find extremely enriching to the game.
MAtmos – This mod is a simple sound mod that adds nature sounds and wind sound as well as a number of other sounds that may seem unnecessary, but truly does bring a lot of life to this game. It also solves the silence issue when the music isn’t playing. Hearing the wind blow when on a hillside or mountain or the little birdie sounds of the forest. It’s a great mod that doesn’t change the game by adding tools or blocks just cleans up the silence.
Dr Zhark’s Creatures – This mod adds a ton of mobs to your game. From hostile mobs, water mobs, animal mobs and hunter animal mobs. You want cats in the game along wolves or foxes and bears, maybe sharks or even a dangerous ogre then this is the mod for you. It adds a large quantity of mobs to the game with a gui that makes it easy to customize the rarity, in its most recent version it even has the ability to edit the rarity of the standard mobs of the game. If you are looking to add more animals to the game or even more nasty monsters this mod offers both. I would say it is a must have for anyone looking for more life in their Minecraft world.
Humans+ – This mod adds a number of NPC factions to your world. If you feel a bit lonely wandering around this mod might be what it takes to solve that one. It adds, Knights and Samurai, Hunters, Assassins, Elves, Bandits, Desert Bandits, Pirates, and Peasants and a few other factions. All your actions involving these NPCs effects how different factions may see you. Kill a bunch of hunters and the bandits may fight with you since you crossed over to the evil side. Kill a bunch of animals in front of the elves and you can be sure they will attack you. This mod adds quite a bit of people running around in the wild trying to kill you and each other, but it does make things interesting. It’s biggest issue seems to be that in general the knights almost always attempt to kill you so it never seems viable to side with them. Although it is fun hacking down other people instead of a bunch of creepers and spiders all the time.
The next two mods I will talk about aren’t really done but can and do work well enough.
Twilight Forest – No it has nothing to do with the Stephenie Meyers book about vampires. The Twilight Forest is a dimension mod, which means it adds another dimension much like going to the Nether. Twilight Forest is a dimension of perpetual twilight. In other wards both monster and animal mobs can spawn at all times. So you are never really safe. What really makes this world worth exploring is that you are in a huge forest canopy with trees taller than some mountains in Minecraft. The ground is lower so you won’t be able to dig as deep but you don’t need to hills have ores and tons of monster mobs that defend them. There are Hedge Mazes, and Ice Walls, and currently one courtyard with the Naga as a boss for the mod. You can choose whether you want to take it one or not. Even if you don’t climbing to the top of the tree canopy is quite a site and makes for a very interesting world to visit. This is a great mod with a lot of potential.
Tale of Kingdoms – This mod is fairly new to the scene, but just fantastic. If you play and want to build a castle, but at the same time you want to spend your time mining and killing. Then this mod is for you. It immediately adds a guild that you join where you learn what it takes to be a king. This is pretty much done by slaughtering enemy mobs with your fellow guild-mates. Once you’ve earned enough you can take a builder out somewhere of your choosing and tell him to build there. He will build the out castle wall and request Cobblestone and wood to build more buildings. The castle can be upgraded to tier two currently and it does take some time to acquire the materials to build the buildings, mainly the wood that is. Once you hit tier two you can hire guardsmen for your castle, but even before that you can hire guilds men as body guards. You can also sell many of the Items you may find useless to the guild or shop once you build one and use the money from those items as well as the critters you kill to purchase better tools, weapons, armor and just about anything else. This gives you a lot more freedom to play the game as you like, while giving you an optional goal. Although this mod isn’t completed and an Enemy kingdom is planned in future releases as it stands now it is a lot of fun and adds a whole new feel to the game. Worth taking a look at if you are even a little interested in modding your Minecraft.
All of those mods are compatible with each other in 1.8.1 without any issues that I have seen and create a very hectic and dangerous landscape, but it sure is a lot of fun. Don’t limit yourself to these mods check out others as well. These mods and many more can all be found at http://www.minecraftforum.net/