Strongholds of Fantasy

Castles, Dungeons, and other Fantasy Lore...

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a videogame, based in a virtual world, in which the player seeks out to build things in his surroundings.  There are basically two modes of game play, survival and creative. 

In survival mode the player scrounges for resources of food and building materials in order to "survive."  The player must acquire food by means of hunting animals or farming plants, otherwise his health will deteriorate due to starvation.  Just like in real life, the player must create a shelter to dwell in, store resources, sleep, and hide from enemies/predators.  Everything in the game the player needs, whether it's prepared food, building materials, tools, special items, and weapons, is crafted from the raw materials  harvested from plants, mined from the surface and underground, and acquired from animals and enemies.

While in creative mode the player has unlimited resources and can build whatever he desires on the landscape.  As long as the difficulty mode is set to peaceful, there will be no enemies to bother the player, however animals can be a nuisance.  


It's a Blocky World out There

Minecraft is a unique video-game and it reminds me of how far we have come with virtual reality video-games.  I remember the first virtual reality games, the first person shooters for computers before video-game systems really took off in the market.  

I played the old Wolfenstein games of which you as the player are trying to escape the dungeons of a Nazi Castle set in the era of World War II.  Armed with a gun of sorts you tread carefully through a linear map of rooms and corridors, while shooting enemies in order to beat the game.  

Later on as programming and computer graphics improved, I played the Doom series of games up to, but not including Doom 3.  In this particular game you are a space marine that is shooting his way out of a base that has been overrun by demon monsters.  Other than the better look of the detailed walls and floors, this game allowed you to look up and down and to climb and descend stairs.  

Shortly after the success of Doom, a lot of other clones of the game popped up and 3D shooters became very popular.  After Doom I played Duke Nukem 3D and thoroughly enjoyed the variety of damage I could inflict on the environment.  Quake was the last virtual shooter game I played on computer and I grew tired of the genre as it was harder to keep up with the games becoming more powerful and requiring a more powerful computer to handle them.  

As the years past I discovered the game, Minecraft, and wondered what was all the hype about it.  After watching some You tube videos on the game I was intrigued even further.  Of course I had to play a demo and after that I decided to buy it and explore what the game could do.  

Yes, the graphics are blocky, if you will, and some would say that they are cheesy as well.  However, the beauty of the game is in its simplicity with everything having a squared edge.  The one thing that had really drawn me to the game was that you could create something from scratch in a virtual world and be only limited to your imagination,  

Unlike most 3D games, this game allows you to switch between survival mode and creativity mode.  And if that's not enough you can choose your difficulty setting as well.  Where else can you crawl through caves and dungeons and battle monsters as you find and mine rare metals or have no enemies attack you as you build an impressive structure in the light of day or under the moon at night?  

Lego Minecraft - The First Night

Lego Minecraft - The Farm

Lego Minecraft - The Cave

Lego Minecraft - The Mine