Minecraft is a game with blocky models, low resolution textures, only basic sound effects, and no plot. The AI is limited at best, and interactions are simplistic. You must play this game!
Confused? Everything in the previous paragraph is absolutely true, Minecraft was developed by a small team, originally just one developer (since expanded to a handful of people), there are no industry standard design documents, everything about the game flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
What makes the game a truly rewarding experience is that although the interactions between objects are simplistic, left click to destroy/activate, right click to use/build, the sheer number of possible interactions creates an emergent gameplay experience where you can build almost any structure or mechanism you can think of. One industrious player actually built a working computer processor inside the game world. It takes up an area of land the size of multiple football fields, but it works now obviously the average player won’t be making something quite that complex, but it shows that nearly anything is possible in this game.
The way the game starts is you’re thrown into a world of randomly generated blocky terrain, you have nothing, but you can collect resources from the environment, and build some simple tools, maybe even a small structure. But then night comes, and monsters start to spawn. Which is one of those simple interactions, any completely unlit area will spawn monsters, they can spawn in the day as well, but since most of the world is lit by the sun they won’t. Chances are unless you researched the game before playing those monsters caught you by surprise, and killed you. They aren’t too tough once you figure out how to make torches and weapons though, and if you make a bed and sleep in a safe area you can even skip the night entirely.
Everyone’s experience is going to be different since the game is randomly generated, but to give you an idea of the complexity of the worlds, here are some screen caps of my home in singleplayer.
A labyrinthine natural cave system under the house, the depths of which I haven’t completely explored yet, but I leave torches behind as I do to make the next trip down a tad easier (monsters spawn in the caves otherwise).
Unfortunately, unlike the last few games I reviewed, you’ll have to pay a small entry fee to play this game, you can find it at http://www.minecraft.net