Review: Building a Better World With ‘Minecraft’ for Xbox 360
Robert Workman, TechNewsDaily Contributor
May 10 2012 01:41 PM ET
Over the past few months, millions of PC users have been enjoying “Minecraft,” an “open-world” adventure game that lets you rebuild an existing level of blocks into whatever you choose to imagine. Now, console owners can get in on the fun with “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition,” which arrived on Xbox Live Arcade this week.
For 1600 Microsoft points ($20), you can visit randomly generated worlds, chop them into retro-designed blocks resembling images from the 8-bit Nintendo world and then combine them into new elements, placing them however you please into this new world and building things as a result.
The game is separated into day and night events. During the day, you’ll chop down trees and cut up stone blocks to build new structures, such as towers and houses. You can also kill animals and use them for materials, though they aren’t nearly as strong as wood and stone. At night, you’ll fight for survival against dangerous enemies, including zombies, spiders and — worst of all — the green Creepers. You could use your materials to make weapons, but it’s best just to build something strong and hide.
Though the game does require some patience when it comes to building bigger structures, it remains incredibly fun, as you can put together some amazing structures. What’s more, the game encourages other players to join in, with either four players working cooperatively locally via split-screen play or eight across the Xbox Live online service.
Minecraft has a decidedly retro look, featuring 8-bit style textures you’d normally see in an old Nintendo NES game, but within a beautiful 3D environment. The music is also soft and pleasant, so you can relax while you chip away at building your dream utopia.
A word of warning: The game is based more on the original PC edition, so it doesn’t feature all the fancy additions that have since been added through upgrades. There are no villages to wander through, nor is glass available as a building material, leaving window spaces wide open — and slightly undecorative. But don’t worry, Microsoft is possibly working on an update to the game as you read this, as it’s released downloadable content for similar games before.
Though costlier than most Xbox Live Arcade fare ($20 versus $15), Minecraft is a refreshing experience that’s just as enjoyable on the Xbox 360 as it is on the PC. Invite some friends and it’s even better.
RATING: 3.5 / 4