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What is Minecraft?

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Sandbox games are fast gaining popularity over linear ones. Read ahead to find out what is Minecraft and what sort of gameplay it involves.
Sandbox games or open world games are the in thing nowadays owing to their non linear gameplay structures that allows the player to freely roam the virtual game environment without having to clear linear levels. This kind of game level design also gives the player the freedom to approach the game climax by formulating his own strategies and following his own preferred game level sequence rather than being forced to follow the stringent, linear game level sequence.
Sandbox games for PS3 and other consoles have been gaining a lot of popularity lately. In case you're wondering why I am giving you a tutorial on open world non linear gameplay instead of spilling about Minecraft, Minecraft is a sandbox game having a non linear gameplay structure.
It is a 3 dimensional building or construction game where the player is required to construct buildings and structures using textured cubes as the building blocks. Let's take a look at the details of this non linear game and find out how and where it can be played.

All About Minecraft

As mentioned earlier, Minecraft is a sandbox building construction game. It was originally conceptualized and created by Markus Persson and it is still in development by his company Mojang. In this game, the player is required to build a structure - any structure having any geometrical shape imaginable - using textured cubes or blocks before nightfall.
At night, the monsters emerge and a structure needs to be erected before they come out in order that it can provide shelter against the monsters. This game is developed for Java Platform and Java Applet and it was first released in May, 2009, on TIGSource forums, nearly a week after it was developed.
Since then, a lot of updates have been introduced to this game and it has gained a lot of popularity. Minecraft has sold more than a million copies by mid of January, 2011.
The game premises of Minecraft have drawn significant amounts of inspiration from other similar games like Dungeon Keeper, Infiniminer and Dwarf Fortress. Minecraft can be played in two modes - Classic and Beta. The Classic mode is the basic or elementary mode which is concerned with only construction and building.
The Beta mode is an advanced mode where the player is introduced to enemies, player health (which measures the value of the player's moves and helps accumulate winning points) and other additional features.

Minecraft Gameplay

Both Classic and Beta mode variants come with single player as well as multiplayer options. In the Classic mode, the players are required to either construct or demolish structures in the game environment without bothering about avoiding and defending against enemy attacks and surviving other dangers such as environmental hazards (molten lava) and falling down steep edges.
There are unlimited number of blocks which the player can use to go ahead with their constructions. The players also have the options to place or remove any block he/ she wants at the same time, regardless of their differences.
Besides manipulating these blocks, the players can have no other environmental interactions in the virtual game world. This, however, is possible in the Beta mode.
In Beta mode, which is still being developed and updated, the players are required to construct structures, use mining techniques and survive enemy attacks and other obstacles as well.
The blocks available to players in this mode is limited and additional blocks are not made available till the present lot is not completely used for mining. Besides building structures, these blocks can also be used to craft various objects such as swords, chests, buckets and mine carts.
The option of various environmental interactions is also available in the beta mode and the players may plant trees and farm or hunt animals too. Other features like inventory and player health are also present in this mode.
Succumbing to monster attacks and environmental hazards will cause a decrease of value on the health meter and health can be regained by consuming various objects within the game environment.
The Beta variant is available only on purchase and is expected to gradually phase out the Classic variant as soon as some final updates are introduced to it. Minecraft is one of the best sandbox games for PC and you can play the classic mode after you register with the official Minecraft website.
There is also a downloadable version available on this website. Now that you are aware of what Minecraft is, what else are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign up and enjoy this creative construction game!