Video Game: Minecraft

"It's the first "sandbox game" that actually lets you dig up sand at the beach, build a giant sandbox, build a sandcastle in it, smelt the sand into glass with a furnace you built yourself, rebuild it into a giant glass pyramid with a moat of lava, and then blow it all up with TNT while riding a pig."

Minecraft is a cross-platform, block-based sandbox game. It was originally intended as a Spiritual Successor of the free game Infiniminer and is inspired by Dwarf Fortress as well, even to the point that someone developed a program to convert Dwarf Fortress maps into Minecraft landscapes.

Currently Minecraft has two main branches: "Classic" and simply "Minecraft" (previously "Beta"; "Alpha", "Infdev", and "Indev" before that), with the latter further sub-divided into "Survival", "Creative", "Adventure", and "Hardcore" modes. It is currently priced at 19.95 (US$26.95, 17.20), Classic is free to play, but has fewer features than the full release, plus the multiplayer mode of Classic was discontinued.

Classic is a simple sandbox mode that can be played either single or multiplayer. Players can place or destroy blocks as they see fit, and can switch between various kinds of blocks. For the most part, it's focused solely on building, and can be used to easily make very large structures or pixel art. Many players have compared it to playing with LEGOnote , and the visuals definitely carry that vibe. Classic is free to play, and a good way to introduce someone to the mechanics of Minecraft, but it is extremely basic when compared to the full game's more varied and complex features.

The full version features four modes: Survival, Hardcore, Adventure, and Creative.

Survival adds myriad features, such as a crafting system, a day/night cycle, and hostile monsters, and unlike Classic, the player must collect blocks manually. Players are dropped into an empty world with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back. At night, zombies, skeleton archers, Giant Spiders, exploding Creepers, and teleporting Endermen roam the land (unless you're playing on Peaceful Mode note ). The player is forced to scrounge for supplies, building up a base to protect from the nocturnal beasts while also mining deep underground for valuable materials. The landscape is also populated by more docile animals, like cows, that can be killed for their meat (which fills your food meter) and other useful items. Even after its official release, the game is constantly updated with many new features and tweaks, and players who have already paid for the game receive these free. For more details about Survival mode, refer to the analysis section. Hardcore mode is similar to Survival in most respects, but the difficulty is permanently locked at hard, and the world is deleted upon death.

Another game mode, Creative, removes the health barnote , gives the player infinite access to every item/block in the game, lets the player spawn nearly every kind of mobnote  and gives them the ability to fly. It is, in essence, a more full-featured version of Classic.

Adventure mode is much like Survival, but without the ability to break most blocks without specific tools. This mode is generally meant for user-created maps that focus on storylines or exploration.

Notable for its frequent updates and very involved creator, Notch (now working on other projects, having turned Minecraft over to Jeb_). The full game was released on November 18, 2011 (originally slated for November 11, but due to some other game launching that day, Notch pushed it back a week). The game also exists as a mobile version for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and two official Android apps (one free and one paid version - both of which roughly correspond to the Classic and gold versions, respectively). An iOS version of this was released on November 17, one day before the computer version left Beta. A version for the Xbox 360 is also available, as is one for the PlayStation 3. A version has also been announced especially for the Raspberry Pi computer, based on Minecraft - Pocket Edition. Xbox One, Play Station Vita and PlayStation 4 versions have also been announced; both the Xbox One and PS4 versions will be available at the launch of their respective consoles. On September 15, 2014, Microsoft announced that they've bought Mojang and Minecraft for a record $2.5 billion, with all three of Mojang's founders quitting the dev team to follow other projects.

Worth mentioning, one of the splashes that can pop up at the title screen is "Less addictive than TV Tropes!" Although since there happen to be several unofficial Troper servers, you can have both at the same time...

It also features music by C418!

The Game Mod Index has a Minecraft section which has pages for various mods and maps. There is also another page reserved for fan-made Adventure Maps.

The official wiki can be found here, which you will absolutely need if you want to get anything done.

See also Minicraft, a spin-off game made in 48 hours by Minecraft creator Notch, as well as Terraria, the most popular of several games with a similar "blocky sandbox survival" genre to Minecraft. Mojang's following game was Scrolls, which is currently in open beta.

Minecraft provides examples of: