Minecraft is a block-based sandbox-style game. The game drops players into a wide-open procedurally generated world where everything is made of blocks that the players can break down and place elsewhere, rearranging things as they see fit. The game is noted for its creative appeal, often described as "Digital Lego".note Massively popular, the game was originally released on PC by developer Mojang but has since moved to every major video game console and mobile platform, including the Nintendo 3DS.
The game's popularity cannot be overstated. With over 200 million copies sold, it is the number one best-selling game of all time, surpassing previous record holder Tetris. The game's popularity and fanbase is so large that Microsoft bought Minecraft for over two billion dollars in 2014. Part of the game's success can be credited to its deep and open-ended gameplay that encourages creativity and exploration: there's no set "story" or narrative, and players are given utter freedom to decide how they want to interact with the world.
In Minecraft, nearly everything in the game is made up of similarly-sized cubes. From dirt, to rock, to tree trunks. The "world" of Minecraft is nigh-infinite and constantly generates new and unique landscapes as the player explores. Players can scale blocky mountains, swim across bodies of water, or explore any one of the many caves winding through the ground underneath them. The world is bound by unbreakable "bedrock" at the bottom and a height limit at the top where players can no longer place blocks. There are also two alternate realms players can travel to: the "Nether", a hell-like dimension, and "The End", a barren land where a terrible dragon awaits.
The three main modes in Minecraft are Creative, Survival and Hardcore. In Creative, the players can destroy and place blocks with a single click. They can use any block in the game, cannot dienote , and are able to fly. For the most part, it's focused solely on building, and can be used to easily make very large structures or pixel art. Survival, on the other hand, forces the players to manually collect the blocks they want to use, as well as giving them a health bar and the possibility of death. It also introduces a crafting system, hunger system, day/night cycle, and hostile monsters. The players are forced to scrounge for supplies, building up a base to protect themselves from monsters while also mining deep underground for valuable materials. Players must craft various equipment to help them survive, such as pickaxes to make mining blocks quicker, or swords and armor to help fend off the monsters that come each night. Hardcore mode is almost identical to Survival. Except for the fact that the difficulty is locked on hard and if you die, your world gets deleted.
The game can be played in single-player or multiplayer. Multiplayer servers feature shared persistent worlds, allowing multiple players to either collaborate on grand projects or compete against each other. The game also features a very active mod community and has launched many popular YouTube Let's Play channels, shows and personalities, such as the Yogscast, Achievement Hunter's Let's Play Minecraft, Stampylonghead, Minecraft channels from Little Kelly (and her sister, Little Carly), a upcoming Minecraft channel from Oceane Marie and Sky Does Minecraft.
The game is notable for its frequent updates. The game was originally created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson as a Spiritual Adaptation of a freeware game from Zachtronics Industries called Infiniminer. First released in 2009, Minecraft started out very basic and only had the equivalent of Creative mode. Various other modes, such as Survival Test, Indev and Infdev were slowly added in and refined/renamed, as well as many of the now-standard features (like the day/night cycle). In the summer of 2010 it was updated to Alpha status and moved to Beta status later that year. Despite the game being "officially" released in 2011, many new features have continued to be added. As previously mentioned, in 2014, Microsoft bought Mojang (and thus Minecraft) but assured fans they planned to continue the game's ongoing development.
The soundtrack is by composers C418 and Lena Raine. 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 is an extremely valuable tool, though each recent update has decreased the need to rely on it by providing in-game hints regarding all major features.
Other games based on Minecraft include:
- Minecraft: Story Mode (Season 1: 201516, Season 2: 2017): An episodic Point-and-Click Game developed by Telltale Games in co-operation with Mojang.
- Minecraft Earth (early access 2019): A free-to-play Augmented Reality game for mobile devices.
- Minecraft Dungeons (2020): A Mojang Studios developed dungeon-crawler Hack and Slash game taking place in Minecraft's universe.
- Minecraft Card Game (2015)
- Minecraft Builders And Biomes (2019)
See also Minicraft, a spin-off game by Notch, as well as Terraria, the most popular of several games with similar "blocky sandbox survival" themes to Minecraft, and Hytale, another such game developed by some of the creators of the Hypixel maps and minigames listed on the Adventure Maps page.
Other tie-in media Includes:
- Minecraft: A series of Novels published by Del Ray Publishing.
- Minecraft: The Island (2017)
- Minecraft: The Lost Journals (2019)
- Minecraft: The End (2019)
- Minecraft: The Voyage (2020)
- Minecraft: The Crash (2018)
- Minecraft: The Shipwreck (2020)
- Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles (2019-): A series of children's books written by Nick Eliopulos and illustrated by Luke Flowers and Alan Batson.
- Minecraft (2019-): A series of Graphic Novels published by Dark Horse Comics about a kid called Tyler who grows closer to his buddies on Minecraft after he moves to a new town.
- Minecraft Stories From The Overworld (2019): An Anthology collection.
- Minecraft Wither Without You (2020): The first Graphic Novel of a three-volume series about twin monster hunters, Cahira and Orion.
Minecraft provides examples of: