2011 has been filled with awesome game releases from games like Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed Revelations to games like Halo C.E. and Battlefield 3. But 2011 is also filled a lot of great indie titles like Voxatron and EDGE. Yet, the biggest indie title that was released this year is also still in development. Let me introduce you to Minecraft, an amazing indie phenomenon that has over 4 million players on premium and 16 million registered. The most amazing thing is the fact that the number of registered players and premium players have not stopped rising (1 premium account is bought every 5 seconds (ABOUT) and 10 players register every 5 seconds (ABOUT)). But the real question is what makes Minecraft so addicting and fun to play, that is what can be answered with a bit of mining.
One of Minecraft’s more nostalgic features are its graphics, which are quite retro (unless you install a texture pack). I can’t say that this makes Minecraft bad, compared to other games, but it definitely makes the appeal a bit more narrow, when dealing with people who believe graphics need to be as amazing as possible. I must say that this retro feel , to me, was something that made want to continue to play the game. Sure, I could use texture packs but I like to have things be the way Notch wanted it to be. One of the reasons the presentation isn’t amazing is because Minecraft is presented as a complete game, when in reality it is still highly unfinished. I’m sorry Mojang, you can’t just slap a complete sticker on a game that is no where close to that state.
Minecraft is all about building and using your creativity to make what you see fit. But be warned, this game isn’t just about placing and destroying blocks, it also includes a small variety of mobs from the passive pigs and cows to the heart jolting creepers and endermen. Most people would relate Minecraft to legos because it lets you build whatever you want, but I see it kind of like a computer build, you work on it every day trying to make it as good as possible and right when you think you have it down you find out that you messed up (I sure as hell know that feeling). In Minecraft you are given 3 game options ; survival, creative, and hardcore. Survival is…., creative is where you have god mode and you get to do what ever you want, and hardcore is exactly like survival, but here you have one life, so if you die the world gets deleted. The reason Minecraft is so addictive is because it feels rewarding. Unless you play creative, Minecraft makes you work to get items and that makes it feel like you actually did something that was worth the effort. Minecraft makes you think, work, and have fun all at the same time, which is why it is such an amazing game.
There is just too much to put in the first paragraph, so here is one detailing some gameplay mechanics. There is a basic start to the game, punch trees, which gives you wood, which you craft into wooden planks, which you then finally craft into sticks. Sound easy? NO. The reason for that is because Minecraft has no tutorial. But some very nice crafters were able to build a wiki to fit all the needs of a newbie. Now let’s take a look at the more advanced stuff. If you like math you should know what boolean is. If you don’t, boolean is basically yes and no or true and false. You might be wondering what this has to do with Minecraft and that is reasonable, because I felt the same way when I started (WAAAAAAAAY back in Alpha). Redstone is a sort of engineering feature in the game. It allows you to build complex contraptions, using boolean, and with a bit of time becomes the one thing that you can’t get away from (The best thing I can do is make a door open when you push a button that is 5 blocks away). Farming; I’m going to stop there and move on. Animal Breeding; again, I’m not going to explain. A recent addition to the game were villages and NPCs. These have no use at all, other than temporary shelter and supplies. The NPCs are mindless Squidwards (you know what I’m talking about) to most people, when in fact, they are actually Squiliams (the other, rich squid). There are even pets, who have no GUI or use, which makes them an entity that could useful, but because Notch didn’t finish the project… yeah let’s leave it at that.
C418 makes most of the music in minecraft and does an amazing job at it. All of the songs give a sense of discovery and nostalgia, which makes them perfect for the game. In my opinion, C418 is the only artist who could make Minecraft’s music without totally screwing everything up, even deadmau5 can’t compare. Great artists are what make video games so fun to play, they bring the emotion, while the game provides the fun. We also have to thank the sound engine Notch uses for the in game sound, becuase it just made endermen 100 times scarier.
We might never see a game that made such a refinement to the sandbox genre for years to come and because of that minecraft deserves a great score, not the best score just a great score. So here we are:
Presentation: 7/10 – It’s NOT COMPLETE! THEY ARE LYING-ish!
Gameplay: 9/10 – Great, but a bit lacking.
Music: 10/10 – Amazing stuff.
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Hey people that look at me and my friends blog,
This week I am reviewing the game above, its a RPG strategy that is poking fun at many things about RPGs. For example, the maidens can only wear cloth and skimpy cloth! One line in the game is “Curse these modern spells, like depression.”
The story follows Drake, after failing fighter school he wants to just kill himself and die. He is about to jump into a mushroom when Semi-Divine comes. He says he needs help to fight off the dark church that is coming to destroy the land all that stuff. You rally with two other depressed soldiers to defeat the attacking mushrooms. After that you hear a maiden at the top of a hill you run after it like noobs and kill all the enemies, rescue the maiden, then more mushrooms come. You defeat them and continue onto Wish Station (cheesy YES!). You continue on do stuff RPG like. Thats the first mission find out the rest on the Wiki or somewhere.
It is turn-based and a lot like Fire Emblem, but more hardcore. You can attack and you use some special attacks, cool stuff. Its interesting how classes work, there is three and you can’t change them, Maidens, they can use only bows, and can only wear skimpy cloth (never a bad thing), Wimps like drake, who wear leather, and semi-divines, like Semi-Divine who wears plate. Drake and Semi-Divine use swords to fight and kill peeps. There are stats, like HP and Mana but they also added something called Obsession. It increases over time, and when its full you use it, the power is a special ability, Semi-Divine tells a story and enemys and sometimes allys fall asleep in that distances. Drake, gives a speech that ups ally’s stats for a while. However, afterwards you get a low because as Semi-Divine says, “After every awesome high there is a bad low.” The gameplay works well and is very fun to use.
Its $9.99 so its a good price for being an indie game but its friggin awesomely funny and fun! I’d say its worth it if your not looking for anything else that you want, buy it and have a good time.
Its a really fun game that pokes a lot of fun at conventional RPG games but it is still a well built game that RPG lovers will go crazy for.
IGF Pirate Kart is a collection of over 100 games that were in the Independent Games Festival (IGF). This collection of games was too overwhelming and the max amount of games that I could get to play was 67. These are small, but fun games. Some are sprite based, some are text-based, and some are even web-based. I know there are a ton of games and I can’t go over them all, so here is a good enough overview of this collection of games.
Pirate Kart, as I stated before, has a large amount of games and a varied range of genre. Many of the games are well made, not polished (they’re independent devs, so I would not really take this to any conclusion), yet there are enough well made games to keep you playing. One of the best parts of the collection is that there is a “Play a Random Game” button. This will take you to one of any of the many games in the collection. Though not all the games are as many people might want, I found this trove of games to be a very satisfying.
FREE. Just don’t download it from the guy, use bittorrent. He already has made a big amount of debt, because of the idiots that used his bandwith.
Yeah, I know this was a short review, but I had a lot of trouble finding what to review. I’m going to be quick and tell you guys the score.
Edge. An indie title that came out in August of this year. The game is a very quirky game thanks to the great pieces of music, its art style, and the gameplay.
The biggest thing that makes the game unique is its gameplay. The player controls a cube that can go in 4 directions from 1 spot. Pretty simple ,right? Now add in the fact that the view is isometric and that the cube is very good at obeying physics. What do you have now, a very fun, but challenging game. I had many instances where I pressed a button to make the cube go one way, but because I pressed the button once too many times the cube kept going that way and died. The game also has a few fun things that it does with its locked camera. Using the mini map is a great way to find the games collectables (prisms). But because Edge has a locked camera, you can’t always see these prisms, so by using the mini map to guide you there are various ways to find and get prisms. All of the levels are fun and exciting in their own way.
Edge has a small, but enjoyable selection of music that is sounds like it is a perfect match for Edge. There is a very retro feel to the music even though there are no bleeps or bloops. The levels even feel like they have matching music. The darker levels have a bit more of a dark tune to them, while light levels have a more cheerful tune (this one is totally my opinion, I doubt anyone else feels this way).
Edge is an awesome game with a great follow through on its concept. The levels are very polished and the music is outstanding. Even though there are only 48 levels, the game will bring you back to play levels again and again. There is also one piece of DLC already out for the game, giving a few more level to play with and the game is on the iPhone app store.
Edge is a retro styled game that had a new feel for me. It uses a isometric moving system which felt a little weird at first but go you got used to it fast. The game was easy to figure out and was fun trying to do all the puzzles, but sometimes it got annoying like when you couldn’t see the prism(something that ups your score if you find it). One problem was that you couldn’t change your view so you would sometimes fall and you would be like WTF??? However overall its a casual fun game that anyone would like.
So our first review will be posted this weekend. The game we are reviewing is EDGE. It is an indie, puzzle title that focuses on a block that the player can move, using the arrow keys, in an isometric view. So far it is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to put up the full review.
If you want to buy the game go to steam and find it.
Thanks for taking a look,