Minecraft is a indie game that has had the Internet abuzz for the last few months. Even in it’s current Alpha state, over 100,000 have already purchased. Minecraft’s single developer has been very active in the community as well, releasing weekly updates and twittering directly with players. But with all this hype, is Minecraft the next indie game you should be playing? The answer is yes. Minecraft is, without a doubt, the best indie game this year.
The paid version of Minecraft dumps you into a beautiful randomly generated world, comprised of 3D pixel art. It really is an incredible looking game, and needs to be seen hands-on to be believed. From the rolling hills, to dark underground caves, to the lava waterfalls, a player could spend hours roaming the random environment without becoming bored at the scenery. But not only is Minecraft a great game visually, it also has great sound effects, helping to enhance the beautiful and tense moments. But the music is what really sets Minecraft apart from the rest. Beautifully orchestrated pieces softly fade into the game, giving a calm sense of peace during the daytime. And, without hyperbole, I can say that listening to the incredible music as the pixelated sun slowly rises over a landscape filled with lakes, caves, and building of your creation can be absolutely tear-jerking.
But Minecraft does not ride on looks alone, it also features gameplay that’ll keep any gamer coming back for more. The game begins in the middle of the day in a randomly generated environment. You have no supplies, but dangerous creatures will spawn that evening, and you will need a fort and weapons to have any chance of surviving. You chop some wood, make a table, and start gathering materials to make your base camp. It’s a game with no rules or goals. The raw feeling of adventure into uncivilized land is tapped to its fullest in this game, largely because there is so much you can do. Want to gather diamond to make ultra-powerful tools, weapons, and armor? You can. Feel like making a breath-taking fort for the ultimate in security and luxury? Go right ahead. Want to go gung-ho into a lightness cave to reap it’s rewards? Good Luck. It’s a game you can play time and time again, and each time, you’ll feel like you’ve played an entirely different game.
Minecraft is a survival-horror, adventure, simulation, casual, surreal, beautiful, first person experience that you need to play. It’s less than $15, and provides plenty more than the cost of entry. Minecraft is not only the Indie Game of the Year, it’s one of the contenders for Game of The Year.