My son loves building Lego’s and he can’t get enough of video games. Well, he has started to play a PC game called Minecraft, which combines both of these favorite activities.

Minecraft is a seemingly simple game. But the possibilities of what a player can accomplish are endless, which is why this game can be so addictive and at such a great deal.  Minecraft comes in Classic mode which is available to play for free, and in the beta mode which costs a little over $20.

When you first get in the game, it’s a virtual world with no rhyme or reason – it cannot be won.  There are no instructions. But it’s intuitive so by just feeling it out, the player can figure it out. Players destroy blocks made of different materials (such as dirt, stone, ores, water and wood among others)  to then use them to create a world of their own. They can make anything from basic tools, like pickaxes and shovels, weapons, like swords, and as elaborate as fortresses.

Everything from the landscape, structures, characters, animals, and monsters including creepers, zombies, skeletons, spiders – everything is made out of blocks.  Its fun to play in single player mode but  multiplayer mode is very engaging.

The graphics are very simple but the appeal lies in the infinite possibilities for building, creating and designing.

It is not really violent at all but the monsters that come out at night are pretty scary, especially with the gothic music playing in the background.  The game can be set on peaceful setting, which removes the monsters, but the player remains fixed in night and day settings.

If your child is interested, s/he can figure out how to install modifications into the game which can make it even more interesting by changing the rules the game. A good intro to visual programming.

Check it out here: http://www.minecraft.net/

Article By Nuria Almeida

Photo By Howard Dickins

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