Already a global phenomenon on PC, Mac and mobile devices, Minecraft has finally made its way onto Xbox Arcade. The open-world landscape of Minecraft is built with giant pixelated blocks half the size of your character. Trees, rocks, sand, bushes; all are made of these giant textured blocks. Initially it makes the game look incredibly dated, until you start to gain an appreciation for the mechanism behind the blocky aesthetic.

The main aim of the game is to build. Building requires you to collect the materials you need from the landscape around you. Collecting blocks of wood and stone is easy enough using easily crafted tools, but if you want to make something more complex like glass, you’ll need to build a furnace and combine elements to make it. Initially, your main priority is to create shelter before nightfall, because that is when the nasties come out to play. Minecraft is populated with zombies, giant spiders and creepers that have a rather unpleasant habit of exploding when they come near you. The fact that these enemies are made up of a few coloured blocks doesn’t make them any less threatening.

If you feel like a scrap, you can make a sword, but staying in your shelter is also a perfectly viable option. This is where Minecraft becomes truly addictive. You’ve built a basic shelter, but it could be so much better if it looked more like a castle/house on stilts/bauhaus creation. This leads to the collection of materials taking priority over real world things such as sleep. You can play with up to eight other people online or with four players in split-screen locally, but often this just involves visiting other people’s land to see what wonders they have created. Essentially, Minecraft is a perfect/debilitatingly addictive mix of Lego with zombies.

Publisher: Mojang
Platform: Xbox 360
Age: 7+
Price: 1600 MS Points (around £14)

David Hutchinson

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