This, then, is Minecraft.
Imagine a game where you build with LEGO.
You have 13 minutes to do so.
Sure, you can waste those 13 minutes building spaceships or funny statues.
But you’d damn well better spend that time building a shelter. Because at the end of those 13 minutes?
And when night comes, so do the monsters.
And if you haven’t built yourself a place to hide? You’re dead.
Welcome to LEGO: Survival Horror edition.
My First Day Cycle
The game dropped my ass onto a sandy beach at morning. Not far away I saw them: great and mighty hills — hills comprising voxels of dirt, grass, and stone — rising up out of the fog.
I figured, hey, let’s explore. I wandered up into those hills. I chopped down a tree for shits and giggles. And by “chopped,” I mean, “punched with my blocky orange dildo hand until the tree yielded its sweet sweet tree meat to my violence.” The tree, mysteriously, hovered there even when its base was destroyed. (Destroy its canopy and you may find yourself with a sapling in hand.)
Then I wandered some more. I witnessed voxel sheep and boxy chickens. Clunky cows be-bopped around. In the distance, out in the ocean, big Cthulhu-beard squid jerked and twitched.
I wandered across chasms.
I found a lake, and half of that lake was ice.
I almost drowned, but then learned how to swim.
Somewhere, I thought, “Hey, I’m going to dig. Just to see.” So, with a hunk of wood in my hand, I began bashing the earth. My first mistake? The first several blocks, I bashed beneath my feet. Clarification: directly beneath my feet. I dropped down into a pit of my own making but thought, “I can get back out of here easily given how simple it is to bash earth into its component bits and bytes.”
So, I kept digging. This time, at an angle.
Eventually, my tunnel grew dark. No light shone down here.
I started trying to make my way back up, but I noticed something:
The sun had gone down.
I began furiously punching and kicking the ground, making steps to get back out, but it was futile: I couldn’t really see anything. I didn’t know if I was even going up.
Then, I heard it: a phlegmy growl.
Little did I know, someone was down here with me. Suddenly, my screen filled with some awful face, and then a zombie murdered me and sucked marrow from my bones.
Well, I don’t know that those are the exact details. Mostly, I died in the dark, a zombie atop me.
Second Day Cycle
I respawned back on my beach. I thought, okay, I need to build a shelter this time.
So, instead of digging down, I dug laterally — boring into the side of the hill like a worm toward the apple’s heart. I bashed a tunnel, then a small room. When night came, I sealed myself into it.
And it was very dark.
Behind me, something growled.
Next thing I know, some monster was molesting my dead flesh.
Third Day Cycle
Fuck. Fuck. I figured, okay, I have to learn to survive here, or this just isn’t going to work. I watched the “first night tutorial” found on the Minecraft site. And by watching that, I learned a truckload of information that would help me not get mouth-raped by skeletons, spiders, zombies, and creepers. I needed a pick-ax. And a workbench. And a sword. And a shovel. And, above all else, I needed some motherfucking torches.
Thing is, to get torches, you need coal.
And on this hill, I found no coal.
I ran around as the big voxel sun slowly slid like a pad of butter toward the horizon’s end, struggling to find some way to make some goddamn light.
I did not find any coal.
Feel free to predict what happened. It probably involves words like “rectal violation,” “monster,” and “used my sweetbreads as pillows.” Goddamnit. Fuck you, coal. Fuck you big.
Fourth Day Cycle
Once more, I spawned on the beach, increasingly convinced that this was some kind of 8-bit nightmare Groundhog Day rehash: this beach was becoming my accursed birthplace into this unsettling world.
I decided, fuck those hills right there, because those hills offer me only death.
I crossed a small oceanic strait and found myself amongst other hills. There, pressed up against the cliff-face, lurked a vein of coal next to a vein of iron. Huzzah! A cheer! But no time for celebration: only time for getting coal so I do not die horribly in the night. I quick did some crafting, ensuring that I got a pick-ax (the pick-ax is necessary to get coal), and I carved myself a uterine pocket of earth. As night fell, I sealed myself into what I prayed would not be my tomb.
Then, I watched night through my window. This is a long process. Night is seven minutes, and there I stood like an asshole, just watching the blinky stars creep across the sky.
I… heard things. Out there. And above me. The hissing of beasts. The rattling of bones. The growls of zombies. Occasionally, I heard a chicken die. Poor goddamn chicken.
But eventually, as it is with all bad things, night passed. The sun arose. Morning arrived.
I kicked open my earthen door, stepped out into the light.
Where I was promptly assaulted by a fucking giant spider.
What the hell, I thought? It’s sun-up! Spiders can survive the sun? Seriously? Oh, goddamnit, they can, can’t they? Shit shit shit. I took my sword out, though, and I whupped up on that blocky fuckface arachnid until all that was left was a tapeworm-esque pile of thread. Which I quickly absorbed into my inventory.
Ha. Hahaha! Hahahaha! I survived the night!
I did a little dance.
Then I went in search of more coal. I turned the corner, and came face to face with this blockhead asshole who promptly blew himself up.
He took half the cliff-face with him.
Oh, and me.
Death welcomed me anew.
Fifth Day Cycle
The beach belched me back up onto its sun-baked sands. Once again I crossed the strait, knowing that yes, I would find my little grotto, but that all my equipment was lost.
Except, it wasn’t.
I rounded the bend and there, along the cliff-face and in the water were my blessed items: the ax, the blade, the building materials I had been carrying. I quickly swept them all up. I kissed my sword, which is not a euphemism for masturbation or self-performed blow-jobbery.
To celebrate, I murdered some cows. Which lead to the discovery that cows yield leather.
Chickens yield eggs.
I also found, mysteriously, bones and arrows. (No, not bows and arrows. Bones.) I guess some skeleton archers had a raucous party or something and… uhhh, exploded? Who the fuck knows? And really, who cares? Because now I have their bodies. Ho ho ho.
Once more, night came.
I hid. I dug more. I waited. Night came. Night went. Morning arose, and so did I, resurrected from my tomb. I heard the hissing of a spider, and I fucked that fucker up with my pixel-blade.
I was triumphant.
During the day, I explore. At night, I dig.
I’ve since dug myself a small labyrinth connected to my little hut. I found an underground stream. I found a cavern, too, but I sealed that back up, because I suspect that giving the sinister malefactors and undead interlopers a back-door entry into my zone of safety and comfort is bad news bears.
I carved myself a path all the way from the opening to the other side of the island. So now I have two exits and entryways if I need them. All of them lined with torches.
I don’t know what happens now. I keep building. I keep crafting.
And somehow, I stay alive.
Later in the week I might mumble about the things I think make Minecraft… well, not great, but certainly interesting. I mean, I did all of the above in an hour, maybe an hour-and-a-half. Not a serious time commitment, but it felt epic. So, I have thoughts in that direction, but I need to play a little more and put them together. Anyone else play? Anyone do anything with multiplayer yet? I’ve only noodled with the one-man-world and found it surprisingly unsettling. I grow fascinated.
(Want a great fan-made trailer to sell you on Minecraft? I’ve embedded it below.)