This video is a great review of minecraft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMW5HggSNC4
Many people have asked me, “So, what’s the point of Minecraft?” and then I tell them, “Well, here’s the thing. There is no point.” Some people take that in stride, others can’t comprehend a game not having a goal to work toward. Minecraft is an excellent example of sandbox gaming in its purest form. You are dropped into a randomly generated world and free to do whatever you want. There’s no end goal or structure to the game. You can build, hunt wildlife, go fight monsters, mine for minerals and rare ore or simply explore the world. Minecraft is your sandbox and how you play around in it is entirely up to you.
The simplest way of describing Minecraft’s building mechanics is “break stuff to make stuff” and that’s it. The game revolves around this simple mantra. Punching trees (yes, you read that right) gets you wood, one of the most basic resources which you’ll need to craft tools which open up even more mining and crafting opportunities. Once you get the hang of these mechanics, the possibilities for creation are nearly endless.
This also brings up a problem with Minecraft in that a huge amount of the game revolves around trial and error. The lack of structure also means there’s no hand-holding whatsoever in the beginning to ease new players into the game and those players may have no idea what to do once they start the game. In the beginning, most, if any, progress is made through experimentation. I guess it can be argued that the experimentation is part of Minecraft’s genius but for me, this was one of the biggest obstacles on the path toward enjoying the game. I had no idea how to craft tools, or even that such tools existed until, frustrated, I was directed to an external website that contained building guides on everything there is to be crafted in the game and what you’ll need to make them.