Minecraft Builders and Biomes

Introduction

Thank goodness for Minecraft: Builders and Biomes. I’ve been searching for a Minecraft tabletop roleplaying game for some time now. I found one a few years ago, but never got around to playing it because it seemed virtually unplayable when I looked through the booklet. And, so, the search continued

Why a Minecraft roleplaying game? Well, as you may have noticed if you are a regular reader of the page, I generally like to have a digital game and a tabletop game to review for each weekly theme. It goes back to the long defunct podcast which had a “Digital Playground” segment and a “On the Tabletop” segment.

Old habits and John McClain

I have been able to find other tabletop games for the other games that I’ve covered recently. Most notably, I was very impressed by the fan made Pokemon RPG that I looked at a few weeks ago. Also, WotC has done a good job with the MTG/D&D crossovers. But, Minecraft eluded me. Sure, the card game exists, but I think I’ve already covered that. If not, well, I guess I have something for a couple of weeks when I take a look at the Minecraft Dungeons update.

The Great

It’s Minecraft! – Well, not exactly. However, I couldn’t let one of these articles go by without going to my, well, go to, could I? And, with that being said, the game is as close to Minecraft as I imagine a Minecraft board game possibly could. As we were playing, I kept thinking to myself, “What are the core principles of Minecraft?” Mining, building, exploring. This game actually captures all three very nicely. Just thinking about it now has me excited and wanting to play again.

Homer knows what’s up.

Fun – Isn’t this the reason that we play games in the first place? I honestly can’t think of another reason that makes sense. And, I can confirm that Minecraft Builders and Biomes was fun. Towards the end of the game, Quinn kept delaying the end through strategy. How, you ask? Well, without giving away too much, the end of the game is predetermined by the rules and one of the strategies is to extend the game in order to get more points. Also, at the end of the game, we both said how much we wanted to play it again.

The Good

Easy Set Up – The instructions are only 4 pages. That is including diagrams. We were up and playing within 10 minutes. It cannot be stressed how much I like a game that has an easy set up.

Quick Games – The games are quick, too. Once we were set up, we were finished with the game in a little less than an hour. The box says 30-60 minutes for a game, so that sounds like we had an average game. While I don’t care as much about the game going quickly, it was nice for last night since it was almost bedtime for Quinn.

The Decent

No Main Board – I would have preferred if they included a main game board for set up. As you play the game, it gets degraded and you may not always know whether you are moving too many steps in a turn. That’s a minor squabble though and one that I could easily remedy by making my own.

Do I have to mine anything? Or, can I just craft it?

Maybe Too Quick – Again, I don’t care too much about the actual length of a game. Sometimes you want a sprint and sometimes you want a marathon. However, I did say earlier that Quinn was trying to extend the game. That might have been because he was delaying bedtime, but I think it was because he was having fun. I even found myself doing the same because I was enjoying the game so much.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a fun and quick version of Minecraft away from technology, you definitely want to check out Minecraft Builders and Biomes. The game is fun. It feels like playing Minecraft. I would like to see how well it scales to more players, but that will come with time. See you in the Overworld!

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