Tag Archives: Minecraft

XBox One Minecraft Tour


XBox One Minecraft Tour? I’ve been planning to do Minecraft in May for the last three years. Generally speaking, May is when things ramp up in school. This year is no different, but the ramping up looks quite different. As a result, I will at least get to do Minecraft in the first week of May for now. The rest of the month, I’m going to focus on family games.

Similar to Mortal Kombat, I’m not sure how I’d do a review of Minecraft at this point. I don’t think there have been any updates recently other than a hot fix of some bugs. Additionally, if you’ve ever even seen a screenshot of Minecraft, you pretty much know the game. Finally, for the purposes of this introduction, there aren’t the same kind of mods on XBox One as on the PC, so I can’t really review them.

As a result, I’m going to do the same thing I did with Mortal Kombat. I will record a couple of videos giving a tour of two worlds that Quinn and I have been working on recently. Check them out and hopefully these are the videos that get me uploading to YouTube more often!

Massive Mine World

Quinn started this world and I joined after he had built the small house and started to dig out the underground base. I added a Nether portal that he moved into the base, which was a better location. I, as I often do, started to mine for diamonds. My latest idea is to try to clear out the bordered level 12 that is inside our mines. We’ll see how that goes. See the video below for the tour.

Video coming soon.

Desert House

Quinn also started this world. He’s been playing a ton of Minecraft lately. As I was watching, I saw the multicolored sand mountains in the background. That gave me the idea to start the house that you will see in the tour. Check out the video for what I mean.

Video coming soon.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me for my XBox One Minecraft Tour. I hope you enjoyed the videos of our works in progress. I will continue to update, especially if I get that area cleared out in the Mine World. Otherwise, hope you enjoy your time in Minecraft. If you haven’t played it before, you are missing out. It’s a simple, but fun time!

Thaumcraft Check-In (Yer a Wizard, Noob!)

Introduction (Time is Arbitrary)

What is Thaumcraft? Thaumcraft is a Minecraft mod that I played pretty extensively last year. It introduces magic into Minecraft. You could craft wands (since taken out for some reason) and cast various spells. When I played it last year, I became more or less immortal. I lost that save game, so back to the drawing board. Download Thaumcraft here.

I know. Minecraft May is infringing upon June. That’s okay, though, since time is relative and ultimately arbitrary. I mean, time itself isn’t arbitrary. It marches inexorably on into the oblivion of our own deaths and the inevitable heat death of the universe.

However, as entropy has deemed us lucky enough to live in a time and place in the universe where the motions are more or less predictable, we have chosen to use that arbitrary predictability to base our measurements of time. So, May, June, whatever, I want to play and write about some Minecraft.

After all, I once heard Minecraft as “you mine stuff and then craft things” early in it’s life cycle and that’s exactly it.

A Note on this Thaumcraft review

I wanted to play through the mod before posing this article. And, if you’re a regular reader of the web page or a someone who appreciates irony, you will know that this is where I admit that I didn’t play. That’s only partially true. I set up Thaumcraft a few days ago and did play twice today.

After consulting the internet (I know, dangerous) for a brief introduction to the mod, I loaded up a game. I knew that in order to be successful, I had to find some crystals and sleep one night. That unlocks the spell book that guides you through the rest of the magic. I’m not sure if there’s any way to “discover” the crystal/sleep method other than with the pop up that you get when you do mine some of the crystals, but I wanted to get into the mod in order to review any changes.

Well, best laid plans and all of that. The first time I played, I found crystals, but was unable to craft a bed before getting blown up by a creeper. The second time, I was able to craft my bed, but no crystals are near my spawn point. Therefore, the review is based on my experience from last year.

The Good (Thaumcraft is polished)

Thaumcraft is not a mod that is a full reskin of Minecraft. To be honest, I’m not sure how popular those are. I remember back in my DOOM days, people would completely redesign the game from the ground up and create an all new game. I’ve seen a few Minecraft mods like that, but they must be an enormous undertaking as they are few and far between and don’t seem to last very long before being abandoned.

Thaumcraft is also not a mod that just adds a few new items to the game. I’ve also seen those types. Like the old Sims 2 packs that my wife and I would download, these mods give you a couch or a lounge chair or a bathroom set or all of those things. I’m not interested at all in minor cosmetic changes to a game. Well, except The Sims.

Thaumcraft is that rare in between mod that changes the game just enough to make it interesting…more interesting. I love Minecraft by itself. I can’t count the days that I spent staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning exploring a mine that I dug 8 hours earlier. But, it is fun to see what the community thinks the game needs. Magic and technology are the two big factors that I always wanted. Thaumcraft gave me that and in a very polished way.

Plus, there’s this neat puzzle that allows you to discover new spells and interactions.

The Bad (Thaumcraft isn’t always user friendly)

Despite being a mod that mostly just works, it isn’t always obvious what you’re supposed to do. I get that Minecraft is supposed to be about exploring, but if you happen to get dropped in an area with no crystals, then you have no idea how you are supposed to proceed and the mod might just feel completely broken from the beginning. I don’t know how likely that is, but it happened one out of two times for me, so it’s somewhat likely.

Also, when playing last year, I had to cheat a bit to find the silverwood tree to make a wand that was necessary for something or another. Wands are no longer in the game, so this might not be an issue anymore. I don’t know because I couldn’t advance in the game. This is a small thing and might stink of millenial whining, but it is something that I don’t exactly love about the game.

I have seen the trees in both of my worlds, so I’ve gotten luckier or the spawn rate is increased

The Ugly (Thaumcraft is no longer supported)

I understand that people move on and that it can be time consuming to work on these projects. I also understand that the internet is an unfriendly place at times and people don’t always speak with their best voice. But, it bums me out that the developer isn’t working on Thaumcraft anymore. I’m glad that it is still out there in case anyone else wants to work on it. I also am happy that it more or less works. Who knows? Maybe I’ll work to develop it more.

Okay, okay, I get it.

The Verdict (Thaumcraft is still one of the best)

It is no longer being developed. For some reason, you don’t need wands anymore. It isn’t the most user friendly experience. In spite of all that, I’m still excited to get back into the mod and build my immortal armor again. Look for my video series, starting tomorrow, as I become the most powerful being in the Minecraft universe. Well, in my Minecraft universe.

Hopefully I am able to craft a larger living space than this guy had.

(Mine)Crafting a Story

(Editor’s Note:


Aiden recently let me know that I could download Minecraft Story Mode and play through at least the first episode for free. A�I was under the impression that it cost money. A�That’s the only reason that it has taken me this long to try the game. A�Although I haven’t played much Minecraft in any form over the last month or so, I remain addicted to the game. A�Because, every time I do sit down to play it, I lose several hours to whatever silly job I end up creating for myself.

I have yet to play any of the “story mode” games. A�I’ve been introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy one and find it intriguing because I enjoy the movie and comics so much. A�I even went as far as to download the Walking Dead one. A�None of them, though, have enticed me enough to load up and start playing. A�Until Minecraft. A�Because we need some filler/an easy topic to get back into the podcast, I’ve played and written about the main game on more than one occasion, and I just discovered that part of it is free, join me for my introduction to “story mode” with one of my favorite games of all time.

The Good

If you’re anything like me, you will totally geek out the first time he talks.

Voice Acting – The first thing that I noticed, and I’m sure this was intentional, is that Patton Oswalt does the voice of the main character. A�I didn’t recognize any other voices and I’m a little surprised that Patrick Warburton didn’t voice any characters, but hearing Patton’s voice as one of the first things in the game has gone a long way to increasing my enjoyment of the game.

It’s Minecraft: A�I know that I was using this old trope quite a while to illustrate the good in these articles. A�However, I haven’t used it much recently, so I feel safe resurrecting it now. A�The game is recognizable as Minecraft, even if you aren’t performing many of the same actions as in the main game.

Decent Story: A�The story isn’t great, by any stretch of the imagination. A�It was interesting enough, though, to keep me playing. A�First, I wanted to see how the building competition might end (as I expected, but a twist to make it worth the wait), then when the pig ran away, I really wanted to chase after it, and now I want to see what happens with the Wither skull and diamond trade.

Funny: A�It is genuinely funny, too. A�Both Aiden, who heard some of the dialogue and me, as I played through it, laughed at more than one part. A�It isn’t side splitting, but there is humor and it is welcome.

Choose Your Own Adventure: A�The game tells you that your choices matter. A�It also helpfully reminds you at times that a character will “remember” your choice for later in the game. A�I don’t know exactly how true that is since I’m only part of the way through the introduction, but it is valid enough that I consider my choices before making them. A�I could go back to play through again, similar to how I used to read the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books until I got the best and the worst ending, but right now I’m treating it like a game, taking it seriously, and considering the circumstances of my choices.

The Bad

In spite of the bad voice acting, this game genuinely frightened me in more than one place.

Voice Acting: A�How can this be both good and bad? A�Well, as I already mentioned, other than Patton Oswalt, I didn’t recognize a single voice. A�That’s not necessarily bad, but at least one of the voice actors seems to have taken a class at the Resident Evil school of voice acting. A�It’s not awful, but it isn’t good, either. A�It is just bad enough that when you hear the voice, it takes you out of the story for a moment as you realign and try to fit this bad into something that overall is actually decent to good and might become great later in the game.

It isn’t Minecraft: A�Wait, you are probably thinking, now you are just talking in circles. A�While that might be true, let me explain. A�It is recognizable as Minecraft due to the graphics and overall feel of the game. A�However, and I’m not saying that it is trying to be, it isn’t anything like Minecraft in terms of gameplay. A�Sure, you mine and you craft, but those are accomplished only to advance the story and only by rapid pressing of a single “button”. A�Overall, it’s just not that engaging and doesn’t add much to the game other than make it more game and less of a movie.

The Ugly

I mean, this is running on a super duper high end computer and they look like this.

The graphics: A�Again, the game knows what it is and it has been successful in spite of the fact that it uses blocky, retro style graphics during a time when games are becoming more and more realistic and pushing for realism to add to the appeal of virtual reality. A�But, seriously, the graphics are not just retro, they are retro in 3D. A�Sometimes the style is just jarring and I wish for slightly better aesthetics. A�But, I know it won’t ever happen, so I’ll just keep complaining about it. A�That’s what we old guys do, right?

The Verdict

It’s not quite Minecraft, but it’s close enough. A�It’s named for its story, which isn’t great, but is just good enough. A�Some of the voice acting leaves quite a bit to be desired, but Patton Oswalt makes up for all of that. A�Minecraft Story Mode isn’t a great game by any measure.

What it is, though, is a good enough game. A�It does just enough right to make me want to finish the first episode. A�We will see if I can continue to forgive the not so great and keep playing once it isn’t free anymore. A�I get the feeling that I might end up just buying it. A�That will most likely lead me back down the rabbit hole of the main game and both will feed one another.


Mobile Mining

(Editor’s Note: A�I’m pretty sure we’ve done an article on Minecraft for mobile before. A�However, I’m sure that there have been many updates since that article. A�Also, it’s been a while since I’ve fed this particular addiction. A�What could go wrong?)

I loaded up Minecraft on the phone earlier today. A�I’ve been keeping an eye on the updates that have been happening in recent weeks. A�For a while there, it seemed like they were coming in rapid succession. A�It might have just been because they were working so hard to get all of the versions compatible.

Ever since (and maybe even before) Microsoft acquired (invested in?) Mojang, there has been a push to make Minecraft cross platform. A�They’ve already experimented with the idea. A�The boys and I played on a “cross platform” version of the game. A�They played on their Kindles and I played on my computer on the Windows 10 version. A�I put “cross platform” in quotes because Windows 10 is Microsoft’s attempt at merging their mobile and PC markets with the same operating system.

Now, however, I’ve heard that they’re talking about allowing players to play simultaneously on PC, Mobile, and XBox One. A�There were rumors that Playstation would be included, but those have been tempered. A�Because Microsoft owns XBox and Sony is a direct competitor. A�I still hold out hope that Minecraft can be the game that overcomes the console wars and gives us our first truly cross console game.

Imagine all the Steves…living life in peace.

One of the roadblocks to bringing the three other platforms together was that some platforms didn’t allow for infinite worlds. A�Another was that the non PC versions were often several update cycles behind. A�As I mentioned earlier, they seemed to be working hard to remedy both situations through an intense series of updates earlier in the year. A�From what I was able to see on the mobile version, at least, they were successful.

The Good

The best thing that I can say about the mobile version is that it is much closer to Minecraft that I recognize. A�The last time I played it, there was much missing from the game. A�It didn’t impact playability, necessarily, but it did obviously limit the options in the game. A�The first improvement I noticed was the opening menu. A�It is much more user friendly. A�Also, infinite worlds!

That might not seem like a huge improvement. A�Even the old worlds are huge. A�However, there were a few times, mostly during multiplayer games with the boys, that we mined up to the edge of the world. A�It takes you out of the fantasy a bit when it happens. A�Plus, one of our borders was on the ocean, which is doubly annoying because there could have been a water temple down there! A�Alas, that’s not something that we have to worry about anymore.

This must be from an earlier edition before they added the ability to choose infinite worlds, but it’s there trust me. Or don’t. See if I care.

The other great thing about the game that I noticed was that opening your inventory automatically shows you the items that you can craft based on the items that you’ve collected. A�Then, you can just click on that item and it will automatically add the items for the recipe. A�Again, it is a small improvement, and some more traditional players might not even consider it an improvement, but I love it. A�The first thing I do on the PC version is I download an addon that does something similar to this. A�It just saves the time of not having to alt+tab to a browser and look up recipes.

There are other cool things. A�Addons, as you can see in the screenshot above, have been added. A�The nether is more than just a new dimension. A�The last time I played, the nether was there, but the only mobs were Zombie Pigmen, so it wasn’t very interesting to explore. A�Now, everything is there. A�Ghasts, Blazes, those little hopping things, firebats, fortresses! A�It’s going to be a ton of fun playing this game.

The Bad

The only bad thing that I could find about the game is that the controls are still super awkward. A�I don’t have a bluetooth controller for my phone, so I have to use the touch controls. A�While they lend themselves to an easier crafting experience, the mining and moving leaves much to be desired. A�I can’t cont the number of times that I’ve accidentally started combat with a farm animal instead of cutting down a tree or mined the wrong block because of the controls. A�It’s a minor annoyance, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it at times made me not want to play the game until I’m able to get a controller.

The Ugly

I know that the game is known for and defined by it’s blocky graphics. A�And, I’m usually a sucker for old school games with terrible graphics. A�But, the graphics in this game are really awful, even by the campy standards that should allow for bad graphics. A�I mean, honestly. A�The basis of the gameplay is simple. A�The graphics are terrible. A�Why is this game so popular?

Seriously, Grandpa. What am I doing with my life? A�What madness is Minecraft?

I know that I mentioned earlier that having the nether in the game was a good thing. A�That’s true in the context of making the games compatible for cross platform play. A�However, having lost many a game and too much inventory to even count when I made a misstep and fell off of a cliff into a pool of lava that I twitched a little bit when I set up the nether portal and took the trip into that burning hellscape, even though it was on creative and there was no chance of me dying.

The Verdict

I said earlier that I might not play again until I am able to get some kind of controller for the phone. A�I might even have to get a tablet for the bigger screen. A�I doubt that I’ll ever go through with it. A�First, that requires spending money, something that I’ve only done on beer and comics the last 3 months. A�Second, having played the game again, I realize just how much I enjoy the game.

I can and often do already play the game on the computer. A�There’s no reason to abandon that for a game with inferior controls. A�Of course, in less than a month, I will be back at work and not in front of a computer most of the day. A�Well, I might be in front of a computer most of the day, but my employers would frown upon me playing Minecraft instead of illuminating people on the wonders of math and physics. A�If I could port my PC worlds to the phone…

I agree, Batman. It’s just crazy enough that it might work.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

(Editor’s Note:

If we could, we would have used this picture as our headline for the article.

“There’s a Minecraft card game? A�What the heck?” A�Aiden’s question when he saw the game mirrored my exact thoughts when I saw the game in Target a couple of years ago. A�They must have anticipated that reaction from people because the official name of the game is “Minecraft Card Game?”

Because of our family’s enjoyment of the video game, I knew I was most likely going to buy it. A�However, I wanted to do some research. A�First, I wasn’t sure how they’d translate the video game of Minecraft into a card game. A�Second, I didn’t want to get involved with another collectible card game. A�It didn’t indicate anywhere on the package that it wasn’t a fully contained game, but I needed to verify. A�My Google search in the aisle verified it and I bought it.

I shouldn’t have worried about how they’d convert the game from video to card. A�Apparently there is a reason that people get jobs as game designers and I am not currently working in such a job. A�It isn’t a perfect translation and I don’t think that it ever could be, but it doesn’t need to be. A�They can capture the fun and creativity of Minecraft A�without actually including all of the aspects of the video game. A�They intelligently realized that the game is pretty much just collect materials, use those materials to craft items, and then use those items to advance by crafting more items.

Well, when you put it that way, of course it sounds silly.

The card game captures those parts of the game very well. A�Your turn consists of two actions. A�The two main actions are that you can “mine” resources by choosing them from the piles or you can “craft” items as long as you have the proper resources. A�The items that you can craft are the basic tools of the game; shovel, pickaxe, axe, and sword. A�Each of them serves a specific purpose in the game and are worth points you need to win the game.

If this sounds less than thrilling, trust me it isn’t. A�Just like the video game namesake, the thrill of the card game comes from unexpected sources. A�Although, instead of the one player conflicts of finding shelter and keeping yourself fed, in the game, you are playing against 1 to 3 other players. A�This leads to a scarcity of resources which means you need to think very carefully about how and when you mine or craft. A�A wrong move isn’t as punishing as in a more traditional collectible card game, but an opponent that is paying attention can really ruin your plans.

Sometimes it feels a bit like this. So far, no games have ended with a shootout at high noon, but it might just be because we play it in the late afternoon/early evening.

Aside from the other players, there are a couple of environmental hazards built into the game. A�The first, and decidedly less hazardous is TNT. A�In fact, due to the nature of the card, TNT can be both helpful and harmful to a player. A�When you reveal a TNT card, it destroys the top card from two of the piles. A�But, and this is where the helpfulness of the card shows up, you get to take the top card from the two of the piles, so it acts almost like a take an extra turn card.

The second card that can cause you harm is the creeper. A�Unlike the TNT, this one does not have a positive side effect. A�Instead, just like the video game, the creeper becomes one of the things you most dread to see. A�It strips you of one of your resource cards. A�Sure, you can mitigate it with a sword if you’ve crafted one, but that’s a pretty big if. A�Most of the time you just cry a little inside as you discard one of those valuable resources that you’ve been saving for just the right time.

You can’t have a Minecraft game without these guys. In this game, though, you don’t even get the “SSSsssss” warning before they blow you up.

We have played the Minecraft card game several dozen times at this point and it hasn’t gotten stale. A�While it is a stagnant set of cards and not collectible (something I actually didn’t want), there is enough variety in each play that you won’t quickly bore of it. A�You have to play your strategy against the other players and also against the deck itself. A�Both of those elements enhance enjoyment playing the game.

With all of that said, I think there might be room for an expansion to the game. A�I’m not sure how they’d do it and not make it just more of the same, but maybe they could set it in one of the other planes like the Nether or the End. A�Once again, I’m not a game designer. A�I don’t even play one on TV or YouTube. A�I just play games. A�And, this is a game that I absolutely enjoy playing.

Mine Wars

(Editor’s Note #1: A�We are reviewingA�Parzi’s Star Wars ModA�for this article. A�What? A�A genuine Editor’s note and not a lame joke? A�Well, they asked to be given credit in any article/video, so here it is.)

(Editor’s Note #2: A�You got Star Wars in my Minecraft. A�You got Minecraft in my Star Wars! A�Two great tastes that go great together? A�Ah, there’s the lame joke.)

This article will serve as a bridge between our current topic of Star Wars and our main topic of May, which is Minecraft. A�I wish that I could take credit for doing that on purpose. A�However, the truth is that it is a happy accident. A�I was simply looking for another Star Wars game to write an article to support the podcast and I remembered that I downloaded a Star Wars mod for Minecraft last year, but never played it. A�Well, as Bob Ross says, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

This accident certainly was happy. A�I made the same stupid joke in the editor’s note of my Lego Star Wars article as I did in this one. A�Sometimes a “mash up” of two different good things is a disaster. A�I’m looking at you, Glee. A�Most of the time, though, as long as the two things complement each other and care is taken to integrate the best of those things into the final product, the mash up can succeed and maybe even surpass the quality of the originals.

Seriously, Thriller is just about the perfect song. A�You dishonor your family by attempting to remix it.

As you read this review, bear in mind that I have only made it about an hour into playing through the mod. A�It’s been enough to discover two new types of dust, fuse them together, and smelt them into a new kind of ingot. A�Other than than, though, the rest of what I’ve done is normal Minecraft things. A�I haven’t even been able to use the new metal to craft any other new material. A�So, no, this mod has not enhanced Minecraft to a level beyond yet. A�It certainly is not something I’d play over Knights of the Old Republic, Battlefront, or even any of the Lego games.

I’m not saying that it won’t. A�I’m not even saying that it can’t A�In fact, I did a bit of searching to see if I could find any tips or hints for the mod to get me started. A�”Hey!” A�You might protest, “Minecraft is about exploration!” A�True. A�However, and my defense is two fold. A�First, I was exploring the Google Machine for assistance. A�Secondly, the console version has a tutorial to introduce you to the game. A�So, I feel vindicated from my Googling shame.

Besides, it’s not like I found anything. I think I need to take my phone to the Apple genius bar to get it checked out. The Google doesn’t work right.

So, while I have a life line out at the mod forum, I loaded it up in creative. A�The main problem is that I need a ship to use my hyperdrive in order to get to other planets. A�I’m not sure if I have to craft the ship or if I will find one that has spawned randomly. A�So, I created my own ship, used the hyperdrive, and went to Tatooine.

Okay, now this is more like it! A�There are sand people (and their signature roar!), Bantha, and pig men (not of the zombie variety)! A�That guy over there wants to make me a storm trooper! A�This guy doesn’t like me, either! A�That dude is selling ships! A�Wow, this is awesome! A�For the record, both Aiden and Quinn agree.

This is awesome!

I didn’t want to spoil too much of the mod before I’m able to do a video capture, so I shut down the game after that. A�However, I have an update on my forum inquiry. A�Apparently the first hyperdrive, the one that takes you to Tatooine, does not require a ship. A�Therefore, I am free to continue my exploration to find obsidian to make a nether portal and get a blaze rod. A�Because, the hyperdrive requires an Eye of Ender. A�I already have the Ender Pearl (because eff those creepy thieving freaks) and the ore (found a use for it!), so it’s diamond hunting time. A�Should be no problem because I usually have an uncanny ability to find diamonds. A�As with my Lego The Force Awakens Update, look for more of my adventures in the mod in a couple of weeks when we talk about Minecraft.

Happy little accident.

We Built This City (on Minecraft)

(Editor’s Note #1: A�Rock and roll is just a terrible foundation upon which to build a city.)

(Editor’s Note #2: A�Minecraft? A�You mean that Lego rip off game? A�I don’t understand the appeal.)

My thoughts on Minecraft mirrored those in the second editor’s note. A�Admittedly, they came from ignorance, but that’s how I felt. A�I couldn’t understand why anyone, let alone tens (or even hundreds) of millions of people, could play the game for hours on end. A�Heck, I even watched my kids play and joined in on a few games in my attempt to understand. A�Hey, not every game is for every gamer. A�Maybe it’s just a kid thing. A�Still, it nagged at me. A�There has to be something.

Turns out that, as with most things that are hugely popular, there are many somethings. A�As cheesy as it might sound, Minecraft is what you make it. A�(That’s not really a pun, but it was fully intended to invoke the crafting element of the game.) So, what caused this change of heart? A�As with most wars of ignorance, knowledge won the battle.

Though, to be fair, red or blue lasers would be nice to have in a battle, too.
Though, to be fair, red or blue lasers would be nice to have in a battle, too.

A couple of weeks ago my youngest asked me to play Minecraft again. A�Irritated, as I often am, with the mind numbing gameplay of Hearthstone, I figured “why not” and joined him in a game A�It was during this session that I finally learned that there are multiple modes in the game and that we had mostly played “Creative”, which is exactly how it sounds. A�There is no danger of dying and no objective in the game other than to build.

There’s nothing wrong with that and many people have built amazing things in creative mode. A�I guess that I am just more of a survival Minecrafter because once I learned about that mode, I was hooked. A�In survival, you have to mine for your resources, you can die, and actually offers a challenge other beyond recreating your favorite skyline or college football stadium.

Neither my favorite stadium, nor my own work. Grudgingly paying respect to the best college football program in recent history, I suppose.
Neither my favorite stadium, nor my own work. Grudgingly paying respect to the best college football program in recent history, I suppose.

My middle, youngest, and I have since created a survival world that has given us hours of entertainment. A�We planned our first house by building a moat in the desert to keep out monsters. A�We laughed when Quinn refused to leave the house and spent his first MInecraft week mostly sleeping. A�I explored to find a mountain range full of resources for our second, and now main, house. A�We cheered at mining our first diamonds in that mountain range. A�We found obsidian, used that to create a nether portal, and now make regular trips into that horrifying plane for supplies. A�We even researched “The End” and battling the Ender Dragon, but we need more time to plan and collect resources to make that a successful adventure.

Like I said earlier, the discover and subsequent adventuring through Survival mode has me hooked. A�I bought the game on my tablet (hey, it was only 7 bucks) and recently bought it for the PC, too. A�We now own the same game for XBox 360, mobile, and PC. A�There is precedent for me buying the same game more than once, but there usually has to be a special reason. A�Like it is my favorite game of all time or there was a steam bundle that includes the game.

Those are totally the reasons that I bought Portal 2 more than once. It has nothing to do with GladOS and her plan, with the help of Skynet, to destroy humanity. No, GladOS didn't tell me to say that last part. *nervous look off camera*
Those are totally the reasons that I bought Portal 2 more than once. It has nothing to do with GladOS and her plan, with the help of Skynet, to destroy humanity. No, GladOS didn’t tell me to say that last part. *nervous look off camera*

i don’t think Minecraft is available on Steam. A�If it is, don’t tell me, because I might just buy it again. A�That’s only partly a joke. A�So, what about this game has made me buy it three times? It is a good-great, even-game that offers hours of entertainment.A�It’s not my favorite game yet. A�That still goes to Portal 2. A�Well, why, then? A�Just tell us, Man!

Well, if you’re going to be impatient about it, I guess I have no choice. A�The squeaky wheel always gets the grease. A�Why are metaphors always so gross? A�Skinning cats, beating dead horses, greasing wheels. A�Okay, last diversion.

As if that previous statement could possibly be true.
As if that previous statement could possibly be true.

Okay, now for the reasons as to why I bought each version of the game and what they offer so you don’t have to buy them all. A�You can, of course, and even knowing what I know, I would to support a great company and game. A�If you are more frugal or con’t care about the fine people at Mojang feeding their families (you monster!), then keep reading.

I bought the XBOX 360 version as the second half of a Groupon (or some other such email marketing gimmick) deal a couple of years ago. A�Having heard of the game, but not respecting it, I got the game because “The boys will have fun with it.” A�For the record, Forza something or another was the other game and I have not played more than an hour on that game, played far more Minecraft, and maybe have even played more Minecraft than the kids.

The XBox 360 (and other console versions, I assume) offers a good introduction to the crafting system. A�Granted, there are FAQs and video guides galore these days to discover the recipes for any item in the Minecrft world, but if you’re more of a traditionalist, the PC version can be a tough nut to craft. A�Hey, terrible puns and non sequitirs. A�You get both in spades here at 2 Guys Gaming. A�If you’re a strict traditionalist, I believe that you can set the options to the classic crafting system and besides, that, there are still plenty of secrets to find in the game even if you play with the assistive crafting system.A� Besides, there are still plenty of secrets to find in the game even if you play with EZ mode crafting on.A� One final word of warning before continuing. A�The console versions lag slightly behind in terms of updates to the game, so you’re not necessarily playing the latest version if you’re only playing on console.

Look at Steve.  He looks so happy to be going on an adventure.  Little does he know that, soon enough, he will be dropped off of cliffs, blown up by creepers, eaten by zombies, doused in lava, and much, much worse.  Let's not tell him.  The surprise is half the fun.
Look at Steve. He looks so happy to be going on an adventure. Little does he know that, soon enough, he will be dropped off of cliffs, blown up by creepers, eaten by zombies, doused in lava, and much, much worse. Let’s not tell him. The surprise is half the fun.

I bought the mobile version next.A� It was the cheapest version and I wanted to see if was faithful to the big boy versions.A� SPOILER ALERT:A� At first glance, it is the same game.A� You mine blocks, you place blocks.A� You craft things.A� You kill zombies, skeletons, and creepers.A� It’s the same game.A� Well, not quite.A� On closer examination, there are things missing.A� It’s not a huge deal, but the mobile game is not the complete game.A� Even so, the mobile version also uses an easier crafting system and fairly intuitive controls.A� If you don’t want to pay full price for the game or want to get an overview before buying the full game, mobile Minecraft is a good place to get your feet wet.

If you’re like me, and Minecraft speaks to you on a deeply personal level, then you want the PC version.A� It is the most expensive, but allows you to install on an unlimited number of computers.A� That alone makes it worth the price if you have a bunch of Minecraft fans in the house like we do.A� There is another reason to invest in the PC version (the best reason, IMO) that I will discuss briefly, but I want to talk about the major drawback first.A� Unlike the XBox version, or even the mobile version, which both allow multiplayer at an affordable price, you need to spend $27 for each account to play multiplayer on the PC.A� That restriction even applies to LAN games, as we discovered this past weekend.A� That was a huge bummer.

Oh well, we still have split screen on the XBox 360 and cross platform support on mobile.A� What neither of those allow, and this leads into the best reason (in my opinion–and really, this is my article, so what else but my opinion) to own the PC version of the game.A� As far as I know, the PC is the only version to allow you to play mods that alter the way the game acts and, in some cases, alters the game in almost unrecognizable ways.A� So far, we have tried Pixelmon and Thaumcraft and have enjoyed them both.A� I have to say that I’m completely addicted to the study/minigame aspect of Thaumcraft as that one introduces a kind of wizardry to the game.A� Aiden has played much more of Pixelmon, which is to be expected, but I’ve had some fun with that one, too.A� That’s how we learned that you need separate accounts to play multiplayer on the PC.A� I wanted to join in on Aiden’s Pixelmon world, but coudn’t.A� I’m not willing (yet?) to pay for the multiple accounts.A� Hopefully, they offer a family account in the not too distant future.

What introduced me to mods and got me hooked to the game was I really wanted to find a mod that allows for Obsidian armor and found one that supposedly introduces technology to the game, but I haven’t gotten that one to run.A� I am always on the lookout for different mods, though, so if you know of any, send an email or leave it in the comments.

Portal in Minecraft? That might just be the way to get me to spend absurd amounts of money on this game.

Regulars at the page know that I’m perpetually behind the times in all things pop culture.A� I have no excuse for being this late to the Minecraft party other than ignorance.A� Nevertheless, if you have missed the boat for as long as I have (or, more likely, if you have children who are just now growing into the age of Minecraft) then I hope that this article serves as a good introduction into the pros and cons of each version so that you can make a more informed decision.A� Finally, if you do buy the game, give it a try.A� I can almost guarantee that you will find it entertaining.