Game Review – Minecraft (Part II)

Hello, and welcome to the second part of my Minecraft review! This time around, I’d like to take a more personal approach to this, by talking about the ways I like to play Minecraft.

Throughout the years, Minecraft has constantly grown and evolved. New updates continue to be released with different game mechanics and items to collect, and new editions come into being on different consoles. In other words, there’s no single way to play; there has never been, nor will there ever be a complete and definitive version of Minecraft.

I own the Java edition of Minecraft, which is to say I play it on my PC. I don’t recall exactly when I got the game, but I know I’ve had it since 2014, so I probably started on version 1.8. Nowadays, I play on version 1.16.4, as it’s the one I’ve grown most accustomed to.

If you understood what I just said, great. If you’re confused, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 1.16.4
    • 1st number (1.##.#) signifies the game
      • There is only 1 Minecraft
    • 2nd number (#.16.#) signifies a major content update
      • Minecraft revamped the Nether Dimension in 1.16
    • 3rd number (#.##.4) signifies a small update or bug patch
      • Minecraft version 1.16.4 fixes a few broken textures and coding errors

Okay, so the game isn’t super-intuitive to new players. It doesn’t have a tutorial, and nothing’s there to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do… but part of the fun is the learning process. You don’t need to know everything right off the bat, you’ll start to pick up on these things as you go. No more technical jargon, I promise.

brain.exe has stopped working

Let’s strip everything else away, and look at Minecraft at its most fundamental layer. No multiplayer, no mods, no programming mumbo-jumbo, just the one-player experience. Minecraft, at its core, is a game all about survival. You’re dropped into an unfamiliar world, no possessions, and your only goal is to survive. That’s it. Collect stuff, build a fort, survive the first few nights.

(You know, in editing retrospect, I probably should’ve just opened with this… oh well. The first part’s already been released, I don’t wanna go back and redo everything from scratch, this review took longer to write than I would’ve liked.) Anyways, once you know you can survive, that’s when you can start to thrive. Go outside and explore, find new things to collect, transform your fort into a proper home. Each world you create will have your own personal touch, and no two worlds will ever look exactly the same.

This seems like a good time to follow through with my promise: it’s time for the tour of my Minecraft world. Unfortunately, I can’t currently offer this experience to you in video form, only screenshots. I have zero confidence in my video-production abilities. In the future, once my Minecraft world becomes more developed and I gain a better understanding of how film editing works, I might try to do a video tour if there’s enough interest in the idea, but no promises.

Now then, on with the tour. Up above, you’ll see the central hub of my world, Sunset Base. The southern island hosts a small chunk of farmland, as well as my bee hives and flower collection. The northern island hosts my home and stables, as well as access points to my main railway network and high-speed ice pathways. Aside from the obvious mobility benefits via boat travel, the coastal location also provides the base a natural terrain shield against most hostile creatures.

Oh yeah, hostile creatures, forgot to mention that before. If you’re playing on any setting other than Peaceful Mode, you’ll also have to contend with enemy mobs. Some, like Zombies, attack in close quarters. Others, like Skeleton archers, will shoot at you from a distance. The Creeper, easily the game’s most iconic enemy (born from a coding error, fun fact), will self-detonate if you let it get too close. Death can be frustrating, especially if Hardcore Mode (disables respawning) is enabled on your world, but at least you always know why you died and what you could’ve done differently.

You can also form bonds with the friendlier creatures of Minecraft. Some you can tame, like Cats and Parrots. Others, you can get to protect you, such as Wolves and Iron Golems. Others still you can interact and/or trade with, including Horses and Villagers. It’s fun to name them, and it also gives you a deeper bond with your world. My two parrots are named Aqua and Marine. I use a plant-based naming scheme for my cats (Ivy, Moss, Allium) and a heat-based naming scheme for my dogs (Sol, Ember, Coal). My bees are named after places in Alberta, except Grumm (Developer’s Easter Egg: If you name a creature Grumm or Dinnerbone, its character model flips upside-down). I also keep a pufferfish, Lord Gustavo Frederickson II, who has his own smaller aquarium.

The next stop on the tour, on the other side of the forest, is the Project Bedrock Quarry. This mountain mining operation is where I get a large portion of my building materials, as well as most of my rare minerals. I also happened to uncover a cave with a Skeleton dungeon while excavating the region, so now I have a limitless supply of arrows. I built a statue of my avatar nearby, which you can see off to the distance in the right image. I’ve seen other people do this in their worlds, so I wanted to do the same, though it took a while to gather the required amount of wool.

Admittedly, resource collection can be tedious in Minecraft, especially when you’re working towards large-scale projects. This particular project has the goal of reducing nine chunks down to the bedrock layer, which I know is going to take a while. That being said, I sometimes like to just zone out and do some sort of menial task with music playing in the background, and this particular activity fits well when I’m in that sort of mood. Does anyone else get that feeling sometimes, or is it just me? Either way, you can do as much or as little as you like, the amount of time investment you want to put in is entirely up to you.


If you plan to put a lot of time into your Minecraft world, create back-ups of your save file. In the rare event of file corruption, weeks or even months of effort can be lost in an instant. I lost one of my previous worlds to this game-breaking issue, do not let your world suffer the same fate.

The final stop on this tour is Plainsville, a village nestled in the plains just over Toast Mountain. It’s now the place where I grow most of my crops and do most of my trading. I don’t actually spend a lot of time here, but in order to protect the villagers living here, I’ve transformed it into the most heavily-defended place in my world. Strangely, there’s also a cave system and an underground ravine directly below the village, which hides a zombie dungeon. Why here, in such an unassuming place? Is there some nefarious underlying plot going on behind my back? I suppose only the villagers know the answer to that question.

That brings up another good point: lore. These worlds have some lore to them. You’ll occasionally find structures scattered throughout the world, built by ancient civilizations which rose and fell well before you ever showed up. By your very presence, you’re also building on this world’s lore, designating landmarks and building new infrastructure. There’s a lot of roleplay potential in Minecraft, as is demonstrated by the popularity of servers such as Wynncraft and the DreamSMP. Whether you’re alone or with other people, there’s a story, just waiting to be uncovered.

With that, the tour is over. There are other sights to see in my world, of course, but they’re still being developed, so I won’t show them off right now. Besides, this is supposed to be a game review, not a building showcase. If you’d like to see the world in its natural state, the generation seed is -2389888354242477250. Among other things, it has a shipwreck and ravine just off the coast of the Southern Island, three different village types to the east, all along the same point on the X-axis, and an easy-to-spot Woodland Mansion on the ocean’s northwest coastline.

If you couldn’t already tell, I like the single-player mode a lot. As for multiplayer? I used to play online a lot in the past, but my current computer isn’t exactly great when it comes to fast loading, so that’s dampened a lot of the potential fun for me. I can’t play well on servers with loads of custom textures, and I don’t have a good enough reaction time to deal with most combat situations. The Optifine mod has helped a bit in this aspect, but it’s still not great.

When I do play online, I usually prefer servers with more creative aspects to them. This was already partially addressed in Part I, but one of my favorite minigames are building contests. I don’t often win, but it’s still cool to see what other people can make with a prompt in a limited timeframe. The concepts of Skyblock and Skygrid are pretty neat as well, where you’re just thrown onto a tiny landmass in the sky and make do with the few things you’re given. I also enjoy Hide & Seek-style games and the occasional bit of parkour.

The classic Skyblock format.

Whenever I can’t do something myself, or I just want to be entertained, I like to watch YouTubers and streamers. They’re good sources of both inspiration & entertainment, and a lot of the channels I follow are either Minecraft-focused or have played Minecraft at some point. These are a few of my favorite channels:

  • CaptainSparklez – One of the first big names to rise in the community, still going strong to this day. Runs several channels, has also ventured into music production and fitness.
  • Technoblade – A deadpan-voiced pig/man who excels in combat & strategic warfare, and is a force to be feared in almost any competition.
  • FitMC – A historian-type YouTuber who frequently explores and archives player activity on 2B2T, the oldest anarchy server in Minecraft.
  • ibxtoycat – A chill dude who just does whatever he feels like doing. Maintains a long-term survival world in MC Bedrock Edition, sometimes subjects other players to psychological experiments.

I’m not going to dive into every single content creator I watch, as that subject by itself would be enough to fill an entire article, but suffice it to say that there are a lot of talented creators out there, of all types and backgrounds.

On that note, I think I’ve said just about everything I wanted to say at the moment, so I’m going to start wrapping this review up. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Minecraft is a game that holds a special place in my heart. It’s the game that’s held my attention for the longest consecutive period of time by far, and it has so much potential variety that it always keeps you coming back for more. I’m looking forward to the upcoming 1.17 update, with the revamped caves & cliffs, and I’m hoping the developers at Mojang Studios continue to bring good things to the crafting table in the future.

Pristine Condition

2 thoughts on “Game Review – Minecraft (Part II)

    1. Well, when it comes to making a permanent base, I’d say the most important thing is to create an organized storage space. You won’t have a lot of items in the beginning, but over time, it’ll definitely start to add up.

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