Why I Didn’t Buy Minecraft

I’ve played Minecraft-inspired games before. I’ve put dozens of hours into Terraria and a decent chunk of time into Total Miner: Forge. When Minecraft itself finally hit the Xbox recently, I had to at least play the demo. As it turned out, few demos have ever made me want to buy a game less.

I can understand some people being put off by the relatively sedentary pace or the lack of a clear goal. Not so for me. Let me walk you through it.

The demo puts you in a ready-built area, complete with a pond, a ruined hut, a small town and a castle. I went through the tutorial bits easily enough, fixed up the hut as instructed, then went to explore. After wandering around the castle for a while, night fell. I trotted into the town and holed up in one of the houses. Curious about the monsters that I knew would come out now it was dark, I stood at the window and watched. What I saw was a brief glimmer of green, then BANG! One wall of the house caved in as one of those exploding creatures decided it was in a bad mood. Zombies and spiders piled in, and my flimsy sword could only do so much. Without room to get out of the house, they finished me off pretty quickly.

I respawned without any of my weapons or tools, all the way back at the pond in the tutorial area. I could hear enemies nearby, so rather than trying to get to town, I ran to the hut I’d fixed up earlier. A few seconds later, BANG! Half the building dissolved. Unarmed and trapped again, I didn’t have a chance.

I respawned. This time I had no choice but to make a break for it, but I had to pass the hut which was still crawling with enemies. I sprinted to the tunnel towards town, but they chased me down and tore me apart.

I respawned. Same problem but this time the monster clump had been thinned out by the previous chase. I ran to the tunnel, got through it and almost made it to town, but a spider blindsided me and ate my head.

I respawned. Got through the tunnel, decided to avoid getting trapped in a building again and headed over a ridge to the left in the hope that I’d get away from this main mass of monsters and be able to dig a hole to hide myself in. I managed that, but then found myself just sitting and staring at a dirt wall, waiting for the night to pass. Not my idea of fun. I dug my way out and tried to head back to town, but BANG! A chunk of the hill vanished. While trying to find a new route, spiders caught me and skewered my face.

I respawned back at the pond again. Made a dash for town, got through the tunnel, got to a building. I slammed the door behind me and breathed a sigh of relief. Then CLICK. A zombie let itself in like a rude neighbour. I hadn’t even tried to mine for materials in the dangerous darkness, so I was unarmed. I might have been able to take out the zombie with my bare hands, but I never got chance to find out. BANG! The room was decorated in shades of miner innards.

I respawned. Not knowing what else to do, I ran to the town. The monsters saw me from the ruins of my previous hiding place but I managed to dart into a house across the street. This time I dived straight into bed in the hope that unconsciousness might save me. And it did. I awoke to bright sunshine, wandered to the window and saw a smirking green face looking right back at me. That hissssss of burning fuse began, and I ran to the back of the house to try and hack my way free. BANG! The front wall gave way, and a couple of spiders pranced in. As they chewed me to pieces yet again, I hit what can only be described as The Wall. The “Fuck. This. Shit.” wall of quitting Minecraft, deleting the piece of crap and pretending I’d never seen it.

I died eight times in the first night in the demo. What’s the point of shelter if it provides no protection at all? What’s the point of a day/night cycle that doesn’t allow you to live to see the dawn? What’s the point of a demo that makes willing purchasers run away screaming from your badly designed travesty of a game? I don’t know whether Minecraft has always been like this, whether it’s just the Xbox version or even just the demo. I don’t know and I don’t really care. It’s horrible and I want no part of it.

That is why I didn’t buy Minecraft. Did you?

10 comments on “Why I Didn’t Buy Minecraft

  1. After that experience I can’t blame you for running away LOL … actually I haven’t spent much time in the demo — I’ve been waiting to play “the real Minecraft” on Xbox for a long time after playing Castle Miner Z quite a bit. CMZ is actually less forgiving. 😉 So I bought 2 copies of Minecraft 360, one for each Xbox, and have been playing co-op with the family (2 on large TV splitscreen and 1 on monitor at my desk).

    I’ve been frustrated a few times by surprise mob attacks and losing all my stuff — kinda reminds me of the old Diablo, trying to get back to my loot — but overall I love it. Looking forward to future updates.

  2. JazFusion says:

    Haha Minecraft is the new Goolin. :p

  3. Officially, I haven’t played Minecraft or any of the Minecraft-ians. Outside of the demo for Castle Miner Z, most of which consisted of me dying / running into caves, my entire experience with ‘the phenomenon’ is exactly 8 minutes deep. I don’t doubt its popularity, and I can even see the value / fun in it, but my experience would probably mirror your own, if CMZ is any indication. I’ve always said I’d give it some time if I could manage to secure a few days of solid, uninterrupted play, and I intend to at some point. Stories like this, however, convince me to sit on a fence a bit longer. 🙂

  4. Chaelura says:

    I bought Minecraft because my friends wanted me to. I didn’t play a ton of it solo, since I’d get owned every damn night (or, if I even managed to put together a mud hut, in the morning when I came out >_< ) I did have a good time in sandbox mode just building things. BIG things. 😀

  5. GreaterMuta says:

    Minecraft is actually a lot of fun to play in my experience with it. I played ‘Total Miner: Forge’ and really enjoyed the freedom to just create, but found it was lacking tht something special that would make it great. But i enjoyed it enough to pick up Minecraft on release day. To be honest about it, it’s one of the best purchases i’ve made in a long time (worth noting i’ve never tried the tutorial given i didn’t feel i need to after playing so much Total Miner).

    The enemies can be pretty punishing on normal or above, but i’ve found they are a lot more acceptable in easy mode (peaceful mode simply removes them). In easy mode they still surprise you and still go bang, but not anywhere near as often as you have described (i think there’s less enemies) and with a little common sense and tactics you can avoid catastrophes. Although on occasion you’ll still have a creeper explode in your face deep at the bottom of a mine after you’ve discovered that incredibly rare vein of diamonds. But i think this sort of unpredictability adds to the survival nature of the game.

    Spawn points can be changed by sleeping in a bed, so it becomes a tactical thing of creating new bases as you go so you can always get back to your goods before they vanish should the worst happen.

    Then there’s the freedom to just get creative and build. On one of my saves I have a 3 story castle with a moat, neatly arranged and labeled store rooms and turrets at each corner to look out at the enemies on a night time safe from harm. The castle also a walled garden full of grow houses for various crops for me to harvest for supplies and a wolf house for my loyal wolves. On another save i have a massive 3 story underground farm complete with a self harvesting cactus plantation. This underground lair is also complete with a skeleton mob grinder i built upon finding a skeleton mob spawner while building the farm. Skeletons spawn (i watch safely behind glass), they get carried down 7 floors or so by water and eventually drown before the water carries the bones and arrows they drop to a collection point for me to pick up. Basically an unlimited supply of arrows and bones for my use.

    While i understand your frustration, i would definitely recommend giving it another go as it’s a strangely addictive and quite rewarding game to play. It’s only going to get better in time as the free updates get released and the game catches up to it’s PC counterpart.

  6. Darthtwitch says:

    Face it, dude – you’re getting pissy simply because you’re no good at the game. You have to build shelter before it get’s dark. This is the whole point. You seem to have missed the entire point of the game. Incredible.

    • Read it again. I did build a shelter. It got blown up when night fell, as did each of the houses I hid in. Maybe it’s a problem unique to the demo, but shelter was no more protective than standing in the open, that’s why I didn’t buy it. That’s all this is – my experience playing the demo for Minecraft.

      (As a side note, Terraria is much less depressing.)

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