Minecraft is a ‘sandbox game’ where players mine and build in a randomly generated 3D world. Hostile monsters roam the environment at night, forcing players to build fortifications. Mining uncovers ores in the ground, which can be crafted into useful items such as chests, minecarts and tracks, and buckets. There are also plants and animals, which can be farmed and hunted for other resources. The game features a free classic mode where players have unlimited resources, and is available as an alpha release for €9.95.  As of September 23rd 2010, it has surpassed 760,000 registered users and 208,000 purchases.

It is currently in development by Markus Persson, aka ‘Notch.’ The gameplay is inspired by Dwarf Fortress, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Dungeon Keeper, and especially Infiniminer. Players must devise methods of building functional and navigable structures that can withstand the nightly assault from various monsters. The player’s short reach and short jumping ability forces players to plan structures carefully, lest they trap themselves or fall to their death during construction. More advanced players can create complex traps and mechanisms using the game physics as well as primitive electrical circuits and logic gates.

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