Minecraft - sandbox construction game
Adventure game with a lot of freedom to choose how to play the game
Complex systems can be built using the in-game physics engine
The game world is procedurally generated as the player explores it
Minecraft is sandbox building adventure game with a lot of freedom to choose how to play the game, with the primary goal in survival mode being to build a shelter to survive attacks by hostile mobs (such as Zombies, Skeletons and Creepers). The core gameplay revolves around building and breaking blocks. The game world is essentially made of rough 3d objects--mainly cubes--arranged in a fixed grid pattern which represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While the players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. The player can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing various constructions. In creative mode, the player has access to unlimited blocks, takes no damage, and can fly freely around the world.
The game starts by placing the player on the surface of a virtually infinite procedurally generated game world. The player can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies. The world is also divided into biomes ranging from deserts to snowfields. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle. Throughout the course of the game the player encounters various mobs. During the daytime, non-hostile animals spawn, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, which can be hunted for food and crafting materials. Hostile mobs, such as large spiders, skeletons, zombies and the dangerous exploding Creeper only spawn in unlit areas like caves or during nighttime.
Complex systems can be built using the in-game physics engine with the use of primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone. For example, a door can be opened or closed by pressing a connected button or stepping on a pressure plate. Similarly, larger and more complex systems can be produced, such as a working arithmetic logic unit – as used in CPUs.
The game world is procedurally generated as the player explores it. Although limits exist on vertical movement both up and down, Minecraft allows for an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane, only running into technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached. The game achieves this by splitting the game world data into smaller sections, called "chunks", only created or loaded into memory when the player is nearby.
Although Minecraft is mostly a sandbox game, it contains some adventure elements. And, with that, a primary win condition, which is achieved by traveling to another dimension known as The End and defeating the powerful Enderdragon that flies around the map. This dimension is also home to Endermen, a race of seemingly-sentient beings that are only rarely seen on the main world. To go to The End, one must locate underground ruins called strongholds, which can be found on the main overworld. They must then activate the stronghold's portal using items crafted from drops from Endermen and Blazes, which can be found in alternate dimension called The Nether. Upon beating the boss creature (and claiming an exclusive reward consisting of a shower of experience points and the elusive Ender dragon egg), the player is allowed to leave the dimension via a portal, which will cue the game's ending sequence, written by Irish author Julian Gough and credits roll. The player is then teleported back to their original spawn point in the overworld, and, if certain criteria are met, will receive the exclusive "The End" achievement.
A large aspect of the game is the multi-player mode using player-hosted servers. This allows for players to play in a common world, and achieve goals together. Single player worlds can also allow LAN connection so players on the same network can join locally without a server setup.