Oh Minecraft, you crazy addicting game. I remember when I jumped into this game it was still in beta and I paid $20 just for the notion of never having to pay another dime for future updates. Several years later, I’ve built more homes, dug so many tunnels, killed countless creeps and zombies, and even traversed the Nether. With so much time behind this game, it struck me odd to see that BradyGames was making a Minecraft strategy guide. Curious, I took on the review.
Now, I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve logged with this game, but to handle the review I made a new world and relied solely on the guide to get me through my battle of hunger and home construction. The guide starts with a nice introduction to what the heck Minecraft is and how do players get started with their first world. As the console, pocket, and PC versions differ, the authors include how they vary from one another. For anyone who is new to this game, take the time to read this intro section as it’ll do a lot to help make that first jaunt into the randomly generated world that much easier.
The guide then moves into 12 goals, starting with the basics of making that all important first wooden axe. I dug the goals, and they are fairly standard to what I’ve been doing over the years. The one hitch to having the goals flow smoothly is that the world that the game generates is not always so cooperative. For example, finding coal isn’t always as easy as one might think. However, completing the goals the authors provided is a great way to build a basic home, start a rudimentary mine, and keep yourself fed and geared for survival.
Obviously, this would be a terrible guide if it just stopped after 22 pages and left readers on their own with all the nuances of the game. This is where the next section of the guide comes in. Everything from the basics of crafting, the inner workings of farms, and even how to create a Nether Portal receive serious attention. There is a lot of knowledge dropping here, so be prepared to spend a bit of time reading up on something as mundane as how weather affects your crops. Anyone that plans to take on the hardcore survival mode should definitely study this chunk of the guide.
From there, the guide moves into all the tools, resources, and consumables that players will find scattered about the world. This is where readers find out how to make things like an enchanting table, dyed wool, or even a jukebox. Heck, anyone that wants to make a cake will find the recipe here as well. This reads more of an encyclopedia than a simple step-by-step of how to make items. I found that this is the section I spent the most time in. The layout is easy enough to navigate, but be prepared to thumb through a fair amount of pages as doing something as simple as making a cake requires several steps and items.
Right after readers find out how to build armor and weapons, they are greeted with all the creatures and monsters that roam the world. What I liked most is that this area is that it begins with a quick reference list giving pertinent info. This quick list is followed by more detailed breakdowns. Take the time to read the details as there is some good secrets, such as dyeing a sheep is easier than dyeing the wool, scattered about. These nuggets of goodness don’t show up in the little charts, but rather the descriptions.
This guide does a great job of getting new players acclimated to the world. While navigating the pages to find that one item you need is cumbersome, the amount of info and detail is rock solid. However, a good wiki or fan page is also of the essence as Minecraft is a game that continues to grow and evolve. If you are looking to dive into this crazy addictive game, this guide is well worth snagging as it’ll certainly help you survive those first few cold and lonely nights.
SGR Rating 3/5
Authors: Michael Lummis, Christopher Burton, Kathleen Pleet
Editions Available: Paperback
Acquired via Publisher