Minecraft is HUGE. You can play it on pretty much any device or console in some capacity, the mobile app being consistently the cheapest and most accessible version.
Gameplay for Minecraft is simple, it is primarily a survival based game. You build a home, make farms to feed yourself and mine for iron, gold, diamonds, emeralds and all sorts of goodies to make better tools and armour. You can then make improvements to your base, explore safely and ultimately travel to the End dimension and defeat the Ender Dragon. Along the way you will encounter ‘mobs’. Some of them are peaceful; Villagers can be traded with using emeralds as currency; cows, sheep, pigs and chickens are a great source of food and drop other useful items as well; wolves won’t attack you unless you attack them, but they will eat your sheep if they aren’t fenced in. However, they can be tamed using a bone. Where do you get bones? Skeletons, of course.
Hostile mobs include Zombies, Skeletons, Cave Spiders and Creepers. Skeletons have a bow and arrows and hit you with ranged attacks, Zombies are slow but can break down doors, and Spiders can poison you. Creepers hissss… and explode. Most hostile mobs burn up in the sunlight, so you can always sleep the night away.
If all that survival playing isn’t your thing but you like the idea of making impressive structures with all the resources at your fingertips, then creative mode is for you. You can switch off the mobs, stop the day/night cycle and do away with the hunger bar and… gravity? Yep, in creative mode you can just float yourself anywhere without expending any energy. You can use any block available in the game to build whatever you want. It can be a really nice way to unwind or a way to challenge yourself to make entire worlds.
Minecraft With Friends
Minecraft in its various forms is multiplayer in different ways. For mobile and PC editions it is only multiplayer via the internet. Not really in the spirit of games for two, but two downloads of the app is cheaper than a second controller for console.
It has made it to my games for two feature because we mostly play it on Xbox. The console version is local multiplayer with no subscription or internet connection required. One player signs in to their Xbox profile and starts a game, the second person joins the game with their controller, it will ask the second player to sign in to their profile as well and then it will split the screen. You can decide whether to play cooperatively or work against each other. There are no rules, you make them yourself.
When you log out the world will be saved to player 1’s profile, any resources or XP Player 2 has will be safe, they will be there next time you play. I prefer to empty my inventory into a chest when I log out as Player 2 so that Player 1 can access my supplies.
How many people can play? For console split screen, up to 4 players.
How difficult is it to play? It is pretty easy. 2/10 for creative mode, 6/10 for normal difficulty survival mode.
Is it child friendly? Yes. It is age rated 7+ because of the potential for cartoon violence. I am happy to let my 4 year old play it with the hostile mobs turned off. You can set it to ‘peaceful’ in survival or creative modes.
How can I play? The ‘bedrock’ version is cross-playable on PC, console and mobile platforms whilst the ‘Java’ edition is PC only. Split screen is console only. Older versions of the ‘console edition’ are available but the newer version is just called Minecraft.
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