Software & Hardware Reviews

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Feb. 2017 Vol 23 # 2 . Minecraft Windows 10 Beta

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Playing Minecraft Windows 10 Beta from Mojang

By Howard Berenbon

This is an amazing and intriguing game from Microsoft and Mojang offering challenging gameplay in a surrealistic world, which is randomly generated each time you play. Basically, you dig for resources, starting with wood from the trees, and build things you need in the world to survive like tools and swords for defense.  You’ll also need to build a shelter to keep you safe at night from wondering zombies and spiders that will kill you almost immediately.  On the surface, Minecraft looks too simple, with its low resolution graphics and mining gameplay for resources, like wood, stone, coal, to build things.  But that’s part of the game’s charm.  Also, because it’s all built from squares (not a rounded corner to be found!) it doesn’t require special graphics hardware to run.  Everything, and that includes the trees, animals, big scary spiders, and monsters, or zombies, and your player are made up of squares. That allows it to be programmed for almost any platform, mobile to desktop.  Its simplicity makes it a gem of a game, no pun intended, but you can find gems, like diamonds.  When you find them you’ll build wearable armor for high quality protection.

Minecraft is not only challenging, but it has its surprises.  Several modes of game play are offered, but if you want a challenge, start with mode 0, which is survival and the default.  If you don’t want the challenge, then select creative or adventure and you can roam the world mining for resources and building stuff.  

Because world of Minecraft is made up of squares, at first it’s feels a little weird to play, but once you’re into it, trying to survive, you won’t notice.  Before you play, it randomly generates a world, and then you appear.  There’s water, trees, hills, animals, flowers and plants, and stuff to mine (that’s why it’s called Minecraft).  Monsters appear at night, and if you’re not protected, like in a shelter you need to build, then you’re not going to last a moment.  When you’re dropped into the new world, it’s day, but as you search and acquire stuff, time goes by, and the sun goes down, and it's night. You’re there on your own to defend against the hazards Minecraft sends you, and they will send you dangerous creatures.  After just a few minutes in the dark, the zombies will attack.  So, before it gets dark you have things to do, like, make a crafting table, make a sword and ax, build a shelter and more. Your first task is to get wood from the surrounding trees, and use it to build things, but making an ax or hammer, or shovel would be your first priority.

When I first started the PC Windows 10 version, I had no idea what to do.  I was in the survival mode and dropped right into the unknown, to fend for myself.  I did look up the keyboard and mouse functions before starting, but that’s about it.  And, I learned my lesson, because I didn’t survive the night, which was about 15 minutes into the game. See my Minecraft Windows 10 Beta First Gameplay below.  So, if I wanted to get anywhere in Minecraft, I needed to find a good tutorial and after a few searches on Youtube, I found my expert, Paul Soares Jr.  Paul has what seems like an endless number of tutorials on Minecraft (at least 90 plus) starting with the basics, so I jumped in.  I have the first tutorial listed below, so you can start learning what you need to know right away. Here’s a link to his Youtube channel:  If you try Minecraft on your own, without any help, you’ll be demoralized in less than 15 minutes of play, and die.  You can respawn (sort of a restart), but that doesn’t help because you’ll end up in the same spot in the game that got you attacked and killed by zombie or giant spider (with scary red eyes).  Then you’ll get killed again, but in less time (I’d say 5 minutes).  So, check out his first tutorial below, and visit his channel for more tutorials.  His instructions are very thorough, sometimes humorous, and what you need to succeed.

Minecraft Windows 10 Beta First Gameplay

Minecraft Tutorial No. 1 Survive & Thrive from Paul Soares Jr.

You can subscribe to Paul's Youtube channel (paulsoaresnr) from this LINK.


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