Let’s be honest, most games we play are fun for a few weeks. We’ll try the campaign, give multiplayer a go, then become tired with the game and move on to the next in line. Sure, some popular older titles get a rebirth via smartphones (Super Mario Run, Pokémon Go), but it’s very rare to play the same game for years on end – unless that game is Minecraft.
Since 2011, Minecraft has captivated the world in a way we’ve not seen in years, perhaps ever. It’s played on Android and iOS devices, PCs and Macs, and PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles. Heck, it’s even being used to teach in schools now. Is there really another game that is as all-encompassing as Minecraft? There are conferences, all manner of merchandising, a recent story mode, and even a movie we’re told is being released one day this century.
What keeps this ball rolling? What is it that over 100 million users return for again and again, despite the game not exactly having memorable characters or an interesting narrative? It’s the ability to create. Of course, there are sandbox games which let us wander around and destroy as we see fit, but what’s evident is that people love – really love – to build, to produce, to mine, and definitely to craft. It’s nigh on impossible to find a game that lets you create to the scale that Minecraft does.
Today, we wish to give a little respect to some Minecrafters who spend their days turning blocks into replicas of real cities, or produced majestic worlds to rival the works of any science fiction writer. These folk don’t just want to play the game, but live it, often putting in countless hours of creation time over several years. Afterward, they can make their maps available to download, where others can marvel at the construction and engage in the newly built world. Although, it should be said that these digital architects aren’t always alone, and will often host their own servers and let others take part in community projects (for example, the Westeros server is a massive ongoing development which aims to recreate the lands from Game of Thrones).
When you’ve got the option to oversee a world of your own design, it’s not hard to see why many people turn out as server-gods in Minecraft. Your rules, your vision, your domain. Don’t like the way someone is behaving on your server? Ban them and move on; things can be very simple in the Minecraft world. Once you’ve understood how to set it up, you’ll have to offer something awesome to convince other gamers to play on your server, as there are a lot out there. Unless of course you simply wish to have a server on which you and your friends can romp about without a care, engage in epic PvP battles, or build gorgeous worlds like the ones you’re about to see. The options are virtually limitless as to where Minecraft can be taken.
So, without further ado, here are three amazing maps created by talented Minecrafters, which may well inspire your own creations one day…
LAST JUMP HERO
If your two loves are parkour and platform video games, then you’re in luck. Last Jump Hero, apart from the great name, is an incredibly fun download that should give a good 1.5 hours of jumping fun. With five levels to complete (Green Forest, Desert Hills, Sea of Lava, Hell, and Into the End), Last Jump Hero by Mehlie puts a Minecraft twist on a classic platformer like Prince of Persia. Jump like your life depends on it.
THE STAR WARS ADVENTURE MAP
Any Star Wars fan loves to picture themselves roaming the icy lands of Hoth or wandering around the intricate paths inside the Death Star. There are, of course, many great Star Wars video games, but for something more pixelated, give The Star Wars Adventure Map by Hypixel a download. With the option to play as a Stormtrooper or Jedi, you’ll be given plenty to do in the form of main and side quests, and you can expect the journey to last around 40 minutes. It’s well worth it to delve into the Star Wars universe once again.
Those scenes in movies in which a character wanders around an empty city are always fascinating and a bit trippy (28 Days Later, Vanilla Sky, etc.), so imagine being able to do something similar in Minecraft. This download, created by 18-year-old Ryan Zull, is a blocky duplicate of Chicago, Illinois. You don’t exactly have to be an inhabitant of the Windy City to appreciate the faithful replication, as it’s simply stunning to marvel at the level of detail put in by Zull. Although the project only started in 2013, Zull says he is about 80% finished and plans to keep working on more details of Chicago. How about New York next please?
These are but three downloads we wanted to cover, but there are many more out there. It will be interesting to see how the release of Lego Worlds will shake the might of Minecraft, as players will be able to build epic creations with Lego pieces and landscaping tools, but somehow we think that people will be Minecrafting for a long, long time.