Title screen of the original game.
|Release date(s)||December 19, 2011|
Minicraft is a 2D top-down action game developed and programmed by Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, for the Ludum Dare #22, a 48 hour game programming competition. The game was released on December 19, 2011.
The Objectives screen given at the beginning of the game directs the player to "kill the Air Wizard". To do so, the player roams a "generated world" and must "chop down trees, mine rocks and stab zombies... harvest resources [and] build items" until encountering the boss. It is also stated in the official description, in line with the theme, that "the goal of the game is to kill the only other sentient being in the world, making sure you’ll be alone forever." The game greatly resembles The Legend of Zelda being that it appears to be a basic dungeon crawler.
The game takes place on a "series of islands" that the player must explore to look for supplies. Using these, the player must build better items to be able to complete tasks easier and to tackle more difficult challenges. There are multiple different biomes to venture to and various enemies to fight, along with a number of tools and weapons.
The player is controlled with the arrow keys and the C key is used to attack enemies or interact with the world, while the X key brings up the inventory screen. There is no save feature in the game and it takes around one to two hours to complete under normal play.
Minicraft was developed by Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, on December 19, 2011. It was created in 48 hours as a part of the 22nd Ludum Dare competition, which requires game developers that enter the contest to make a game in that time frame based on a theme that is released just before the time starts. For this Ludum Dare, the theme was "Alone". During the 48 hours, Persson also livestreamed his coding of the game and made blog entries on the Ludum Dare website for significant milestones he reached. Minicraft is competing against 891 other games, with the judging based on nine categories, some of which include "innovation, fun, graphics, audio, humor and mood". The voting for best game is determined by the Ludum Dare community and the time for voting ended on January 9, 2012.
Persson tweeted on December 26, 2011, that he was working on Minicraft 2, but was planning on changing that interim title. When asked what type of direction the game would be going in, Persson responded, "action roguelike with crafting and modifiable terrain." On January 1, 2012, Persson announced via Twitter that the new title for the sequel to Minicraft was to be MiniTale. He also obtained "the .com and .net" URLs with the title to host the game on.
The game was unofficially ported onto the Android by Folstad Consulting on January 5, 2012. It was made available by the company for free on the portable device, along with some changes having been made to the game, such as the implementation of "touchscreen controls with optional keyboard controls for compatible devices". The port also featured an added save feature, along with the ability to "cheat" items into the player's inventory. Folstad Consulting, the porting company, also made sure to not be seen as trying to take credit for the game, stating that the reason for the port was "for fun and to learn the codebase".
The game was commonly likened to the early Legend of Zelda games, with reviewers like Rock, Paper, Shotgun writer Alec Meer adding, "It's a good (and compulsive) time, and impressively complete for a mere 48 hours of crunch". Boing Boing reviewer Rob Beschizza critiqued the game saying, "A spectacular achievement in just a few hours of coding, Minicraft casts the same spell as the real thing. It does, however, suffer from shallowness and grind. There's not much to do except plow through the process of emptying each level in search of better ores." VentureBeat writer Dan Crawley commented on the gathering system, saying, "A simple but addictive approach to resource gathering helps give the game a whimsical charm not a million miles from that of its big brother." Matt Bradford of GamesRadar stated that, "The project is about as basic as one can expect from a marathon coding competition, but the mere fact it's actually a solid, playable game is a testament to Persson's skill" and also pointed out that "this could easily be a discount app for iOS or a PS Mini."
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- Kyle Hilliard (January 1, 2012). "Minicraft 2 Has Been Renamed MiniTale". Game Informer. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- Josh Harrison (January 3, 2012). "Notch's 'Minicraft 2' Is Now 'MiniTale'". Ology. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- Richard Mitchell (January 6, 2012). "Minicraft gets even smaller, ported to Android". Joystiq. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Josh Harrison (January 6, 2012). "Notch's 'Minicraft' Ported To Android". Ology. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Joseph Parish (January 5, 2012). "'Minicraft' gets an Android port with game saves". The Verge. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Steve Watts (January 6, 2012). "Minicraft unofficially ported to Android". Shacknews. Retrieved January 7, 2012.