Minecraft is an amazing game by a man named Markus Alexej Persson and it has taken the gaming world by storm.
Zombies: No video game seems to be better or worse without them. The flesh eating, brain munching, groaning terrors you know as Zombies wander the dark places of Minecraft. At night, they come to eat you. In the dark, they come to eat you. If you happen to let one inside your house, chances are they'll try to eat you. Good news is that these suckers ignite in sunlight and refuse to spawn in any kind of light. So as long as you've got a torch you'll be good.
Skeleton (Archers): You're out at night and the forest wavers dauntingly as the moon rises into the sky, but you whistle a tune and continue doing your late night wood-working. You hear the clatter of objects, turn, and see an arrow fly past your head a settle in the trunk of a tree. You've met the Skeleton. These baddies make little to no sound and the noise they do make is either that of a bow being fired or dishes falling down. Like the Zombies they don't spawn in light and burst into flame in the sunlight. Still, if you've got one after you remember to bring pork. You'll need it.
Spiders: Sounding like a hiss and kick spiders are one of the two baddies that can survive the sunlight. Like the previous Mobs they won't spawn in light, but once they're out, they're out. During the night when these things prowl the world you'd better be square for a fight. They're fast, ruthless, and have ridiculous health. Supposedly they're passive in daylight, but I haven't experienced that personally. They drop string (instead of web but I'm not gonna judge) and it can be used to make a bow. That's right, you can go toe to toe with those sharpshooter Skeletons.
Creepers: Ok, excuse me, but what the fuck. Seriously, what the fuck!? What is this, what is it intended to be?! This is no animal, this is no mythological beast, this is a freaking mutant time bomb! Creepers have to be the worst Mob on land and they're ALWAYS agressive. They don't spawn in light but they do stay even during daytime. Close Combat is nearly impossible as these cheeky little bastards detonate if you get to close, so Arrows are ideal. Just remember, if you hear the click and hiss than it's probably to late anyway.
Slime: Slime. It spawns in caves, won't spawn in light, and until recently was impossible to find. These things are huge, do decent damage and are likely to be one heck of a fight. I reccomend Bows, but I haven't gotten my chance to do the dance of death with one yet. Something tells me I won't survive it...
Ghast: It's a Jellyfish from hell. Literally. These massive giggling blobs of white float in the "Nether" (Minecraft's version of Hell) and launch exploding fireballs at you with a POONK. These fireballs can be deflected and do lots of damage. The Ghasts will generally stalk you to death but they are a cool addition to the world. So long as you're not in the sights of one.
Spider Jockey: Fuck that. No. Just fuck that. This is a Spider Jockey. While the very fast creature beneath the Skeleton proceedes to Melee you, the one on top will be firing arrows down your throat. Yeah, I think it's unfair too. Luckily these annoying little pricks are only found in Hell with the Ghasts. Bring your Diamond armor.
Zombie Pigmen: Yes, these are also found in Hell. Zombie pigmen are a passive unit. These creatures will not attack unless you attack (no matter how sickening the noises they make are). They give some cooked meat if you kill them but otherwise they just scream and walk around. Which is almost more disturbing.
Pig: You mean there's something in Minecraft that isn't after my soul? Yeah, it's one of few and it's a Pig. This cute little guy can be ridden with a saddle or provide you with Pork which you can cook or eat raw to heal some of your hearts. Sure you'll have to take it's life, but your sand castle is more important than him anyway.
Sheep: When you hit them their Wool falls off. No lie. The wool can be used to make Pictures or dyed for building. Killing the sheep doesn't do anything and they eventually grow the wool back.
Cow: With what sounds like the cry of a demonic Zombie cows are rather cool. These large hulking creatures make irritating sounds but when slain may pony up leather which can make the most basic form of armor. They also do wonderful screamo.
Chicken: They lay eggs to make cake. This is worth your time people. These creatures are harmless, cluck, flap, and die in one arrow hit. When killed they give you feathers which can be used to make more arrows.
Squids: They have teeth, swim in water, worship Cthulhu, and until just recently could be milked. Obviously the Superior Mob, Squids are simple sound and just plain epic. They don't drop anything, but watching them is incredibly entertaining.
The Minecraft Bible:
This is the Minecraft Survival Guide. Everything you ever wanted to know about Minecraft EVER is in there and it is great. This will be a large part of gameplay if you plan on experiencing everything about Minecraft so I just thought you should know it exists before we get into the Gameplay.
That screen is something like what you'll see when you start Minecraft and after careful thought I've divided up the gameplay of Minecraft into 4 categories and Multiplayer.
Prepare thine self.
In Minecraft you do one thing a lot. Craft. This is acheived by collecting a wide variety of resources and turning them into tools with which you will collect even MORE resources. It is an amazingly simple process only slowed by the nightfall and advance of Monsters. (Which later becomes obsolete as you become more bad ass) The game also allows you to create very large structures which would also be called buildings, castles, huts, or whatever you dictate them to be. These fortresses are also made from gathered resources that you've accumulated from the wild. After hours of extensive crafting only two things could ruin your day. No torches or a Creeper.
As strange as it is to say, Minecraft is one of the most beautiful games out there. The scope of the world you exist in can be up to 8x that of Earth and it never has to stop. The exploration of the world can be very deadly though if playing on anything other than peaceful mode. Night time will bring out the creatures of the dark and you'll have to fight your way through them if you get stuck in the open. Not to mention going to hell...
Bring a change of pants.
Probably the least and most exciting part of Minecraft is Mining. You will need to do this at some point in order to obtain precious minerals for better gear and tools which will enable you to build more steadily and fight off creatures at a better pace. Mining presents a challenge. It has no wood, so what you bring is what you've got, and monsters will spawn frequently unless you have torches. So be prepared to fight for your right to Mine. The monsters are hungry and you look tasty.
Prepare for war. Hunting isn't just about killing creatures like Pigs and Cows. It's also about destroying spiders, skeletons, creepers, ghasts, and everything else that walks, crawls, swims, or flys. Hunting is about your Gear, your ability to fight, your ability to run and your ability to heal. If you are playing on a hard difficulty chances are you will need gear just for exploring, let alone running head first into the creatures with a sword and bow just for the fun of it. This kind of combat is fun, exciting, and (if done correctly) rewarding to the inventory.
Multiplayer in Minecraft is still under development but all servers at the moment are player run and can be hosted by anyone with a decent rig and connection. The gameplay is very similar to singleplayer with few differences and the exception of a bunch of people running around in the world. Griefers are a bad fact about multiplayer (Players who destroy for the sheer joy of destroying) but it's something we can all deal with. The game does allow admins which can basically spawn anything they want, change day and night, and basically rule the world. This is another down side if the server you want to play on has douches for admins but again, it's something worth dealing with.
www.minecraft.net/ Is how you can get a hold of this epic game. It'll cost you about $25 bucks now but it's all updated after that and will give you more hours of fun than most retail games care to try and produce. It's worth your time, it's worth your money and there's a version called "Minecraft Classic" on the website for those who'd rather just build. So give it a shot, good chance you'll like it. Now, if you'll excuse me. I've got some Minecraft to play.
(All pictures were either obtained from Google or Minepedia and their rights belong to the respected owners.)