– by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
Minecraft is a phenomenon, and no mistake. It’s probably THE most popular indie of all time. The game isn’t perfect [lag issues, Notch, lag issues] but that amazing feeling you get when you’re watching the sun set from your hiding place, or when you’ve got a ring of nice torches around you in the night – unbeatable. It’s insanely addicting.
Small wonder, then, that Minecraft clones are popping up all over the place. It seems almost everyone wants to try their hand at creating the minin’ magic. Time prevents me from downloading everything, but here we are: let’s have a look at the top contenders for the PC.
Manic Digger is cool. It’s not as pretty as the original, but it’s still amazingly powerful. Even better: this one’s open source, and unlike a lot of other open source game projects, it’s still alive. There’s single player, multiplayer, even a monster editor. At a 3.8 MB download, it’s so small you don’t even notice it. Score one for the hacker ethic.
Cubelands is possibly the best-funded game out of all these. Built from the ground up to be an exclusive multiplayer affair, Cubelands is built with Unity 3D tech and has got on-serve player profiles and the whole nine yards.
It’s currently in alpha, but you can go sign up and start playing right away. The graphics are leagues ahead of Minecraft, but it still has a ways to go. I suspect it will. Soon.
Here’s what Cubelands looks like:
Terasology is a beautiful Minecraft clone with strong leanings towards Dwarf Fortress. An open-source project like the others, this was was conceived as research into procedural world generation. I’d say they succeeded. Very well. I’ll include the trailer for this one just so you can get an eyeful. The game is still in the earliest stages, so there’s nothing much to do [yet] other than walk around, enjoy the view and gather resources.
No, you heard me. Fancy fragging someone with an assault rifle in the cutesy world on Minecraft? Or, say, building a massive bunker in the middle of the battlefieldand dying heroically in a last stand? Ace of Spades is your poison. Mnecraft’s elements of construction and destruction are merged with FPS gameplay in this one – snipers, iron sights, everything. I’m not sure how well this works in practice. You decide.
After all this big-and-bigger than Minecraft stuff, it’s refreshing to return to Ublox: a Mineclone created by Uberfox. Like Notch, Uberfox is building things in one at a time, slowly making the game better to play.
It plays very like Minecraft classic, but minus the annoying lag and with a few extra features packed in, like anti-griefing, infinite maps on the server, a minimap, radar and quite a few more. Definitely work checking out.
And that, folks, are the 5 biggest Mineclones out of a vast array of them. I’m inclined not to fob these off as mere copies, because as you can see, all of them have surpassed Minecraft [or have ambitions to] in their own, personal ways. That doesn’t make them better than Minecraft; it makes them worth looking at.
I hope you enjoyed finding out about them as much as I did. Time to add the post tags and get back to killing Enderman.
About the author:
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is the Editor of Indiegraph and operates 4250, where he tinkers with GM and cooks up some pretty good games. He’s new to Minecraft.