Minecraft | Switch Review

The first time I played Minecraft was about 5 years ago. What’s the big deal? Blocky graphics – it was like Lego for the Roblox generation. But Minecraft isn’t just that. It’s a masterpiece (and much better than Lego Worlds). Not everyone agrees though. I know a few people who despise Minecraft – even some who refuse to play it. Lactose intolerant perhaps.

There have been numerous releases of Minecraft since it’s launch in 1973 but my first introduction was on the PS4. I wasn’t fussed at first. My eldest wanted to play it as people at school talked about it. I spectated a few of her games but was more interested in destroying things in Killzone 2. A year or so later I went back to it and we played it together. I enjoyed it this time around.

Minecraft - The shell of the building is good, nothing inside yet

But Minecraft graphics are blocky!

When I say play, we only do the creative mode. I’m sure you know all about Minecraft, but if you don’t, creative mode is half of it. Arguably the more popular side is the survival mode. I soloed a couple of times but my daughter was scared of the zombies so we omitted them and kept it to daytime mode. The marvel that is customising your play style.

Skip forward a few more years and I bought a Switch and decided to add this to my collection. The intention was for my daughter to play something while I was on the PS4. That said, we ended up playing Minecraft quite a bit and play that more than the PS4 version. I’ve heard of slowdown on the Switch and that it isn’t good on consoles, but it does the job for us and it made me put down Mario Kart for a bit.

The hallway of the underground home

Vanilla approach

When putting some words together on this, my daughter and I went our separate ways (split-screen) and decided to go with the flow. Unintentionally, we built on plots right next to each other and our designs slightly mirrored one another. With Minecraft, I’m finding out more about myself. My design tastes are conventional and organised, yet I also love the abstract and the avant-garde world. I’ve noticed a regular pattern but tend to have the same structured, vanilla approach.

I start off building something symmetrical that towers in the sky where every block is equal in every way. I don’t start with a plan but I take my time building the outer structure without building anything inside – it’s just a shell. Then I have an idea and without finishing, more on to a lower level and build a glass wall next to the water – creating a water feature if it doesn’t exist. The result is me flooding my build and with trial and error, I eventually get everything back together. On this particular play, my daughter showed me the sponge tool. Mind blown.

An attempt at an underground lair with water feature in Minecraft

Don’t go chasing waterfalls

After I build the water wall, I find a random spot and just keep digging down until I create a claustrophobic catacomb of rooms that are often sparse. The halls and rooms are then fitted with a plethora of torches as there’s no way you can see anything down there other than the creepy Descent like creatures lurking in the shadows. It wasn’t until after I took the screenshots that I realised that I do this every time. It’s my bag, baby. Completely unplanned and not realising until afterwards, my workflow is always predictable. Perhaps safe.

When I was younger (in the past, we’re always younger), I dreamed that I would one day have a house where I would build a secret tunnel underneath with rooms only I could access. A secret area hidden under the floorboards that was a hole (intentional) new area altogether. Another hole reference? Donut County. Take that SEO. That for me is the wonder of Minecraft for me – it brings out the inner child (mines an outie and I have no shame in being a big kid). There are no limits really. I suppose it’s what Lego means to a lot of people growing up too, but not modern Lego that’s a bit more rigid. Lego does still have that reliability of being readily available when you’re walking barefoot around the house…

This Minecraft goes to 11

So I already have this on the PS4, why buy it again on the Switch? Well, it’s hardly expensive for such an open game. Others have complained that this version costs more than other platforms. When I bought it, it was £19.99 – that’s equivalent to 2 melons, 3 pairs of socks, 1 salami and an igloo – that’s not an expensive Switch game and the possibilities/longevity is practically endless. The graphics won’t date any time soon as they were never cutting edge to begin with but it’s the fact that you can play this on the go and have infinite playtime or creation on this amazing game.

Sure, the definitive version would be the PC due to all the mods and updates and a larger community but as this supports crossplay which means you can play against other platforms like Fortnitenothing to do with dresses, but I haven’t tried this feature yet. Dresses? If it suits my mood. Surely this has a lot of life in it. Best of all, it has Nintendo exclusive skins and music and, and.. oh come on, you’ve already got this on some version or another. Go create!

A dungeon inspired underground home