Minecraft has been a very interesting story to watch over the last few years.
In many ways an incredibly pure kind of game, where the player’s freedom is paramount, this simple enough looking build-what-you-want experience has spawned an entirely industry of its own, and legions of devoted fans. For those who are wondering just what the heck is going on with this thing, or who find getting into the game daunting, the MineCraft Guidebooks might well be a good solution.
There are four of these books currently on the market, and I’m reviewing them because they do pretty much fit together, and most people who are really into the series will probably collect them all. Each book is a glossy, solid hardback, slightly bigger than an A5, and sits well on a shelf or as part of a collection. They are also reference books, and work well to be held with one hand or on a lap while playing the game with the other. Some might say they were released as four volumes to keep them slim enough for this purpose; however, the monetary possibilities of selling the books 4 times over are also noticeable when it comes to such skinny volumes.
As for content, the four books each focus on one of these topics: Beginners, Construction, Combat and Redstone. This is also the order I suggest reading or buying them in. Each book moves from the simple to the more advanced concepts and explains them in a very easy to follow way, with plenty of shiny pictures to demonstrate how certain aspects should be worked with. By the end of the experience, the player should be well equipped to handle creating their own fun in the world of MineCraft. Each book also contains towards the end submissions from well-known players in the MineCraft community, so you can see how the pros do it.
To be honest, none of the information in the books is stuff that you could not find online for free. However, the layout and design do help, and I could see why even an experienced MineCraft fan might enjoy collecting these volumes. In essence, what they offer is a slightly more collectable official strategy guide. But with a game like MineCraft, this may well be worth the investment. To that end, I’m giving this a quality rating based on what it set out to do and what it accomplished.