Minecraft is a big game. If you don’t know what Minecraft is then you have likely been living off grid for the past few years. Lucky for you people then Wiley has brought out Minecraft for dummies, which will allow all those hermits, confused children and overprotective parents the chance to give Minecraft a go for themselves to see what all this fuss is about.
So here I sit with a 372 page book on my lap, and for someone who feels he is ‘quite good’ at vanilla Minecraft this book is actually really good. For the beginner who want to get involved, to the creative type who want some help with the more advanced mechanics, to the seasoned survival goon who wants to conquer the end. This book really does cover everything.
The book covers six areas: Getting started; basic skills; mastering techniques; expanding your experience; making Minecraft a ‘family affair’ and a whole section of lists of tens.
The first two sections are fairly self-explanatory. From the word go, the section helps you from purchasing the game through to being relatively self-sustaining. This is where the beginner should go. The depth is superb. This not only covers your basic wooden shack but also discusses strategies which I’ve never considered. So for someone who is new to the game, you can go from ‘n00b’ to having a good little house and a decent little farm quite quickly.
The next section is on mastering techniques. This is roughly the section where I come in. Playing a lot of Minecraft with heavy modding I am more used to strip mining with quarries and using nuclear power rather than coal; so having this information is a useful tool for allowing me to reintegrate into vanilla Minecraft effectively. The section covers various biomes and the detriments and benefits to living within them; building and maintaining a maximum efficiency farm and mine; and into good detail about various mobs. This also can benefit any players in the intermediate stage of a world. Having a decent house with plenty of supplies but no clue what to do with them. It also helps with exploration across the world discussing villages and the various structures around the world; ending with a good section on exploring the nether, the end and beyond the endgame.
So the big seller is: Why should I buy this guide when all the information is likely readily available on the internet?
Well there is no definitive reason why. If you really want to alt + tab across to the wiki every time you need to know how to farm golems or how to find all the sweet, sweet loot in the nether, then go ahead. However having this book on hand saves time for people like me who only have one screen. The guide gives you nearly everything however crafting recipes and updates beyond the version used within the book.
However what sells this guide for me is the 3 other sections I am now going to mention. There is a large portion of this book which is meant for parents. Video games tend to be ostracised, partly by parents being left in the unknown about what games their little one is playing; combine that with the media fervour on the violent and dark games being played it is not surprising that parent will stop a video game as gentle as Minecraft simply because it’s a video game. It is a wonderful change to see a parent showing other parents that their precious little flower is not going to be warped by punching too many trees. Any parent who doesn’t consider Minecraft a good game for their child should be handed this book. It also allows a parent to join in and enjoy the hobby as I personally found it frustrating trying to explain how to work a game to my mother (to be fair, she did want to play Skyrim.
There is also a large section on building and maintaining a server. This is beneficial for me. I have a large friend group who play Minecraft and I’ve been tinkering with the idea of running a server for a while.
Finally there is a ‘list of ten’ section which is simply several lists of ten tips or skills for you. This adds some interest to the game; something for you to look over when you have nothing to do. I personally enjoy the redstone guide. Once you have read the earlier part for book acquainting you with redstone you can go step-by-step through all those cool features you have wanted like hidden doors
This book gets a score of 5. I would recommend anyone who wants to get acquainted to Minecraft; anyone who wishes to bond with their parents over hating creepers and punching trees; anyone who wants their own server but find all the Youtube tutorials confusing; anyone who wants to improve their experience. And at less than 3 quid on Amazon Prime it is a real steal.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.