So this is interesting. While rummaging through the internet’s bargain bin this fine Saturday afternoon, I came across a game that is very, very similar to the ever popular Minecraft. It’s not Minecraft though, it’s actually a game called Cubelands.
Now, I won’t get into the ethics involved in making a game that plays so similarly to everybody’s favorite sandbox, build em and destroy em game with zombies. I don’t have the knowledge of when this game was created or when development started. Hell, I haven’t even explored the game fully enough to really see if the game copies Minecraft down to the smallest of details. I’m not here to pass judgment, is what I’m trying to say.
What I will say, however, is that, in many ways, I’m actually more impressed with Cubelands than I am with Minecraft. Now as any of our regualr readers should know, I’m a HUGE proponent of Minecraft. I love the game and it has taken far more hours of my life than I’d like to admit, but it’s certainly not a perfect game. While Cubelands isn’t perfect either, just write off the bat I can instantly notice a few things that make it feel like a more complete game than Minecraft.
First and foremost is the graphics. Now I’m not a stickler for the way Minecraft looks. In fact, I genuinely enjoy the game’s minimalist graphics, but I’d be lying if I said that my Cubelands castle didn’t look more like a castle than my Minecraft castle. It’s an unfortunate truth but one that holds true. As somebody who is playing with virtual Legos and building virtual versions of things that existed in real life, the more realistic I can make them, the more impressed I’ll be. It’s just the way I am.
Additionally, the game seems to be developed from the ground up to be primarily a multiplayer game. What you’ll notice upon visiting the game’s website is that, currently, there doesn’t seem to be a single player option. You can simply join a game, or host your own game and begin playing in multiplayer right away. You don’t need to buy/host a server yourself or anything of that nature. Just jump in and play with people who are already online. (I do realize Minecraft does have a series of privately owned servers already.)
Of course, that’s not to say the game is currently on the same level as Minecraft. There are a lot of things missing that really make Minecraft the great game it is. For one, I don’t really see anyway to craft items like tools, armor, food, or furniture. It’s all about just removing and placing blocks.
Additionally, my personal favorite part of Minecraft isn’t included, i.e. surviving the night. Minecraft is great because, to go along with the building and creating, you’re also tasked with surviving against a number of enemies who can easily dispatch you if you stay out unprepared during the night. From what I could tell Cubeland doesn’t have any sort of monster/survival element to it.
I can see the developers of Cubelands getting a lot of backlash from the extremely loyal Minecraft community as being nothing more than a rip off. I mean, the similarities are striking. However, I don’t necessarily feel that way. Just like how Halo and Call of Duty push each other to create the best FPS experience, I’d love for Minecraft to get a solid competitor and really have both games carve out their own niche. After all, it’s not like Minecraft was a totally original idea either.
Cubelands is available in a beta mode, right now, for free. If you’re curious to see the “other side” of the Minecraft genre then check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.