Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
Ace of Spades: Battle Builder imagines Minecraft as a multiplayer shooter, where 16 players on each side shoot, build and tunnel their way to victory. The gunplay never really held enough satisfaction for the game to have any staying power, but it was an interesting experiment nonetheless.
There was a certain thrill to building your own sniper tower, or digging towards someone in a unique take on trench warfare. In my experience though, the most fun was to be found underground.
Two schools of thought dominated the ‘capture the flag’ mode, which is where I spent most of my time. Some teams would build underneath the flag, hoisting it up under bizarre, twisting constructions designed to make it as hard as possible for the enemy to destroy. Other teams would try and hide the flag underground, which would be when it was my tunnelling crew’s time to shine.
One person would dig while the other trained their gun at each exposed block, knowing that any moment they might break through to wherever the flag was being kept. Occasionally, we’d stumble on a tunnel dug out by the enemy, which would lead to strange confrontations as more and more players would pile into the tunnels, digging out new flanking routes that would themselves spawn further flanking routes. Those custom dug warrens were some of the strangest battlegrounds I’ve fought over in a video game.