Posts Tagged ‘Minecraft’

Minecraft Winton gets Stranger Things skin pack

Nostalgic horrorshow Stranger Things returned for a second season on Friday, you might have heard, and Minecraft celebrated its return with a Stranger Things DLC skin pack for the Windows 10 edition. I’m not normally jazzed about licensed skins but I was surprised by: 1) How well-done and recognisable characters are; 2) Quite how many secondary characters were Minecraftised. Also, I want to use this space to declare that Steve is the best character on Stranger Things. Anyway! The pack contains 52 skins for players to wear, including a variety of outfits for the main characters.

Have a look in this here trailer, though you might not want to if you’re avoiding even minor spoilers until you’ve finished watching season 2. Read the rest of this entry »

The 25 best co-op games ever made

Sometimes you need a hand to hold, so we’ve updated our list of the 25 best co-op games to play on PC with a headset-wearing friend or a muted stranger.

Whether solving puzzles, sneaking, shooting zombies or stabbing mythical creatures in the face, the existence of another player adds an element of unpredictability. You might synchronise your stealth takedowns and execute the perfect plan, but it’s just as likely that your co-op partner will constantly alert the guards and throw your situation into chaos. Luckily both success and failure are more compelling when you can take credit for the former and blame someone else for the latter.

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Should kids be taught in schools using Minecraft?

Minecraft-Gameplay-1

“The 14-year-old me was weeping inside” says Tom Bennett, the UK government’s school behaviour tsar. He’s recalling the time that Ian Livingstone – the co-creator of both Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy, the series of role-playing books – called him a “luddite”. “It really upset me, I used to love the books and the games that came from them.”

The reason Bennett became the target of Livingstone’s ire is because of his views on Minecraft in classrooms. Last November, Microsoft released Minecraft: Education Edition, an enhanced version of the game that has extra tools for teachers to plan and set up lessons, whether that’s recreating a Shakespeare play or building the Great Pyramids. They can build worlds faster than usual, monitor their students’ activity and help them build online portfolios of their work. In an interview with The Times shortly after, Bennett said that the game was a “gimmick” that would “get in the way of children actually learning”.

The topic of Minecraft in schools sparks a lot of passion on both sides of the debate: some teachers, academics, and Microsoft itself believe that Minecraft can change the way children learn. By giving kids lessons inside a tool that they’re excited about, they will learn more, the argument goes. But Bennett and others say that in-game lessons hinder children’s learning by distracting from the subject matter at hand. The question is: how do we know who’s right? And, as Microsoft prepares for the first full school year since the Education Edition launched, what does the future of Minecraft in schools look like? Read the rest of this entry »

Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode has started season 2

Blip bloop.

Young people: what are they like? We just don’t know. We’ve all heard the unlikely stories of these ‘twenty-somethings’ getting jobs, going to university, making friends, acquiring and using yoyos, and even playing video games, but what are the young’uns really into? You can now resume your undercover investigations, as Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2 [official site] has started. Telltale released the first episode last night, which follows on from the 2015-2016 season with more cubical adventuring in the traditional Telltale way. It’s like The Walking Dead but with YouTubers instead of murderers and cannibals, yeah? That’s what young people like. Look: Read the rest of this entry »

Minecraft Win 10 getting a new(er) look

The most recognisable game of the modern era is getting a new look. Sorta. Mojang have announced some graphics upgrades for Minecraft [official site], which will keep those old blocks but fancy everything up with new lighting including fancier shadows and god rays. This is Microsoft’s own Windows 10-only version of Minecraft, mind – the one which started as the Pocket Edition. The original Java version, which is developed as separate game, will keep its old look. Mojang are also adding cross-platform multiplayer between the Winton, console, pocket telephone, and VR versions. Here, check out the new look in this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2 starts in July

Telltale Games have announced a second season of their cuboid adventure series Minecraft: Story Mode [official site]. As is the Telltale way, Season 2 will pick off where the first left off, remembering your decisions and lumping you with the consequences. Though the consequences here are somewhat sunnier than in e.g. The Walking Dead seasons, seeing as it’s based on Minecraft. Season 2 will kick off on July 11th. Read the rest of this entry »

10 of the most relaxing games on PC

Relaxing games

Navigate the gallery by clicking on the left and right arrows or use the left and right cursor keys on your keyboard!

Real life is rubbish sometimes, and there’s nothing that video games can do about that. But I know that if I’ve had a particularly tough day at work, then sitting down at my PC and visiting a different world can often be exactly what I need to unwind.
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Minecraft Windows 10 launching mod Marketplace

All right: who picked Minecraft in the pool for who’d try paid mods next? Come see me to collect your winnings. Mojang have announced the Minecraft Marketplace, a microtransaction store coming to sell skin and texture packs, adventure worlds, minigames, and more in the brick ’em up’s Windows 10 and pocket telephone version. Mojang say they’ll curate the store and only accept submissions from registered businesses, so it won’t be quite as much of a free-for-all as Steam and Skyrim’s crack at paid mods in 2015. And this is only in Microsoft’s rebuild of Minecraft, to be clear, not the original Java version. Read the rest of this entry »

Minecraft 1.12 introducing pretty new blocks and tiles

Minecraft [official site] is expanding its options for decorators in an upcoming update, the first test version of which is now available. Version 1.12 is introducing plain and simple concrete blocks which can be dyed — perfect for pixel art monoliths too — and beautiful glazed terracotta tiles with geometric patterns in different colours. They’re really nice tiles! Most of Minecraft’s blocks are materials rather than patterned, so this is an interesting addition. I don’t craft those mines myself but I do enjoy seeing players’ creations, and I’m keen to see what happens with these. Read the rest of this entry »

This Minecraft map packs a full new Pokémon game

Yeah, you see a lot of these kids around these days, telling everyone they’re Pokémon Masters. Poképosers, I call ’em. A true Pokémon Master dedicates their entire life to defeating and capturing every last Pokémon. Not just in one game, nor the core games, nor even all the official games. A true Pokémon Master masters every last fan game and mod too, from Pokémon Doom to, now, Pokémon Cobalt and Amethyst [official site]. Launched over the weekend, it recreates a full singleplayer Pokémon game inside vanilla Minecraft, complete with capturing, battling, an annoying rival – the lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Games are best when they ignore you

Tutorials are a lot like first dates. They’re awkward but necessary, can be a total waste of time, and sometimes there’s a lot more hand-holding than you’d like. It would be best for everyone if we just skipped all that uncomfortable small talk and went straight to the middle part. The good part. Unfortunately, you can’t have a good relationship without getting to know someone first, and you can’t have fun with a game if you don’t understand how to play it.

Or can you?

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Llamas & Illagers arrive in Minecraft Exploration Update

Minecraft [official site] today launched ‘The Exploration Update‘, adding a little more structure to the activity that, well, has been one of the core tenets of this whole ‘Minecraft’ malarkey since the start. Woodland Mansions with fancy treasure and surly guards! Treasure maps! Great treasures! L-lamas? Llamas! Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Infiniminer?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

No, neither have I. Infiniminer was a team-based game in which players competed to collect more minerals than their opponents in a blocky, randomly-generated cavern. But during development in 2009 the source code was leaked by hackers. In the wake of new modified versions, the small community of players that had formed around the game dissolved. The developer made the game open source and shelved the project. Not long afterwards, a man called Notch started work on a little somethin’ somethin’. And it looked a wee bit like Infiniminer…

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Minecraft 1.11 Brings Llamas & Magic Inventory Boxes

Everyone’s favourite block-based build-em-up contines to grow, like an unstoppable monster. A few months ago we saw polar bears introduced to Minecraft as well as underground fossils. Before that, the combat update brought skeleton riders and creepy block-mimicking creatures called Shulkers. Now Mojang has added the exploration update which adds llamas that can carry inventory and a very useful magic box.

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VR Suits Minecraft Down To The Ground, Controls Aside

Unofficial Minecraft VR has been around for a while, but earlier this month Mojang launched official support for these future-glasses everyone keeps banging about. Minecraft‘s VR bolt-on is a free install from the Oculus store which, for the time being, only works with the Windows 10 Edition. And with a Rift, although a well-established non-official option exists if those are your cybogogs of choice, or if you prefer the Java version of the game. I’ve been looking at the official option, and hey, it’s a good time.
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10 Games Run Through The Prisma Photo Filter App

You might have noticed all your friends’ avatars and profile pictures turning into comic book drawings or impressionistic paintings over the last few weeks. That’s because of Prisma, a photo editing app for iOS and Android that let’s you apply a couple of dozen filters to images you feed it. The app goes further than simply messing with the hue like Instagram does, using a process similar to Google Deep Dream to warp and twist photographs – without shoving fucked up dogs in every corner.

I spent last night feeding it game screenshots, to find out what No Man’s Sky, Half-Life 2, SimCity and more would look like if their artists abandoned realism.

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Minecraft 1.10 Adds Polar Bears, New Technical Blocks

Minecraft is so popular, and so dear to so many of its players, that I think I’d be terrified with each new update. The chance for potential upset seems enormous. In most instances, anyway. I’m looking at the patch notes for 1.10 – which adds polar bears, a new “Structure Block,” and “A rare chance to find lonely trees in plains” among other things.

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Minecraft: Story Mode Welcomes Celebrity YouTubers

Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode [official site] has brought in a load of famous YouTube people for its latest episode, which seems like something they should’ve done from the start. Growed-ups might coo over the sardonic comedy stylings of Patton Oswalt (I’ve enjoyed him in Lady Dynamite lately – good innit?) but kids would much rather adventure with Stampy Cat. Now they can meet him, and other beloved youngfolk with children’s TV presenter voices, in Episode 6: A Portal to Mystery.

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Ad Block: Minecraft Forbids “Building Promotions”

Just typical. We’ve spent the past six years pouring all of Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s profits into the creation of an endless Horace statue stretching far beyond the Far Lands in Minecraft and now we’ll need to blow it all up. That’s because Mojang have updated their commercial guidelines to say that it’s no longer acceptable for companies to “build or commission others to build, a Minecraft mod, map or server that promotes or markets unrelated products or services in playable form.”

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