Monday, 10 November 2014

Minecraft Week continues with a look at Minecraft: The Official Beginner's Handbook by Stephanie Milton, Jordan Maron and Paul Soares Jr (Egmont Books)

Minecraft: The Official Beginner's Handbook
Written by Stephanie Milton
Paul Soares Jr & Jordan Maron (Contributors)
Published by Egmont Books

Let's take a look at the first of our booky explorations of all things Minecraft for our official Minecraft week on the Blog. Starting off with a book that is absolutely essential for anyone new to Minecraft, this book can (quite literally) save your life in the game, and help you get off to a flying start if you're completely mystified and baffled by Minecraft's complexity.

In essence, "The Official Beginner's Handbook" is like a survival guide! Imagine the scene: You're alone, you're standing in the middle of a vast landscape. Around you there are lush green trees, mounds of grass and perhaps a lake or some water.

Sometimes you may spot an animal or two, other times you may spawn in fields of flowers. But this landscape contains hidden dangers because once it gets dark, things take an entirely sinister turn!

The Beginner's Guide can ensure that by following a few simple instructions you can survive that first harrowing night, tucked up safely in your own shelter while the shambling monsters and roaming nasties mooch around outside.

Charlotte's first night in Minecraft

When daddy first let me play Minecraft, I played in "Build" mode so I could make anything I liked with lots of different blocks. When I first played "Survival" mode I was quite scared because I wanted to build a house with a door and windows but couldn't get enough blocks!

Daddy's first night in Minecraft

I played Minecraft back when it was fairly basic, and hadn't heard anything about it from my friends other than they were spending huge amounts of time playing it (so I really wanted to find out what the fuss was about). I played it safe, with a mode where you're given a chest with a few basic goodies in it but still spent too much of my first day exploring. On my first night, the world around me turned pitch black and I had no tools so I struggled to make a shelter quickly enough!

I thought I had safely made a dirt house but completely forgot that in early versions, Monsters could actually still kill you even through one block width of wall so died horribly at the hands of a nefarious zombie!

If we'd had the Beginner's Handbook we'd have known that the quickest way to build an effective shelter is to find a hillside or cliff edge and dig into that to make a shelter really speedily. We'd have also learned that we could leave a one-block 'window' to spot when daylight came again, seeing off the monsters!

Packed with fantastic advice and some early 'recipes' for some of the Minecraft essentials (like how to make glass for 'safer' windows, how to make a bed to make those long Minecraft nights pass quickly - and just how dangerous all the roaming monsters in Minecraft actually are (and how to avoid them, yay!)

Egmont publish four utterly essential official Minecraft books and this is the best one to start with for new players. Chock full of great advice, some fantastic anecdotes from players (including Minecraft hero, Captain Sparklez) and a potted history of how Notch and Jeb put together one of the world's most popular games.

Charlotte's best bit: She hasn't met one yet but Charlotte was tickled to death by the idea of the Skeleton Riders (who ride around on the back of spiders, for a double-dose of lethality!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: Even for experienced Minecraft players, there are some excellent little secrets tucked away in this Beginners Guide. For new players it's an utterly essential head start to a game that can be baffling, bewildering and overwhelming at first but soon develops into an obsession!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Egmont Books)