This cute and visually pleasing indie game may be about creating (or destroying) vast block worlds, but the single-player has something that brought it to my attention; monsters. While the main appeal of this game is the multiplayer building and exploring, the single-player mode contains some elements that scared me. I bet you’ve never expected to see that many vibrant colors on Hell Descent! Hit the jump for our first entry in the ‘Suitable Mention In Horror’ series.
Minecraft‘s single-player is cute and cuddly during the day, but at night it becomes a terrifying race to hide from monsters. While the creatures aren’t horrifyingly scary, they are extremely resilient and love hunting you down. These monsters strike fear, not because of their simple pixelated appearance, but something more. There are archer skeletons, zombies, spiders and exploding Creepers. These annoying little monsters appear as soon as the sun sets,and the only way to escape is to dig, and dig deep! I found myself fearing dusk. I would run to the nearest mountain and dig into the brown soil blocks closing the entrance behind me. After making a small tunnel system, I stood and waited. The footsteps and hissing could be heard above me. Just one block separated me from the exploding Creeper and moaning zombies.
Minecraft would be the last game I expect to be scary. Its vibrant, colorful palette, and cute, blocky graphic style is far from what you would associate with horror. Perhaps it’s the feeling of vulnerability; something that hasn’t really been present in horror games for awhile. Horror games have left the realm of Survival Horror and into Action Horror. No longer are players afraid to confront enemies. You are given the tools you need, and are set off to destroy the monsters. Minecraft’s single-player has the elements of a classic horror game. You start low on resources to fend for yourself with, and are actually vulnerable to the monsters. Now, Minecraft is no way intended to be a horror game, but I see some of the essential survival horror qualities in it.
Minecraft is an extremely flexible indie-game which has had great success since its burst in popularity a few months back. The singleplayer portion definitely earns a spot in our newly created ‘Suitable Mention In Horror’ series. In fact, there will be a Halloween update to those who purchased the game. This update will arrive on Halloween and include new monsters, a hell world and new lighting mechanics. Minecraft is still in alpha and can be purchased for €9.95 ($14.06).