We play Minecraft. I play Minecraft in survival mode. The kids, in creative and Barb in whichever mode we happen to be playing our family game. I am ambivalent towards Minecraft. I think that as a concept Minecraft is excellent, the ability to create almost anything with the tools provided. In fact that is why the kids prefer creative mode over survival, they can instantly create what they want. My ambivalence stems from the game portion, which is lackluster. Very little interaction with anything other than the environment, no real goals other than those provided by me, and the villagers do less than nothing on a good day-on a bad day they are killed while I am mining. And the music, blows. It is depressing and does nothing to enhance the game. My opinion, I know, but this ambivalence is important.
Because we play Minecraft, when I saw the Minecraft Card Game, I thought, “Why not.” Maybe a quick way to have some fun between other games. Like many small box games, Minecraft Card Game is inexpensive, always a good thing. Inside the box you get a rules pamphlet and two stacks of cards. One stack is crafting; one side shows the materials necessary to craft the item on the backside. The other side is materials, which come in different denominations. Also included in the resource stack are TNT and creeper cards (wouldn’t be a Minecraft Game without creepers).
The goal of the game to craft X number of points worth of crafting cards. In addition to the materials required to craft the item is the number of points the card is worth. To craft an item, spend the necessary amount of indicated resources and claim the card. To use the tool, flip over the card and apply the effect.
Set up the game with five stacks of 15 resource cards and 4 stacks of 6 crafting cards. On your turn, you get two actions.
- “Mine” a resource-take the top resource card from a stack (can be done twice)
- Craft an crafting card (can be done twice)
- Use an item (can be done twice)
- Claim a crafting card (you pick a crafting card that you want, but cannot craft to set aside for when you have the resources)
Absolutely nothing special about any of this, other than the TNT and Creeper card. The TNT card when claimed, gives the claimer the top card from the other resource stacks. The player chooses two resources and discards the rest of the cards. The creeper when revealed causes all of the players to discard a resource card unless you have a sword crafted.
Tools that can be crafted all provide a one time use: Sword, keeps you from discarding when a creeper is revealed. Axe, gives you two wood. Shovel, cause another player to lose an action. Pick, gain one action.
Our games lasted no more than 15 minutes and that was mostly due to someone watching TV instead of the game. Minecraft Card Game, does not require you to pay attention or interact with anyone at all-there in no real function in using a shovel to cause a player to lose a turn. The was very little excitement, other than a TNT Creeper chain that resulted in everyone losing all of their cards.
None of us could articulate our feelings about Minecraft Card Game other than, meh. We played it. We kind of had fun, mostly if you won. We may play it again to see if we missed something, but then again we may move onto another minigame.