Minecraft exploded onto the scene in the last month, attracted thousands upon thousands of PC gamers into the realm of mining and monsters. For those who don't know, Minecraft is an indie game which takes players into a 3D world, where players must mine and build creations using a variety of different blocks, and defend themselves from monsters while doing it.
It might not sound like your cup of tea, but seeing is believing: check out a little preview video down below:
With the sudden influx of people rushing to Minecraft (helped along by encouragement from PC Gamer and attention from Penny Arcade), the relatively small hosting servers were unable to handle such a high capacity of downloads. In the last week, the servers decided they'd had enough, formed a union, and slowed to a halt (well, two of those actually happened).
The creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson -- known by his online name of Notch -- responded to the server stress by eliminating the majority of features on the website, and by leaving a short message for players:
"Minecraft got way too popular for this humble server. I've had to disable everything fancy to even get it to run."
By "everything fancy" Notch means that the account registration, game purchasing, and user verification for online servers are all down at the moment. Before you proclaim your confusion that he would disable the feature to let people buy the game, let me use the fancy features of the internet to show you what comes next on the page:
"Until this all gets sorted out, I'm officially calling a 'free-to-play weekend,' or however long this will take to fix - you will need to have a paid account to play it later on when this gets fixed though."
Queue a mad scramble of people! If you're on the fence about the game, there's absolutely nothing to lose -- play it for free while Notch works on fixing all the online issues. It's a gracious action that you don't normally see within the gaming world, but a temporary free pass to everyone may be the perfect cure for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
If you're interested in downloading the game, I suppose I can be kind enough to supply this link to the page. Don't be fooled by the quite-humble, HTML friendly site -- a ridiculously addictive, fun experience awaits you beyond the link.
What do you think, Ranters? Have you played Minecraft? What do you think of the game?