More than Minecraft
The deceptively-simple looking Minecraft has been an indie gaming hit with more than 35 million copies sold. The beauty and addictive qualities comes from the digital interpretation of classic building blocks and construction toys. Since its release in 2009, Minecraft has inspired numerous games that take the core concepts of exploration and construction, while applying their own unique twists, such as RPG-like quests, first person shooter combat or extreme survival challenges. If you're a Minecraft fan looking for something new, check out these 10 PC and mobile games that take inspiration from the modern classic.
LEGO Worlds (PC, $14.99)
LEGO Worlds combines the iconic Danish plastic blocks with the same break it, craft it, and build it gameplay popularized by Minecraft. Available as an early access title still in development before its full release, LEGO Worlds allows players to explore and shape massive procedurally generated worlds, encountering strange creatures, vehicles, mounts and environments. There's no survival element, so the focus is squarely on collecting studs (the in-game currency), and using it to generate items such as pre-fab structures, mounts, and vehicles, or manually build and shape the world. It's still very much a work in progress, but it is surprisingly polished and fun to roam around in.
Survivalcraft (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) ($3.99)
A cursory glance of Survivalcraft (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) and you might dismiss it as a shameless mobile Minecraft clone. However, the game is far more than just that offering both a significantly larger game world than Minecraft Pocket Edition. Gameplay is more focused on simple player survival, requiring you to pay closer attention to food, sleep and wild animal attacks. The addition of animal mounts, electric circuits, weather effects and numerous weapons keep Survivalcraft distinct from Minecraft PE.
Lunacraft (iOS, Free)
Lunacraft may be a touch dated, but it's a very good, free Minecraft clone on iOS devices that takes the voxel exploration and crafting gameplay to the final frontier: space. Users explore a procedurally generated moon (with sliders to control starting variables such as the amount of exotic terrain, cave frequency, and wildlife), gather resources, build their own moon base, explore caves, and discover alien technology, all while trying to fend off alien fauna and other astronauts. Players can craft new materials and items, as well as upgrade their equipment from the built-in crafting interface in the inventory. The game is free, though in-app purchases can unlock a crafting guide and remove advertisements.
Terraria (Android, iOS, PC) ($3.99)
Terraria (Android, iOS, PC) takes the sandbox formula of explore, harvest and craft, and then gives it all a 2D action-RPG spin reminiscent of the Metroidvania genre. Besides such block builder staples as harvesting resources and building your own home base, players can encounter and interact with non-player characters who might join you in your base and engage in deadly boss fights. A feature we particularly liked is Terraria's user-friendly crafting system that doesn't leave players in the dark about recipes and components.
The Blockheads (Android, iOS) (Free)
The Blockheads (Android, iOS) also takes the 2D Minecraft route, but goes free to play. As is par for the course, The Blockheads allows you to explore a large 2D world filled with various biomes such as seas, jungles or arctic wastes, and then harvest minerals to craft various items for construction or utility. The app takes an interesting step: players can take control of up to three other Blockheads, allowing you to more easily manage exploration, construction and crafting. Crafting items takes time in game, which can be sped up with Time Crystals, which are either discovered, or bought with in-app purchases.
Starbound (PC) ($14.99)
Another 2D take on the block construction and crafting genre, Starbound (beta) goes sci-fi, with players taking the role of a hapless traveler fleeing their home planet, only to crash land on another. Explore procedurally generated worlds, harvest resources, and craft equipment for your groundside base or starship, all while avoiding random monsters or rampaging bosses. You can engage in cooperative or competitive multiplayer with friends online, or kick back and simply explore the universe on your own.
Disney's entry into the toys-to-life market leverages their much loved characters and franchises to provide a fun and family friendly gaming experience with Disney Infinity (PC, Android, iOS, Consoles), which allows players to explore the worlds of the many Disney animated movies, the pages of the Marvel Comics universe, and the Star Wars galaxy. Of particular note is the extremely flexible Toy Box mode that allows players to mix and match elements from various playsets to create their own custom Disney Infinity minigames and environments, as well as play other people's Toy Box creations.
Toca Blocks (Android, iOS) is Toca Boca's own take on the Minecraft phenomenon, presenting kids with a virtual playground to experiment and stretch their creativity. Players pick up and combine varieties of blocks to create new kinds of blocks or objects, each with their own unique characteristics, such as being bouncy, hard or squishy. Any new block recipe you discover is saved, allowing you to quickly recreate new blocks or objects. You can then create, pick up and lay down blocks to create houses, forests and other places. You can explore the world with a variety of characters, each of which has their own powers and can interact with blocks and objects in a variety of ways.
Ace of Spades (PC) ($9.99)
Building is just as important as destroying in Ace of Spades, a chaotic cross between "Minecraft" and a first-person multiplayer shooter. The game combines the cooperative combat action of class-based shooters with the freeform creativity provided by Minecraft-style destructible terrain and crafting to unique effect. Players can engage in various multiplayer modes, from classic Team Deathmatch, to quirkier offerings such as Zombie Mode and Demolition.
Rust (PC) ($19.99)
Life is nasty, brutish and short in Rust, an early-access first-person PC game of extreme survival reminiscent of Minecraft and DayZ. Developed by the same team behind Garry's Mod, Rust starts out players armed with nothing but rocks and sticks that they can pick up, with their only goal being to live to see the next day. Players can hunt down wildlife, craft gear, loot abandoned bunkers filled with equipment or blueprints and fight off zombies, but they should always beware the most dangerous creatures in the land: other human players.