No, Katniss isn’t joining Minecraft, at least as far as we know. But, we are getting the next best thing: a Hunger Games-esque mini game. Mojang and Microsoft are taking the ever-expanding Minecraft and making it even bigger with the introduction of mini games to the Minecraft: Console Editions.
These mini games will be add-ons that are inspired by the community itself, hence why the first one being released, “Battle,” will be familiar to some of you. Just like the name suggests, this new game will be a PVP multiplayer that pits you against seven other friends in massive arenas filled with weapons, armor, secrets, and plenty of hiding spots that you can use to become the last block person standing. Three maps will be available when you try out the new game, but if you want even more, map packs will be released for $2.99.
All that sounds good, but what does it play like? Well, Mojang and Microsoft invited us to get some time with the beta, so that we can share with you guys.
First, the three maps I got to try out included Cove, Lair, and Cavern. Each one featured its own obstacles like lava, water, and tall structures. As you can see in the images, these are elaborately built stages that easily allow eight contestants to freely move around. What’s more impressive is the fact that each map was constructed block-by-block using a console controller. Crazy, right?
Once the match starts, there will be chests holding different loot right in the middle of each map, which everyone will race to in order to get first dibs on the items inside. Sometimes the chests will include weapons, food, potions, or even poison. The good news is, there’s a grace period at the beginning of the match everyone is invincible, so you won’t have to worry about taking damage when racing to the chests. After grabbing the goods, everyone scatters throughout the map before the grace period ends. Hence the Hunger Games comparison.
Crafting is not allowed in this mini game, so if you didn’t grab anything useful to start off the match, there are chests hidden throughout the arena filled with items. Your job is to seek these out without becoming cubed liver. Once you have tools of destruction, you seek out your opponents and take them out—last player standing wins. Those that bite the dust early will spectate as a bat. It’s kind of a great consolation prize, if you ask me.
As simple as the premise sounds, this is a whole lot of fun with a group of friends. Going one-on-one versus your mates, and seeing who’s better with bows, swords, and even fishing rods is a total blast. Plus, occasionally watching a block person tumble from great heights by accident is kind of hilarious.
When waiting around for everyone to queue up, you’ll be able to goof around in a hub world. There are a couple of secrets to be found there, so there really isn’t much down time.
As of right now, it doesn’t appear like you’ll be able to tinker with the match settings too much, or even alter/build maps. But these options may eventually be added post-launch via free updates. It should also be noted that you can’t pit teams against one another.
I know there are mods out there that allow you play these types of games in Minecraft already, but including Mojang-made versions of these bouts means we’ll be getting more polished products that’ll be supported way past launch. I for one think that’s legit.
“Battle” will be available as a free update next month on Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii U versions of the game. We still don’t know whether these new additions will eventually hit the mobile version of Minecraft. More mini games will eventually be added.
What do you think about the introduction of mini games to Minecraft? Will you be going full Hunger Games with your friends in the cubed world? Which other mini games would you like to see make their way into the game? Do you already play other competitive mini games with friends using mods? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Mojang, Microsoft