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  • Breaking News

    Minecraft: Rebuilt Itself


    THE WOLVES AMONG US
    Mysterious lupine disappearances solved
    If a wolf gets angry in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a howl? In Update 16 we got a fix for this strange existential issue, whereby enraged wolves would be inexplicably removed from the world if they were more than a certain distance from the player. In further invisible wolf news, the same patch also revented them from disappearing from view when sitting themselves down next to spawning players.

    MEAT AND ONE VEG
    A new trick to tame your squealing swine
    Before Update 14, clambering aboard a pig meant clinging on for a wild, unpredictable ride. But the ability to attach a carrot to a fishing rod suddenly gave you control of your porky steed. Indeed, dangle it in front of its hungry snout and you can accelerate to speeds of up to 18 mph. You might want to prepare a spare, though once the pig eats  its motivational treat, it’s rather less inclined to do your bidding.

    I SEE EWE
    Fixed: perceptible ovine syndrome
    The problem with patching a game with as many potential variables as Minecraft is that each fix invariably has to deal with issues caused by earlier tinkering. In Update 15’s case, it was invisibility potions only partially working on sheep. We’re not entirely sure why you’d ever need to turn a sheep invisible, mind unless you were planning on a stealthy infiltration mission targeting a farm. Paging Sam Fisher…

    TEMPLES OF BOOM
    Sleights of sand and bundles in the jungle
    One of the main strengths of Minecraft’s algorithmically generated worlds is their endless capacity to surprise. Thanks to Update 14, the jungle and desert biome areas of the map became capable of throwing up temples filled with valuable loot, such as emeralds, diamonds and pieces of horse armour. Not that you can just saunter in and plant your grubby hands on it with casual ease, mind the moss covered jungle temples are filled with deadly tripwire traps, while stepping on a pressure plate in their pyramid esque sandy equivalents might just trigger a TNT-powered explosion.

    TOOLS OF THE TRADE
    Introducing Minecraft’s multi coloured swap shops
    The ability to trade with villagers was a particularly useful addition from the all singing, all dancing Update 14. At first it all seems a little random, but while there’s an element of fortune involved, you’ll soon learn how the available items are linked to each villager’s profession shepherds will trade wool, for example, while librarians deal in books. Whenever anyone is prepared to offer a new trade, you’ll see colourful sparks around them. Just like in real life!

    TEXTURE BACK
    Skin jobs: massively effective or monstrously expensive?
    Update 12 added support for texture packs, enabling you to transform the look of your world at a price. We're not entirely sold the beauty of Minecraft is that your imagination fills in the gaps but  it’s an efficient option for time poor players. We’d recommend the City pack, which is terrific value at a mere 65p.

    CREATURE DISCOMFORTS
    A glitch to make your head spin
    The number may be considered unlucky for some but Update 13 was lucky for pet owners seeking a fix for some domestic devilry. In an apparent tribute to The Exorcist, ocelots and chickens had suddenly developed the disturbing habit of rotating their heads backwards. With the wild cats now behaving themselves, their domestic counterparts became chief mischief makers trolling players by sitting on chests so they couldn't be opened. Garfield would approve.

    UN OEUF IS ENOUGH
    The quickest way to build an animal army
    Update 9 introduced Spawn Eggs an easy way to instantly generate mobs. Only available in Creative mode, these help to alleviate the eerie calm of a day's unmolested building and they’re also a handy way to populate your otherwise empty constructions. They might be biologically unsound, with the likes of cows, pigs and sheep even villagers and squid hatching from the eggs fully formed, but there’s no better way to quickly and peacefully build your own farm.

    BREED BLOCKS
    The way to the heart? Through the stomach
    Minecraft doesn't sugarcoat the harsh realities of trying to survive in the wild, but the game’s breeding mechanic added in Update 7 offers a reminder that nature can be pretty gosh darned cute, too. The trick is to get two of the same animal to follow you by waving some food in their faces that’s wheat for most mobs, but carrots work for pigs and rotten meat for wolves. Feed them both, and the creatures will kiss, magically spawning a cute little cuboid baby. Aww.

    MUSHROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
    Ruminants produce stew pendous surprise
    Update 7 infected the game with a rare strain of bovine fungiform encephalopathy. The Mooshroom is a classic Minecraft creation a fantastical creature, yet one still beholden to the game’s impeccable internal logic. Essentially red-and-white cows with mushrooms sprouting from their backs, you can shear them for five mushrooms, turning them back into regular cud-munchers, or milk them with an empty bowl for some nutritious mushroom stew. Yum.

    ENDER DAYS
    How to brain your dragon
    Originally, Minecraft didn't have an end. But Update 9 gave us The End, a floating island populated by spindly, menacing Endermen. As if that wasn't enough to contend with, another enemy wasn't too pleased at you entering his home uninvited. To defeat the Ender Dragon, the closest Minecraft has to a final boss, you need plenty of arrows and a hole in which to entrench yourself otherwise the knockback on his attacks sends you plummeting into the Void.

    ENCHANTED, I'M SURE
    A crafty fusion of swords and sorcery
    How did we ever manage to get by before the inclusion of the Enchantment Table as part of Update 7? You’ll need two diamonds, four obsidian blocks and a book to build one, but after this you can use it to apply a variety of special effects to your weapons, armour and tools. Whether you choose to bewitch your sword so that each swipe sets your unfortunate enemies on fire or (slightly cheatily) make your bow shoot infinite arrows, applying such spells to your arsenal has become an essential part of Minecraft.

    CREATION NATION
    If you build it, they will come…
    Creative mode which makes you invulnerable, removes all hostile mobs, and gives you both an infinite supply of blocks and the power of flight was there from the beginning in the PC game, before being removed, restored and removed again. Notch, finally realising the game’s appeal as a virtual Lego set, reinstated it for good, with Update 5 putting it in the hands of the Xbox 360’s growing army of builders. Now, Creative mode is the place to be if you want to recreate real-world landmarks or towering effigies of the male anatomy.

    SPAWN OF THE DEAD
    Blocky flesh eaters in an unlikely reconstruction
    Zombie villagers might seem like an insignificant inclusion in the grand scheme of things. But for us, courtesy of Update 14, they provided the perfect opportunity for a cuboid recreation of Resident Evil 4’s magnificent opening set-piece. Without a shotgun to hand, however, we were forced  to resort to lobbing baked potatoes at the swarm of undead… but hey, at least it added  to the rustic flavour.

    OCELOTS OF FUN
    Fulminant foes fear feral felines
    As Connor Kenway, we were invited to air assassinate them. As Minecraft Steve, we’re encouraged to tame them. We’re talking, of course, about the ocelot introduced in Update 12 a wild cat that becomes a guard. How? Give it enough raw fish, and it'll grow to like you. The  promise  of a supply of sushi is enough for it to follow you home, and once domesticated it’ll scare off Creepers. If you’re not already a cat person, now’s the time to become one.

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