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Mojang's massively popular sandbox game brings its mix of digging, exploration, and construction to the Xbox One in the aptly named Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. As always, players can customize and control the default character (lovingly known as Steve) and head into randomly generated worlds made up of cubes representing various elements and materials, such as iron, sand, and coal. The worlds operate on realistic day/night cycles and feature varied terrain and environments, and as gamers explore they come across a variety of creatures and non-player characters known as mobs.
There are two modes in Minecraft, both of which can be played alone or with friends in split-screen multiplayer action. Survival mode is an open-ended adventure in which players are encouraged to gather natural resources, build shelter, and gradually acquire or craft more powerful and effective weapons and armor. Daytime mobs like cows, chickens, and sheep can be killed for food and materials, while nighttime mobs like giant spiders, zombies, and skeletons will attack players on sight. Other mobs include the iconic Creepers, which sneak up on players and explode, or the creepily silhouette-like Enderman, which can teleport and grab blocks, but are benign unless provoked.
There is no definitive endpoint in Survival mode, but gamers may eventually find themselves visiting the Nether, a hell-like alternate dimension full of unique resources, or the End, a dimension that contains only the Ender Dragon, a boss whose death triggers the game's credits. Variants of Survival mode include a peaceful mode, which removes all hostile creatures, and the hardcore mode, which deletes the entire world if players die. The second way to play Minecraft is Creative mode, which immediately grants access to the vast majority of elements and items in the game, lets gamers fly around the map freely, and encourages them to design anything they can think of, from single-room homes to entire cities re-created in minute detail.
The Xbox One version offers bigger worlds, faster draw times, and greater draw distances, and players who also have the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft and an Xbox Live account can transfer worlds and content packs to their Xbox One.