Described as virtual Lego for adults, minecraft is much more than just a video game; it’s an entire platform of creative exploration and learning. It’s a survival adventure, an educational tool, a social network and a community of artists and entrepreneurs. It’s also a highly addictive and deeply satisfying game that draws players in and keeps them coming back for more.

Minecraft is a world where the player has complete freedom to do anything and everything they want. The open-world design offers numerous implicit goals for players to pursue: surviving the first night of gameplay, opening portals to the Hellish Nether realm (a lava and fire filled play-space with sprawling dungeons and rare resources to mine) and ultimately vanquishing the game’s ultimate boss, the Ender Dragon. Minecraft also supports a wide variety of modding; the extensive community of modders have created new maps, weapons, creatures, armor, items and more to enhance the core gameplay experience.

The basic controls of Minecraft are easy to pick up and learn; the mouse cursor (often referred to as the crosshairs) acts as the “use” button when pointing at a block in the world. This can include punching trees to harvest wood, working with the crafting table to make equipment and tools, and managing your character’s inventory and storage. The game’s GUI provides a wealth of information, including 27 slots for the main inventory to drag and drop items in and out, the ability to move armor pieces to and from their respective armor slots, and dragging blocks into a personal crafting grid to add them to a recipe.

In addition to its sandbox and creation-focused gameplay, minecraft also includes a surprisingly robust collection of sub-mechanics that add an element of challenge and adventure. The aforementioned mining mechanic allows players to uncover various valuables, materials and objects throughout the game’s world; in survival mode, this can include fending off hostile mobs and hazardous environments.

While the aforementioned challenges can be found in creative mode, minecraft also offers a more structured survival experience for those who prefer a more defined goal. On more difficult levels of gameplay, players will encounter hostile monsters and other dangers that they must fend off, while also building shelter and crafting gear to help them survive.