So you’ve fought the Bean Wars of Day Z, you’ve snorted derisively at War Z’s hopeful promise, but have you crushed an innocent cubeman’s soul in MineZ?
If you haven’t, you may want to look into the servers running this mod for Minecraft. It’s all server-side, so all you have to is log in. Once you do, though, you’ll find yourself in very familiar territory if you’ve at least heard of DayZ.
The premise for this mod is fairly simple. DayZ’s a successful zombie-apocalypse survival mod. Minecraft has zombies. Why not combine those two into some horrific ultra-turbo-HD-remix abomination? With the advent of Minecraft’s adventure mode, the two have become an even more perfect fit for those looking for a harder version of Minecraft, or a simpler version of DayZ. You start with some broken gear and water, and from there, it’s a never-ending search for more loot to keep you going. The building and settling aspects of Minecraft are gone and replaced with harder, more terrifying zombies, but the more complex portions of DayZ, along with the unintuitive interface, have also been trimmed away.
Of course, taking the “bad taste in your mouth as you kill and are killed for a can of beans” grit of DayZ and condensing it down into a simpler Minecraft format does have consequences. I innocently decided to go for a spin in this apocalyptic cube-world, and before long, there was much to regret.
I woke up on a beach. Only forest was in front of me, and in the distance, I could see fellow recent-arrivals massacring each other. You see, the whole “get off the beach” sentiment of DayZ is only even more horrifyingly accurate here, where something about adorable, cuboid-men makes taking your sword and driving it into their belly a thing of little consequence.
I ran, of course. The forest has zombies, but to hell with them. They may be more intelligent, but they just want my brains. Players near the coast? It’s just deathmatch for them. It wasn’t long before I had drawn a trail of zombies behind me, and it wasn’t long after that I discovered they could sprint after you. Crap.
A few bobs and weaves around some sort of ruined cabin lost the zombies, but I had gained a different kind of predator in exchange. I had seen him earlier while I was fleeing, following me from a distance. In the time it had taken to lose the zombies, he had closed the gap. I crouched and hopped a few times while blocking with my sword, one of the main methods of “I’m not going to kill you” visual communication. It had no effect. He got the first and last strike.
Damn, I thought. But death is cheap here, and before long, you’re slogging through forest or desert again, looking for food. My second go found me in a desert, and it didn’t take long to eventually find a ruined church in the middle of no where. I entered hoping to find food, but all I got was some more leather armor.
Armor’s still important here; it’s damage reduction can be a life-saver when you’re fending off other survivors or zombies. But hunger and thirst are the real killers in these first few minutes, where everything nearby has been picked clean of food. I decided to try my luck following a road through a nearby forest. Night was falling, though, and my hopes of getting through the forest before dark faded with the light. Light, however, turned out to be exactly what I saw in the distance.
Yawpton. Oh, beautiful Yawpton. A ruined town, or barracks. I couldn’t be absolutely certain, but all the buildings seemed to have military purpose. There were people there, other survivors looting the area. They kept their swords to themselves, though, and before long, I had made temporary friends with two of them. Equipped in slightly-less tattered armor from our looting, we resolved to strike off into the forest in the hopes of finding a logging camp. From there we would travel to Whitehaven, all in the hopes of finding food.
That’s one of the stranger aspects of MineZ. Hunger burns quickly, so you’re primarily always foraging when you start out. Going from town to town, hoping to find a motherload, or at the very least, a piece of rotten meat to keep you going. We moved quickly, and before long, I saw our goal.
One of the brilliant things about MineZ’s map is that it’s custom-made. The logging camp is an actual logging camp, with cleverly-used decorations representing wood-saws and the like. I was impressed, but at the same time, my ever-burning hunger was the predominant issue. We had found more equipment here, but no food. Things were getting desperate.
From here on out, my camera stopped rolling. I didn’t have the stomach to keep taking pictures, mainly because my stomach was empty. We struck off into the forest, night pressing in on us. We needed to get to Whitehaven, to find food. The forest, though, had other things in mind. Running through the trees, glancing left and right, I caught fleeting glimpses of a pack of zombies moving in pursuit. Before long, they had surrounded one of our group. I smashed into the zombies and took two out, but it was too late for our brother. He was zombie-chum.
We pressed on, seeking Whitehaven. I was starving, losing half a heart every other second when we reached the walls of some small fort. I never figured out if it was Whitehaven; the disappointment of opening a chest only to find it full of leather armor was too great. I starved there, as my ally watched. I’d like to think he watched with sadness, but I’m sure some element of vulture-like greed was waiting eagerly for me to die. And so I did. C’est la vie.