Regardless of what you think of Minecraft, you can hardly deny the greatness of this game. The best-selling game in history which has remained relevant for almost a decade, will not be forgotten any time soon. The only thing is, there is serious doubt that Mojang will be able to further develop Minecraft as a franchise. All previous attempts to cash in on the famous name were not exactly succesful: neither Minecraft: Story Mode nor Minecraft Dungeons amazed anyone, and we can only guess what fate awaits Minecraft Earth.
If you consider yourself to be a huge fan of Minecraft gameplay, you probably already thought about finding an alternative to it. Let’s try to remember what “clones” exist, and how good they are.
Hytale is in last place largely because it hasn’t been released yet. Yes, you can’t play it, but it’s still interesting.
Hytale has a lot in common with Minecraft. Procedural level generation, blocks, all sorts of biomes and creatures – everything is there. True, the developers first of all wanted to create Minecraft with the best combat, where you could fight hordes of enemies together with friends.
The project appears to be ambitious, as evidenced by both Hytale’s support for custom Java scripts and the recent acquisition of Hypixel Studios by Riot Games, the company responsible for League of Legends and Valorant. Exciting stuff.
Fantasy worlds are good, but familiar, but in Space Engineers you can build in space! Design spaceships, bases and outposts with realistic physics. Complete freedom to do whatever you want is just in the spirit of Minecraft.
Space Engineers has a multiplayer mode, and an active modding community ensures that it won’t die soon. Not everyone knows about Space Engineers, but it’s worth your time,
There is no doubt that the creators of Boundless, Wonderstruck Games, were keen to imitate Minecraft in every possible way. The game, which was released in 2018, invites players to create their own avatar and go in search of adventures on different planets. The game loop is extremely simple: we find ancient technologies, craft tools and weapons, and build whatever we want. Boundless is, for the most part, a multiplayer survival game where the character needs to be fed and protected.
The game is primarily designed for online multiplayer – in fact, it is an MMO in the spirit of Minecraft. Is Boundless a successful successor to its progenitor? Well, hardly. Not because it is bad, but simply because it failed to offer anything fundamentally new.
Here the title of clone does not apply in any way, since Roblox is not exactly fresh out of the oven. No joke: Roblox was released in 2006! The game, which has been going for a long time, turned out to be no less tenacious than World of Warcraft, and now, during a pandemic, its popularity is off scale – in August the number of active users exceeded 164 million!
The popularity of the unfading Roblox is easy to explain: it is easy to learn, undemanding to the player and does not limit him in any way. If you want you can build, or you can break everything. Not surprisingly, most of the players are children under 16.
Another veteran of the gaming industry, Terraria was released in 2011, but has not lost its popularity since then. It is usually compared to Minecraft in the sense that here you also need to build, craft, extract resources and survive. True, the world itself is two-dimensional here in the spirit of the Super NES games.
Terraria has a greater emphasis on interesting weapons and unique items – crafting is not as important here. The game is still very active – only in 2020 we saw the release of a major update called Terraria: Journey’s End.
Someone will say that this is Minecraft for girls. Someone might say that it doesn’t look like it at all. And everyone is right in his own way. In essence, Stardew Valley does not at all resemble a sandbox, but the game loop is still somewhat similar.
In Stardew Valley, the player is tasked with taking an abandoned farm and turning it into a successful venture. To do this, you need to craft a lot, collect all kinds of resources and fight monsters. But there is not much freedom, the world is not voxel, and there is no emphasis on online as such, although you can play with friends.
At its core, Stardew Valley brings together Minecraft, Harvest Moon, and Animal Crossing. The plot element looks especially good – the game has a lot of dialogues, and you can make friends with the inhabitants of the city or even have a romance.
No Man’s Sky
Do not be surprised: No Man’s Sky is, first of all, a space simulator, visually nothing like Minecraft, but it has a lot in common with the latter. For example, the never-ending need to mine and craft something. And here you can build your bases, trade resources and become a farmer. Just like Minecraft, it has a creative mode and a survival mode. As you can see, the deeper you dig, the more parallels you find.
No Man’s Sky is a huge (perhaps the biggest) sandbox, in which the player can do whatever he wants. Moreover, it has phenomenal support – for many years now, developers have been releasing one great update after another for free, significantly expanding the game’s feature list. Compared to essentially unchanging Minecraft it looks even better.
Everyone plays Minecraft and does not even realize that there is an unofficial sequel that takes all Mojang ideas as a basis. In many ways, Eco is the sequel that players have been waiting for. With new interesting ideas and improved graphics.
With Minecraft, without which it would not exist, Eco has a lot of common. For example, it was also conceived as a tool for education. However, it won’t be boring: here players will have to build their civilization from scratch. But if other clones require you to extract as many resources as possible, then here (as the name suggests) you need to think about the environment. If you cut down trees, you shouldn’t harm nature. If you build something, you need to take care not to accidentally pollute the water. Well, and most importantly, there is a clear goal – to build a civilization that would be able to stop a meteorite, which threatens to destroy the planet.
When Traveller’s Tales announced Lego Worlds – a brazen Lego-style Minecraft imitation – many were thrilled. And it doesn’t matter that there is no originality here – it’s lego! Who doesn’t love Lego? Who doesn’t love Lego in endless supply?
Despite the fact that Lego Worlds did not become a hit in the end and is now almost forgotten, it should not be neglected. Not at all: this is a great game that combines (albeit slightly simplifies) Minecraft gameplay with the endless charm from a Danish company. Players can build huge structures, discover new sets, explore different biomes, and find secrets. There is a full-fledged campaign with a narrator played by magnificent Peter Serafinowicz. Equally important is the presence of a co-op mode.
The game was released on all major platforms and is still the most affordable way to play Lego.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
The Dragon Quest franchise may not be so popular in the West, but in Japan, even Minecraft is nothing compared to it. However, Dragon Quest Builders was inspired by the latter. True, it does not just copy Minecraft in everything, but even improves its formula.
Unlike most games on our list, Dragon Quest Builders 2 was not built by independent developers, but by a big well-known studio. As a result we get a large-scale sandbox, in which you can not only build whatever you want, but also take part in a quest in the best traditions of RPGs. Here you have a plot, a full-fledged campaign, and a cool soundtrack by Koichi Sugiyama.