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Hold the House, Minecraft Survival Map
Hold the House is a minecraft survival and adventure map. You begin in the ruins of your once pretty miserable home and things only get worse from there. You used to live in rolling fields of grass, but now acid rain clouds have gone and stripped all grass from the soil and plunged you into eternal night, or something very much like it. There are actually two versions of this map, one is called 'Eternal Night' the other is 'No Clouds'. I played 'No Clouds' and found that there were plenty of clouds and it rained everywhere. This wasn't really a problem for me, but it is somewhat counter intuitive.
There are more challenges than I can even begin to talk about, but what's really interesting about this map is the terrain, which although uninspiring on the surface, does provoke a certain desire to wander and explore the dirt crags. I set my own challenge, to make the whole place green once more using the bones of the dead. It's going slowly, but it is going. (I later found out that this is, in fact, the final goal for the game in the challenges. Great minds and obvious ends and all that sort of thing.)
The most first notable thing about this map is the apparent lack of the requisite single tree that most every survival map has. Don't worry, there is a way for you to generate endless forests, but you're going to have to work for it. In the meantime you can cannibalize that house you're supposed to be holding for enough wood to make a few swords and picks and whatnot.
The map doesn't appear to have any rules, which I love. You can play it on easy or normal or even peaceful and it's still pretty challenging because of the discovery aspect of the game that makes you really work to get what you need. This isn't one of those maps with naturally generated terrain, so there's no point just digging down and hoping to find ores.
Although this is a realtively small adventure / survival map there's quite a lot to do and explore. Well placed and good humored signs alleviate the otherwise dreary landscape and surprises abound. People who complete the challenges will enjoy themselves very much as the map is well balanced between being compact and interesting. This is one of the best balanced survival / adventure maps I've ever played and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for something fresh.