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Minecraft Clones, Good, Bad and Ugly
What many Minecraft fans may not realize is that Minecraft itself could pretty accurately be described as being a clone of another, older game called Infiniminer. Infiminer incorporated a great many of the elements of Minecraft. Unfortunately for Infiniminer and its developers, the project was abandoned before it made it big. Infiniminer was designed as a team based multiplayer game in which you and teams of your friends could go into an entirely destructible three dimensional world and start hunting for gold. Sound familiar?
Inifiniminer never made it past Alpha, but if you have a few friends to play with or if you simply want to explore the black sheep of the Minecraft evolutionary tree, then you can still download Infiniminer from its developers, Zachtronics Industries.
An open source Minecraft clone, Manic Digger is actually available for download and play. ManicDigger has both a multiplayer and single player mode available. Single player appears to run in much the same way the very old Minecraft demo did. You start the game with several block types and an infinite number of them, it's pretty much the old Minecraft creative mode, in other words. I'll do a more in depth review of this game because it's actually quite well developed compared to other Minecraft clones, has a few features that Minecraft does not, and is totally free to play.
An unashamed HD Minecraft Clone, FortressCraft is to be released onto XBox Live Indie Games in Spring of 2011. On a positive note, its nice to see that the default graphics have been bumped up coinsiderably in this clone. The water is damned near realistic out of the gate, which is exciting.
A two dimensional Minecraft clone that works on the MIT Scratch system. Potential fun if you want to download the scripts and the build, but even the author admits that Minecraft 2D is currently very slow and laggy, which is programmer talk for 'makes you want to claw your own eyes out.'
RealmCrafter looks a great deal like the original Minecraft with slightly heavier textures and an avatar that looks as if it stepped out of a Medieval battle. RealmCrafter was made on the RealmCrafter engine, a for-proft game engine. More an advertisement for RealmCrafter than an actual Minecraft clone, this one probably isn't worth wasting your time looking for.