The folks over at MinecraftPVP have their heads screwed on very tightly -- a series of server-side mods which transform Minecraft from a survival-based experience to an all-out fight to the death have placed them at the forefront of the minds of many Minecrafters. Currently, the team runs three game modes on their servers. Hardcore PVP and Capture the Flag have both received warm welcomes within the Minecraft community. However, their third product is a total story of success. Their Hunger Games servers, based on elements found within the book trilogy, has really taken off. It is, by all meanings of the phrase, a total success story.
The premise of the mod is simple. Up to 150 players have two minutes of invincibility which can be used to gather resources and craft tools. When these precious moments run out, it is every man for himself. Players engage in combat, taking advantage of the versatility of the Minecraft engine, doing anything and everything to take out other players. Those who die can not re-enter the game, and the fight continues until there is just one player.
The gameplay is more or less that simple, bar a few complications. The first is the unique class-based play which is undoubtedly at the core of the game's popularity. At the beginning of the game, players may select a class to use for the round, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. New players will be able to select one of three kits. However, over thirty kits are available for purchase and are permanently attached to your Minecraft account, meaning you can use purchased kits as you desire. Not only does this make play incredibly different every single round, but it has also proved to be an incredibly effective way of monetising what is a seriously popular mod.
Some examples of the kits should do justice to just how versatile this mod is: endermages can use portals to drag other players towards them, cookie-monsters get a high strength boost from consuming cookies, frosties can run at extreme speeds on snow and turn water into ice, and Thors can call lightning from the sky with a wooden axe. All kits, however, have appropriate drawbacks which balance the playing field a little, such as extreme hunger in the cookie monster's case. As with many class-based games, part of the challenge for the development team is to ensure a balanced playing field, and to this point in time, such a feat has been achieved and maintained.
The kits are quite cheap considering they are lifetime purchases. When one considers that a new kit may ensure an extra fifteen or twenty hours of Hunger Games play, then the $2.50 price tag for a kit (or $3.50 if you plan to purchase it the moment it is released) does not seem steep at all! In fact, just a couple of words which spring to mind are "fair" and "reasonable".
The second complication in the gameplay is the feast, a scenario which fans of the Hunger Games trilogy will be familiar with. Essentially, after a long time has elapsed and player numbers begin to thin out, rare and useful items will spawn at particular location. Players are given a five minute warning along with the coordinates of this area. Often, feast becomes a huge battle between several parties who aim to take the good gear, and so plenty of care must be taken while approaching the designated area. No matter what a player's game plan, feast is sure to be a tense and action-packed event. One thing is certain: once a player conquers his counterparts at feast, players should know the ending isn't too far away!
In essence, the whole mod is a series of smaller elements, combined effortlessly to produce a polished product and a thoroughly enjoyable experience for players. If you are looking to breathe fresh life into your Minecraft career, or for some reason have yet to try this amazing mod, give it a go. With around fifty servers, and an active player count which rarely drops below a thousand, Minecraft Hunger Games is the way to play Minecraft if you're looking for something unique in the sandbox extraordinaire.
We look forward to bringing you more content based on the Hunger Games servers in the near future, including kit reviews so you know where your money is best spent!
By Harry Hughes - Bio