Saying that Minecraft has been one of the most successful independent games ever made would be a huge understatement. Nevertheless, a lot of people realized the sandbox game’s influence as soon as it started being cloned on multiple platforms: first on the PC, then on Smartphones and finally on Xbox Live Arcade. Interestingly enough and for a long period of time, the best-selling games on XBLA were Minecraft clones, but in case you’re looking for games similar to Minecraft on that platform and you don’t know where to start, here’s a short list with some of the most popular ones.
5) Miner Dig Deep (80 Microsoft Points – $1)
At first, this indie title may look more similar to 2D games such as Terraria, but Minecraft’s influence is undeniable. Thankfully, there are a couple of elements that make Miner Dig Deeper not just another blatant clone of the seminal indie game. There is a clear objective (as the name indicates, you need to “dig deeper,”) there are various upgrades and earthquakes can be triggered. The fact that the game only costs 80 Microsoft Points ($1) definitely helps.
4) CastleMiner and CastleMiner Z (80 Microsoft Points – $1)
This is yet another block-building sandbox game based on Minecraft. What sets it apart from Notch’s creation is that in CastleMiner, players can choose one of six world types (lagoon, coastal, classic, flatland, desert and arctic,) there are 200 types of blocks, players can teleport and servers support up to 16 players to play online. It’s worth pointing out that on November 9, 2011 a sequel called CastleMiner Z was released on XBLA. The follow up features new elements such as allowing players to mine resources instead of starting with them, crafting weapons and the inclusion of new enemies such as dragons, zombies and demons.
3) Total Miner (240 Microsoft Points – $3)
This is a block-building sandbox style game in which you place and mine blocks. Sounds familiar? There’s a creative mode and a survival role-playing game mode (called Dig Deep mode.) The game’s best feature is the possibility of playing with 24 other players to explore the Total Miner Worlds. If we compare Total Miner to Minecraft, we could say that the former offers little new content, but if you want an experience to similar to Mincraft on the Xbox 360, Total Miner is definitely a safe bet.
2) FortressCraft (240 Microsoft Points – $3)
Despite the controversy, FortressCraft has managed to become one of the most successful Minecraft clones ever made. Hoping to avoid heavy criticism, the developers of FortressCraft stated right from the get go that their game was heavily inspired by Infiniminer, Dwarf Fortress and of course, Minecraft. Sadly for the developers though, this honest strategy wasn’t very effective. For the uninitiated, Fortresscraft features 61 blocks, relics that give players various abilities (fly, jump higher and so on) and has four playable modes: Freezetag, Spleef, Hunt and FPS.
1) Minecraft (1600 Microsoft Points – $20)
Maybe this is cheating and the official version of Minecraft shouldn’t be on a blog post called “Top 5: Best XBLA Games Similar to Minecraft.” But when a port of a game breaks even a few hours after its release and when that very same port sells 400,000 in the first 24 hours and 3 million copies in a few months, I believe the port has earned the right to be here. Its price may be a little high and it lacks some of the features that made the PC version such a refreshingly unique game, but if you’re looking to play something like Minecraft on your Xbox 360, I can assure you that it doesn’t get much better than this.