Minecraft took the indie gaming crowd by surprise by reintroducing the sandbox theme to many people, and also being a runaway success for the creator, Notch (aka Markus Persson.) What started out as a small project shared among peers on javagaming.org moved quite rapidly to having a budding community. Even when I first played the game, I (like many people I suspect, based on the amount of suggestions for the game) saw the grand potential of such a simple yet open game that Minecraft was, and is.
At the time of this writing, the game has sold over 30,000 copies, and without any decline in view, things are looking good for the Minecraft community. Although the game is only in Alpha currently, it already has quite a bit of polish and hours and hours of gameplay to give, and for a very reasonable price as well. I would recommend anyone who has not tried the game, to head over to http://minecraft.net/ and try out the free version of the game. One issue I’ve thought about, however, is that since the Alpha version of the game is much more exciting than the creative version, people not intrigued by simply building structures, etc will overlook the title. Hopefully once the game is released, there will be a way to try out the survival elements in the game before purchase.
Overall, I would say Minecraft is one of the best purchases I’ve made recently. It gives me joy to be able to check the development log and read about all the effort being put into the game constantly, and get to try out new features and the like as they come. Really, I wish more devs would have this kind of raw communication with the community while the develop the games, instead of wondering why certain games are flops and others are so successful. You don’t need luck to create one of the most riveting sandbox games ever made, as evidenced by Minecraft. So get out there and start diggin’!