Well, I hope you all had a good Eoster, ate lots of chocolate eggs, prayed to Ishtar or clipped your local church in traditional style, whatever you heathens get up to in your time off.
I didn't do much myself, a quiet few days with the family, spent a few hours in casualty with Mrs Dandy on Sunday after she managed to blow the meniscus in her right knee after throwing some ill-advised, but still quite impressive, Old Skool breakdancing shapes at a party on Saturday night.
I tried to pace myself over the four days, tried not to peak too soon, watched all the episodes of Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Bones and stuff that we'd Sky+'d. But mostly, I played Minecraft.
I don't know how many of you have experienced the joy that is Minecraft. For those of you that haven't, in it's simplist form, it's Lego, you use 3' blocks of different materials like dirt or rock or iron to make 'stuff'. You can dig into the ground to find precious gems or to quarry more stone to build more things, you can make improbable looking buildings as the laws of physics only apply to yourself and certain other substances, like sand, water and gravel. I personally have many buildings that 'float' in midair, connected to their neighbours only by a three-foot square block of loose cobblestones, proudly sticking two fingers up at Sir Isaac Newton and reminding one and all that gravity is just a theory involving apples.
You can go on pretty indefinately, I'm a noob and my current house, or base, or shelter, is made up of a seven storey tower, which gets significantly wider as it goes up. Completely unsupported bridges going from the third and fourth floors to the nearest village (populated by people who look like Gonzo from the Muppets wearing a dress), my stone quarry, my coal, iron, diamond and lapis lazuli (Which The Micro-Dandy insists on pronouncing La-piss Laloozy) mine and to my recently discovered island that is entirely populated by pigs and the nearby shallow seas are rich with oddly angular squid... I have named this 'Piggy-Squid Island' because I am so gorram original.
My outpost is surrounded by a 12' high 6' thick, medieval style crenellated stone wall 180' long on each side, I have also, in an effort to appease whichever Gods are passing by at the time, built a 36' high Meso-American / Egyptian carved sandstone pyramid (which started out as a spoil heap for all the dirt I found myself digging up, you can only conceal a certain amount in your trouser legs after all, even if you put drawstrings on the leg holes.) and a fully functioning Anglican Church, complete with bell tower and jaunty yellow and blue striped carpets. And I also have a potting shed, overlooking my carrot, potato and melon fields.
That makes it seem very straightforward... but there are a number of steps involved in doing everything, to make a blue carpet (I say carpet, it's actually a 'block' of blue wool) you have to shear a sheep to get the wool, and mine some La-piss Laloozy to colour it blue. But to be able to shear the sheep, you'll obviously need shears, which are made from iron, which you have to dig out and smelt. To dig out your first bit of iron ore, you need a stone pick, which you have to quarry stone to make, for which you need a wooden pick, which you will need to chop down a tree for which, luckily, you can do with your bare hands.
So, you make a wooden pick, quarry some stone, make a stone pick, mine some iron ore, make a furnace out of some of the stone you've quarried, smelt the iron into ingots (using some coal that you dug out of your mine whilst you were looking for iron ore), make the ingots into shears, find a sheep, shear it and then colour the wool blue... with the La-piss Laloozy that can only be found in the deepest, darkest corners of certain mines. Oh yes, and most of the tools you use are susceptable to 'wear', the more you use them, the more they'll break - So it's going to take you at least a good half-dozen iron picks to get enough blue dye for a whole carpet.
So why would you bother? I don't know, I really don't - It sort of just sucks you in. It's like World of Warcraft without the quests. You're presented with a random(ish) canvas and the game engine sort of just goes 'Off you go then chap, have a little play, I'll check up on you just before you die of dehydration'
But it never does, you can say 'I'll just put another layer of stone on this wall, to defend myself from the bad guys before I go to work,' Then you realise that you're too weak to move and it's the Thursday after next and they've given your job to a Romanian immigrant.
You see, I went and mentioned bad guys there didn't I? There are a number of 'mobs' in the game that do their level best to make you wake up injured and/or dead. There are zombies, skeletons with bows and creepers that explode to name but a few. They spawn in low light situations, so at night (They mostly come at night... Mostly) or in areas that you haven't lit with torches. There's nothing scarier, well, I mean, obviously, there are a plethora of scarier things, mostly involving rotating knives or finding a used condom at the bottom of a jar of Aldi mayonnaise, but it's pretty scary, being in a darkened mine, with no coal to make torches, and hearing a Creeper moving around behind you just before hearing him explode, and your family hearing the string of Anglo-Saxon investive as the contents of your inventory, along with your pixellated liver and other vital organs, are scattered to the four winds.
As I've said, I'm just a n00b at this game, there's a huge amount of stuff to discover, there're electrified railways, mob generating contraptions that you can use to 'farm' certain bad guys, traps, pistons, even an endgame where you have to travel to a different dimension and kill a Dragon Boss. I'm not even a bajillionth of the way through it yet, and it already eats all of my spare time, or at least it would if I let it. I do have some self-control, contrary to popular belief.
Download the Pocket Edition onto your tablet for free, have a play then spend the £18 on the full version - But before you do, write a note to your nearest and dearest saying goodbye, and explaining that it's not them, it's you.