The Top 10 Minecraft-Inspired Games

There's more than one way to get blocky art and open worlds in your games.

Minecraft is one of this generation's most innovative and immersive games, and for good reason. Its open-world nature has allowed for creativity and modifications to an extent that is unfathomable. As well, the voxel graphic style, while meant to be simple, has become a compelling style in its own right. It's much the same way that pixel art rose to prominence as a beloved art style because people grew up on it and fell in love with the limitations of its simplicity. Voxel art is the modern generation's pixel art. Between these two big factors, there's been plenty of room for game developers to try and make games that capitalize on Minecraft's trendiness. From games that try to put new perspectives on Minecraft, to ones that just use the voxel art in interesting ways, here are 10 Minecraft-inspired games to check out.

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505 Games

This is perhaps the arch-example of what a 2D Minecraft game can be. The game is a bit more structured than Minecraft, as it's a lot more about exploring the world and discovering its secrets, even fighting off bosses when necessary. It's kind of like a Metroidvania, in that you're getting character upgrades and whatnot, but in the construct of a Minecraft-style survival-crafting game. So you'll be mining and building a house but in service of advancing the game.

Minecraft Story Mode
Telltale Games

You can't talk about Minecraft without talking about Telltale's episodic narrative take on the franchise. They do a great job at putting people into the world, with a universe that feels authentic to the original game. The original game is great for how it creates this open world with an emergent narrative from players' creations, but it's fun to explore someone else's story in that world. And while Telltale has a definitive style at this point with their games, seeing how they approach it is well worth the discovery.

Block Fortress
Foursaken Media

It's a trend we're seeing more and more in games where games are interpolating Minecraft elements, namely its construction and creativity aspects, and implementing them into different genres. Block Fortress is an interesting amalgamation because it combines Minecraft-esque building and visual stylings. But it's also something of a tower/castle defense game, as you build your base with the best defenses possible. And then you go into a shooter mode to help take out the enemies that are coming after you. This and the sequel are well worth checking out if you want some voxelly Minecraft-style action but with different objectives. ​Also check out the expanded sequel Block Fortress: War.

The Blockheads
MajicJungle Software

 Another great 2D crafting game, this one skews a lot closer to Minecraft than Terraria thanks in part to its voxel visuals and more traditional survival-crafting, open-world focus. But where it differs from Terraria is that you can actually play this one online with other people. You can open your own shops in your world, and with items like the glass, you can create some amazing structures. The game also uses more of a management style of gameplay, as you can give multiple characters different commands to help build out and expand your world. This one stands on its own if you want a good mobile crafting game.

Candy Rufus Games

 This game first saw release around the time Minecraft: Pocket Edition first released, but is notable for being built for mobile from the ground up instead of being a mobile adaptation of a PC game. But it's been particularly impressive as a game that has been developed by a small team and has seen many of the features of the full Minecraft game as an indie product. While it lacks multiplayer, its changelog reveals a ton of features in this game. And there's nifty functionality like sharing and backing up worlds via file or Dropbox upload. And if you are curious about the game, it has a free demo to peruse.

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Naquatic knows how to make games that have seemingly simple premises, but go way further with them than you could possibly imagine. Take Guncrafter – it would be easy for this to just be a silly little game about building guns. But then you can take it onto fun shooting ranges to test it out and engage in competitions with other people to get the best gun-shooting action with lightning-quick matchmaking. Naquatic's MonsterCrafter sequel is well worth checking out too.

Blocky Roads
Dogbyte Games

Some games use the Minecraft-esque visual style because it's an easy, appealing visual shorthand. Roofdog's 2D racer certainly is guilty of that, but it's not a low-quality game. Even just seeing it in motion with its bloom effects is evidence that there's a strong product in place here, it's just a game that looks like Minecraft. But playing it reveals a fun 2D physics-based racer, as you navigate bumpy courses and try to stay upright and on the road. It also doesn't skimp on the creativity, as you can construct and upgrade the car of your choosing. It has a lot for Minecraft fans to enjoy in both familiarity and difference.

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If Block Fortress intrigues you, and you enjoy the blocky voxel style of Minecraft, but you want something more of a tower defense game, Cubemen might be more your speed. This actually combines tower defense with offensive strategy, as you must not only use units to defend your base​ but use your resources on offensive units who can take out your opponents. The levels are fun to play, as they incorporate height in a way few other tower defense games even bother with. With fun multiplayer action, there's a lot to do here, and it's a great game if you want to branch far out from what Minecraft was about, while still maintaining that visual style you enjoy.

Pixel Gun 3D

 Sometimes you want to build stuff with friends​ and go on adventures with them. But sometimes you just want to lord over them as the king of the deathmatch. That's what Pixel Gun 3D provides, as you and an arena full of opponents run around complex Minecraft-style arenas, using a wide variety of weapons to blast each other with. And not only can you take part in 8-player deathmatches, but you can also do 4-player survival co-op with friends as well. This has been perhaps the most popular Minecraft-inspired shooter, and for good reason, it's a fun game.

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The Sandbox

This is a curious 2D Minecraft-inspired game that focuses on creativity, as you use various types of sands and different elements to construct creative scenes. But it's the limited canvases that you have to work with that help make The Sandbox so unique: instead of an expansive world, you have pretty much just one screen to work with to make your own fascinating ideas. It's a game that expanded so much from its original limited utility to a far more expansive game with over 200 elements in the game, and with regular updates. If you like Minecraft but want something that has you express your creativity in new ways, this is for you.