I know I'm late to the party, but when the Super Mario DLC was added to Minecraft I knew I would have to bite the bullet and finally try it out. I get leery of games that have such immense popular appeal, and from the outside I, perhaps due to not being a millennial, didn't see much about it that interested me. I've been playing it sporadically for a while, but I finally sat down and "dug deeper" into the game recently.
I played the Wii U version, although the game is available on pretty much every platform under the sun. Minecraft can be played in different ways, but I stuck with the basic mode, which is at its core a survival adventure game with a heavy dose of building mechanics, or more like a sandbox game with some survival adventure elements. I like that the game doesn't hold your hand much, but the in-game help is a bit too sparse at times; it took me a bit too long to learn how all the game elements work. Once I got into the rhythm of gathering resources, crafting, exploring and mining, and crafting some more the game became more fun. I worked my way up from my basic wooden weapons to crafting with diamonds and gold, but, unsurprising to me, I was much more interested in exploring the world rather than building elaborate structures. The worlds are randomly generated and mine was mostly a huge forest with a bit of jungle, although if I explored more I would probably eventually find more varied environments.
The Lego-like building aspects worked fine but didn't hold my interest, and mining for precious materials also got pretty boring. Battling enemies helped add tension, but I lost interest in that pretty soon as well since there isn't any RPG-like progression in either story or abilities (outside of being able to craft more powerful weapons and armor and enchantments). I can see why the game is so popular as its mechanics are compelling and there are a lot of fun game systems, including building, farming, raising animals, and laying mine tracks, but I have to say I'm not particularly interested in sandbox games like these that don't have any sort of story or adventure. More recent games that build on the Minecraft template, such as Dragon Quest Builders, combine the building aspects with a more traditional RPG experience, which I'd probably enjoy a lot more.
The graphics are simple but fun, and they've become iconic. I enjoyed the calming music a lot as well. The game didn't hold my attention for that long, but it was entertaining and enjoyable overall for the time that I spent with it. For now I've left my pixelated kingdom and don't have any plans to return to it in the near future, although I could see how this would be more fun as a co-op game, so I may try that at some point.