Today I’m reviewing a new hardcover book by Mojang called Minecraft Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress, which teaches you how to build your own fortress and castle with turrets, throne room, barracks, dungeon, trap rooms, village and more.
What's it about?
The idea of the book is that you follow along and build each part of the fortress in stages, with cutaway diagrams that show you all the blocks you need and where to place them. There’s an estimated time and difficulty rating for each stage of the build, and ideas for ways to customize so you can put your own spin on it. There are also interesting little tidbits of information about real world medieval fortresses which makes it both educational and fun.
Who is it for?
It’s recommended for ages 9+ but I could easily see younger kids being able to use the book, either on their own or with help from parents. In fact I highly recommend it as a project for families to do together, my son and I are building our castle alongside each other in the same world and it's a fun activity to share.
This is also an ideal book for kids like my son, who love to build but struggle to come up with their own ideas. He really enjoyed looking at the schematics and having something to build without needing to design it from scratch himself. It's also a great way to learn about redstone wiring, with lots of tricks and hidden traps to try out.
How long does it take?
The complete fortress is a lot bigger than it looks from the cover! It’s a large and satisfying project that would be a fun way to spend a few family weekends. We've been working on it for hours and haven't even started building the main castle yet. Here's our outer wall starting to take shape:
Should you buy it?
At first I was a little skeptical about what place a book like this has with so many YouTube videos readily available to show you how to build just about anything in Minecraft, but it was nice to figure it out ourselves and see it coming to life instead of watching someone else build it first. I also liked having a book to refer to instead of a video, it’s a bit like having Lego instructions.
I would’ve liked a little more detail in some of the diagrams, but overall I think it would make a cool gift for Minecraft-loving kids and is a great way for parents to get their feet wet with the game.
Minecraft Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress retails for around US$20.
You can win a copy of Minecraft Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress!
To enter, use the contact form to send me your favourite Minecraft tip.
- Know a cool shortcut or redstone trick?
- Found a fun building hack?
- Maybe a Minecraft parenting tip?
Tell me about it! The best tips will be published on the blog and the most creative will win a copy of the book.
Bonus giveaway for UK and Australian readers!
I have an extra copy to give away to a reader from each of the UK and Australia, so make sure to tell me where you're from when you send me in your tip.
Entries close December 2.
I was given a review copy of the book but the opinions are my own.