When it comes to mega-popular sandbox video games, two names stand out above the rest: Minecraft and Roblox. While these two games may look very similar to one another at first glance – and indeed they do have many commonalities – they are in fact drastically different games in several key aspects, as we will see later in this article.
For those who don’t know, there is a rather fierce ongoing rivalry between the two, and each game has a legion of stalwart champions (many of whom think that “their game” is better and aren’t shy about telling you) within their respective communities. A quick internet search will yield innumerable articles and YouTube videos discussing the Minecraft vs Roblox debate. But really, what are Minecraft and Roblox, and what is the difference between the two? Let’s explore each and then compare them.
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is sometimes called the granddaddy of sandbox games. Created by Swedish programmer and game designer Markus Persson, Minecraft features a procedurally generated world composed of blocks. The game has no set objective, rather going for a freeform style of gameplay in which the player is free to explore the world, scavenge and harvest materials, and build just about anything they desire. Minecraft and Mojang Studios were purchased by Microsoft in 2014. It is the best-selling video game of all time.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a free to play online game platform that allows users to create and code their own games and play games made by other users. This is one area where it differs from Minecraft, in that it is not a game in itself. Roblox Studio is the tool used to program games, and a virtual currency called Robux is used to purchase in-game items.
How are they alike?
No doubt the most obvious similarity between the two games is the rather basic visual style. Roblox, however, incorporates higher-resolution elements into the simplistic designs in caparison to the pixelated blocks of Minecraft. The result for Roblox is a game that has technically sharper graphics, as well as a vaguely LEGO-esque look which adds an extra layer of charm for some people.
Both games also share a general approach to the player experience, in that each game provides a sandbox environment in which players are free to use their imagination to recreate the virtual worlds around them, without restraints.
How are they different?
Despite the similarities between Roblox and Minecraft, ultimately the two games are different on a fundamental level. Minecraft is a self-contained game in the traditional sense, and sees constant tweaks in the form of updates as well as content additions on a near-constant basis, all provided by a professional studio, so quality is consistent.
Roblox on the other hand, features a free to play structure with microtransactions and a premium version for the “full” experience. And with a staggering number of games being made for Roblox each year, the sheer wealth and range of gaming experiences (everything from working at a pizza joint to scuba diving, to managing a theme park to fending off zombies with your favorite assault rifle) the variety in Roblox is nigh limitless.
Probably the biggest difference between the two is the social aspect, which is much more present in Roblox. Because it is an online game, Roblox has that social element – and is in fact ultimately geared toward it – for both good and ill. While Minecraft, though having a multiplayer option, is predominantly a single player experience.
Roblox and Minecraft are both great games
As you have seen, Roblox and Minecraft are two distinctly different gaming beasts, each of which has their own respective merits, each of which provides a worthwhile experience for all kinds of gamers – newcomers included. And despite what some may say, there is no reason you can’t enjoy both. Much like the Pepsi vs Coke debate, or the schism between Lord of the Rings apologists and those in the Harry Potter camp, it really comes down to a matter of personal taste. Neither is the true better, and at the end of the day there is really no reason to have to choose.
Featured image courtesy of gurugamer.com