Tuff Terrain is some seriously psychidelic, fractal stuff. It’s also a series of two awesome minecraft survival maps, one being in the survival island / sky block scheme of things, the other being a fractal desert that is more beautiful than I can express with these limited words. Un-englishable, as a certain fellow used to say. Surviving the map is one thing, not falling into the void whilst staring at the unquestionable beauty of irregular regularity is quite another.
So there’s like, this Minecraft chunk. And it’s, like, suspended in the sky with nothing around it. As a survival map, its purpose is simple. Just mine the chunk for whatever resources you can find and try to survive without falling off the edge too many times. Cobble generators will no doubt be popular with the ‘eternal expansion’ crowd, but others will be happy to simply sit atop the chunk, growing forests, fighting mobs, farming pigs and contemplating the great blue yonder.
Are there challenges? Are there challenges. Yes. There are challenges. The first challenge is the cobblestone generator I mentioned above. There’s always a cobblestone generator, with all the fleeting possibility of accidentally creating obsidian or melting yourself. For those of you past the cobblestone generation level of challenges, there are more. Like make five bowls of mushroom stew, or build a fortress made of snow. These are all inherently pointless, without even a vague attempt at story to make them somehow coherent, but that’s how minecraft survival map players like it, difficult and highly specific.
MC Esher would be proud of this island that fails to be a mobius strip by a factor of an entire dimension. There’s a custom made stronghold to explore and multiple circles to go around in circles in. The terrain is expansive, the oceans are deep and the world is wild, fresh for you to explore.
In the Lonely Lands it is not enough to risk life and limb finding the precious blocks that will complete the monument. You must also risk life and limb finding the monument itself, a task made difficult by the hostile survival conditions that make getting a bite to eat, let alone collecting wool, a difficult challenge.
The Lonely Lands will one day be a collection of CTM maps. For the moment it is just one map, titled ‘Humble Beginnings’. In this map, one spawns in a Lapis Lazuili dotted canyon where birch trees grow leaves of ice and water pours from stone crystals suspended in the sky. Breaking blocks and crafting is more than allowed, it is encouraged. Although usually not necessary. This is not an adventure map, handing you tools and food along the way, this is a survival map that forces you to prove your worth to the land before you can be granted its bounty. (Unless you count the 32 pieces of leather and bunch of bread you get given at the very outset, possibly to offset the lack of cows. Or the 32 torches, or the fish. Okay, you leave the starting area very well set up. And every area after it too.)
So how hostile is this map? Well, the creator has it labelled as ‘easy’ and within the first five minutes of spawning you can easily gather enough wood, lightstone, cobblestone and coal to get you through most things, so resource wise it’s not too bad. There is the small matter of the apparent complete lack of saplings however, that’s a wee bit concerning as it makes the ice birch forest a non-renewable resource. Most of what you’ll need is provided along the way, so the challenge is really in moving through all the different areas of the map without falling into lava or being otherwise slain. There are some great mini-biomes in this map, including a mycelium floored brick forest.
In addition to different ‘levels’ as represented by changing biomes that never existed before this map was dreamed up, there are also dungeons to complete in which you will be rewarded with enchanted items, and in which you will discover the wool. Though the map maker states in his description that he doesn’t think much of the appearance of this map, I actually found the appearance of it very pleasing. Every new area had a specific sense of place and came with unique challenges and unique rewards. This is a brilliant map for anyone who likes to explore CTM worlds, most of the ‘work’ involved in the map isn’t in avoiding traps, or even battling monsters (though there is a lot of that) most of the work comes in enjoying the many, many nooks, crannies, secret passages and hidden areas. This map does have several hours of play time in it, get comfortable whilst you’re downloading, you’re going to be a while.
You’ve been banished from your kingdom, Harvel, but it’s not so bad. Just complete ten tasks, er, achievements, and you’ll be allowed back in. This isn’t just a good premise for a minecraft map, it could potentially be a brilliant way to revamp the entire justice system.