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Minecraft Adventure Maps: a wealth of new adventures spawned on the “sandbox game” platform.

Search for buried treasure. Explore mazes full of monsters. Sail the high seas and escape from booby-trapped temples. To players of Minecraft (Mojang Specifications), these expeditions may not sound familiar (except for, possibly, the mazes full of monsters). The player-designed maps for Minecraft that allow this type of adventuring are currently played through game mods, and are not to be confused with the official adventure mode Notch has promised in the Beta 1.7 update.
The purpose of Minecraft adventure maps is the same as that of Notch’s proposed adventure mode. They offer mission objectives to Minecraft players for whom the creative potential of the “sandbox game” isn’t quite enough. The perks of Minecraft maps include:
         • Storyline – Map creators include entertaining and often surprisingly complex plots in their custom maps.
         • A pre-fab adventure-scape – If you’ve ever dreamed of building your own Mayan temple or Roman catacombs in Minecraft, chances are someone has already built one for you to explore. The available maps include everything from
Indiana Jones-style crypts to a water park complete with rides.
        • Goals – The objectives of an adventure map can be discovery, escape, exploration, boss fights—or simply survival!

Where to find maps: There is an entire section of the Minecraft forum devoted to maps. All are custom maps designed by players and free to download (though some map authors encourage donations). There are mystery mansions, ruined temples, deserted villages, and zombie apocalypse maps aplenty. There is an extensive list of adventure maps on the Minecraft forum (scroll down to view individual maps).

Some examples include:

“9 Best Minecraft Adventure Maps”: a great collection of the staple adventures newcomers will be dying to play: a Mayan temple, an Egyptian tomb, and a Dungeons and Dragons-style “Tower of Ordeals.”

The #1 ranked Zelda Adventure (Version 9.5), a 6-level complete mini-game inspired by the Zelda series. The map includes an interactive storyline and has garnered over 170,000 downloads.

The Redmurk Mystery, an impressive custom map that is famous for its incredible architecture—as well as its hidden secrets. As an MC Mines admin said, “I am sure what he has done was not by hand but if it WAS—wow, that’s all I have to say.”

Create your own map: Most maps require the AdventureCraft mod, a complex upgrade that functions as both a map creator and reader. AdventureCraft enables players to play on downloaded maps and also build their own. It offers map creators an “editing palette of all blocks and items” as well as dozens of new texture blocks, items, and even health upgrades and new mobs. It gives the map creator direct control over where and how mobs spawn, and even allows “cut scene” videos. There are many tutorial videos available on building your own adventure maps.

Drawbacks: Minecraft’s founding concept is the player’s ability to break and place blocks, allowing freeform building and alteration of the landscape. Minecraft adventure maps may seem counter-intuitive because they block this key feature. When using AdventureCraft, for example, the player can’t break or place blocks or otherwise “edit” the world. Another drawback is the mods required to play adventure maps. Because mod support has not yet been officially added to Minecraft, mods are often buggy and require a complicated installation process.

However, adventure mods for Minecraft are an exciting feature that adds a whole new dimension to the sandbox game. While many players will quickly lose interest in creating yet another Doom spire or slaying their umpteenth Creeper, adventure maps ensure that Minecraft continues to have something for everyone.
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