The game is set in a 16-bit world in a 3D perspective. Starting with nothing in their inventory, the player (also known as Steve) is set in mining several "blocks" as he uses them to craft and build certain things. Cobblestone is an essential strategy to keep in hand. The game features a day-and-night cycle with certain "mobs" (enemies) attacking the PC, with defense by a sword (crafted by the PC). On some occasions, it can rain or thunder. An alternate dimension, known as "The Nether" is possible with a portal. With many possibilities, this is declared a sandbox game.
There is a Classic version of the game still available on the official website of the game. It's free, but no longer updated. Indev (In Development) was a former mode of Minecraft, followed by Infdev (Infinite Development), where worlds are now infinite. Both have been removed. An open alpha and beta were available to the general public. The official release of the game was Late 2011.