New on Realms: Curses and Cacti
Seven new Java Realms maps contend for your time and affection
This week marks a return to a much-requested category of maps on Realms: world templates! We’ve re-opened the category for submissions and some very talented mapmakers have submitted a handful of excellent creations from which you can start a new world. To make way, we’re quietly retiring some of the older and smaller world templates. Thanks for the memories, old maps!
What’s even more exciting to me is that two of those maps were originally featured on Marketplace, and one is releasing on both platforms simultaneously. If you’re unfamiliar with Marketplace, it’s where creators can sell their expert creations on our fancy cross-device version of Minecraft. Our team works on both projects; that’s a lot of Minecraft to play!
These three maps, Kingdom: Survival, Farming Valley, and Stranded, represent closing the circle of Minecraft mapmaking. We’ve had creations that started in Java and were ported over to Marketplace, such as Magma Runner or Random Skies, but as far as I know, this is the first instance of Marketplace maps being brought over to Realms.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s release!
Anyone familiar with Blockception’s Kingdom Assault will notice something familiar about the world. While it’s not always night, and your home isn’t being overrun by horrible hordes of zombies, it does look suspiciously like the same map, but re-designed to allow you to live and play happily ever after. Maybe Kingdom Assault was the dark version of the timeline, and Kingdom: Survival is what happens when everything goes alright? At least, that’s what I imagine!
Blockception’s The Lost Civilization currently holds the record for total playtime on a world template, at least since we started keeping track back in January. Can they accomplish a similarly impressive feat with Kingdom: Survival? Check it out and see for yourself!
Here in Sweden, people tell me that it’s very important to take a vacation in order to relax, de-stress, and maybe get back to nature. After looking up the definition of the word ‘nature’, I decided that I wouldn’t mind taking some time off in a place like Farming Valley.
It’s a small town surrounded by nature, with a large manor house that I can only imagine throws the best parties in the area. Best of all, the food is just laying around for you to take! They just leave it in the ground! I don’t think I even need to be a farmer in order to enjoy a stay here.
by Theticman, ChildOfStars, ChildOfMoon
In this Minecraft-y take on freeze tag, you’ll play as either an innocent or a hunter. Hunters run around freezing people (how rude!), and innocents run around trying to not be frozen. If a team member becomes frozen, you can unfreeze them! Freezun also has loads of hidden features and easter eggs. See if you can find the Content Team (Marc, Moesh, Klumpig, and Pulluxx) hidden in the map.
In a game with infinite possibilities, making Minecraft content is often about introducing limitations. Sure, there are tons of open world adventures or arena battles that let you choose how to play, but sometimes you’ve just got to return to gaming’s roots with some focused, linear gameplay. I’ll let Oskar, our newest team member, explain more about the map:
Oskar: "Cactus Escape is a challenging puzzler that requires you to think outside of the box in order to get ahead. You can either play it blindly or use the hints and skips to get you through to the end; beating every part along the way isn't required. For those who love taking on a great challenge, this will be right up your alley."
Stranded is the kind of world you’d have if you were able to expertly crash-land a large passenger aircraft, decided it was a pretty sweet place to hang out, then spent the next few weeks building tropical huts for you and your new friends. Stone ruins on the island indicate that you may not have been the first to settle here, but hopefully they’re long gone and you won’t get attacked by inexplicable polar bears or monsters made entirely of smoke. No, this island is totally safe! Just mind the volcano.
The Curse of Starry Isle
Starry Isle has a curse, and lucky you, you’re the one tasked with breaking it. As with many epic fantasy adventures, start by heading into the village and robbing eveyone of- wait, I mean loot all of the chests that are just laying around, chests that probably belong to nobody, so you might as well take them. To complete your adventure, you’ll have to tackle four dungeons with their own unique challenges. Face them in any order you’d like, then square off against the big, bad boss at the end. Can you lift the curse of Starry Isle?
by AngaBlue, Saundeh, OBLISION
For those PvP players who favor the bow, welcome to Bow Blitz, a map about bopping your opponents in the noggin with arrows in an attempt to cast them into the endless void. Players have several arenas to choose from, and learning the terrain can be helpful in battle. Also helpful are power-ups, designed to give you an edge over your opponents. Play with your friends, play with some bots, or befriend a bot! Those friendships are real and valid no matter what people tell me.
This week, we’re trying a new segment where we bring you the latest on which maps from the Realms library are being played the most. We think you should try all of the different content, but if you want to know about the current trendsetters, here you go:
Minigames - Total Playtime, last thirty days
- Party Parade
- Minigame Blitz
- Easter Egg Factory
Adventures - Total Playtime, last thirty days
- Sea of Cinders
- Herobrine’s Mansion
- Advanced Sky
You’ll see that I’ve only included minigames and adventure maps in this ranking. World templates are kind of weird since those can become someone’s main Minecraft world, and even a few people on a single world template can play for hundreds of hours and influence its placement. Our other categories, Experiences and Inspiration, both only have a handful of maps at this time (which means that those categories are both wide open for creators!)
Unless you’ve been living under a block, you’ve probably noticed that something fishy is up with Minecraft: the Update Aquatic is coming! As with any major update to Minecraft: Java Edition, some things will change in the Realms content library. First, depending on the release schedule for the update, this may be the last bunch of new Realms maps before the update. After all, creators need time to think about updates or brand-new maps they’d like to make. Second, when the update does happen, some of the maps that you can download from Realms might excuse themselves from the library. Typically, about a third of maps are updated right away, about a third are updated in the following month, and for the last third, those creators choose to focus on new projects instead.
What this amounts to is an exciting and totally-not-at-all-stressful-for-our-team shakeup of Realms content as we phase out the old and publish the new. Hopefully the new maps involve lots of innovative uses of the new aquatic features!
To learn about loading new and old content into Java Realms, visit our help site. If you haven't yet tried Realms for yourself, you'll have a blue diamond on the Minecraft Realms button, located on the main screen of Minecraft: Java Edition. Click it, then follow the instructions to try Realms free for 30 days.
Want to have your own Minecraft creations featured on Realms and on this blog? Head over to this page, which explains the Java Realms Content Creator Program. If you have questions about this process, you can find me on Twitter.