History of Minecraft Survival Mode
Initially the Minecraft survival mode was called "survival test," as it simply was a test of new features. Let a Creeper sneak in a hug or accidentally swan dive into lava and you will be greeted with the Game Over screen and random gibberish as a score. In Survival Test it actually did give you a score depending on how many enemies you killed before you died. All of the current enemies (minus the new ones in the Nether; a Hellish location filled with giant screaming ghosts and decaying zombie pig men) were in Survival Test and have thus been carried over into the current Minecraft survival mode.
Luckily, the creator of the game added the ability to tame these monsters and battle the elements with a new addition to the game: Crafting.
The backbone of Minecraft survival mode is the ability to craft your own weapons from the materials around you, all the while eating sweet, sweet bacon to refill your precious health. You’ll need tools to carve out a safe haven from the nightly beasts, a work bench to make those tools, a furnace to cook food and smelt ore, and probably a few chests to withhold your amassed items. The initial difficulty of the Minecraft survival mode dies down once you have found enough coal to make torches as well as a decent location. This initial wandering phase is made more difficult for the player as you cannot change your spawn location at this time. Commonly a suitable location is within minutes of the spawn point, but when your character dies, you drop all the items you had on you for about five minutes. If it takes two minutes to find your base from your spawn point, and an additional two minutes to get down to where you died, you’ll have about a minute of play to not only get your items back, but contend with whatever killed you in the first place with, potentially, just your bare hands.
Survival mode is the default single-player experience for Minecraft. If you want to rough the elements and fight off zombies and giant spiders to stake your claim on the land before you, Minecraft Survival mode is the mode for you. You are free to build wherever and whatever you would like without restrictions as long as you have the materials at hand. While Classic is the creation mode meant just for building or trying out ideas, Survival ups the ante considerably and throws in the need to build a shelter and tools or weapons just to survive. Any fan of survival simulation, horror, zombie games, or even building games should definitely get Minecraft and give it a try.