Video games generally come in one of two dimensions: you have your side-scrollers in 2D or, more commonly, your typical adventures in 3D. You rarely see a game that goes beyond these dimensions, since, you know, we live in the third dimension. Why then a Minecraft clone exists in 4D?
At first sight, 4D miner it seems like Minecraft. You are dropped into an infinite procedurally generated world, tasked with mining the earth to survive as long as possible. so far so Minecraft. That is, until you scroll your mouse and shit starts appearing out of nowhere.
Every time you scroll 4D miner, your world changes dramatically. Items right in front of you disappear, while others are revealed. The land you thought was solid opens up to reveal hills and holes, while cave walls part into deep chasms. The thing is, none of these things are really changing. From a 4D perspective, everything you see on the go is there at all times. We just can’t see it, because we’re limited to our 3D world view.
Imagine a two-dimensional being, like Mario in the original. Super Mario Bros. They can see left, right, up and down, but they are limited to that 2D view of the world. If you place them in 3D, they won’t be able to see the extra dimension of space. Instead, they would see a 2D cross-section of our 3D space, revealing only a part of the world we see in its entirety. Move that cross section around and they’ll see a different view of the space, while some of the elements of their original perspective will “disappear.” Meanwhile, we see everything they see, Y the world as it is.
If that explanation doesn’t make sense to you, I completely understand. This is complicated and is much easier to explain visually. Take a look at 4D miner demo videowhich effectively shows this concept:
A 4D game, like 4D miner, takes this concept and turns it around for us. Now, were the 2D being, except that we are experiencing a 3D cross section of a 4D world. To a 4D viewer, the world appears completely normal, with all trees, caves, lava flows, and bodies of water visible at all times. However, we can only see what our current cross section allows: when you scroll, you move that cross section and reveal a different slice of the 4D world.
This mechanic adds another dimension to the Minecraft exploration that we all know so well. Instead of just looking for supplies, you must dive through different planes of the fourth dimension. You may think that no items were dropped when you extracted a tree, but scroll through 4D space and you may find a tree branch that was previously hidden out of sight.
Similarly, you will find cavernsdive to be much more intricate than in Minecraft. To find the cave entrances, you will likely have to scroll through the fourth dimension and keep scrolling once inside. Otherwise, you will miss items, paths, lava, and enemies.
Oh yes: the enemies. In this game, your enemies are 4D beings, which means that you may not even see them if you are not in their correct perspective. You also can’t see their full form – you can pan around the planes to see different sides of enemies, but their full form will always be hidden in 4D space that you can’t see. The first enemy you seem to encounter is a 4D arachnid called a hyper spider. If the concept of a spider hiding within another dimension triggers your arachnophobia, I wouldn’t blame you.
As you play, you’ll be able to create tools to help you navigate this 4D world. The 4D glasses, for example, reveal outlines of items and enemies that you wouldn’t have seen from your current perspective. Suddenly those spiders aren’t so scary. You can also build a 4D compass to help you keep track of your current whereabouts and to better visualize your 3D cross section of the 4D world.
You will need those tools, because doing anything in 4D miner it is much more complicated than in 3D Minecraft. Even something as simple as building a shelter becomes a challenge, as you quickly realize that your 3D crafting skills don’t take into account all the 4D walls you need to put up. Your first shelter will be full of huge 4D holes if you’re not careful. Suddenly, the spiders are scary again.
4D miner it is currently available for free as a demo on Steam, with an official release scheduled for November. It won’t be the first 4D game to hit the market, but, according to this Wikipedia listit’s it is the first 4D game of 2022, and only the third released since 2020. As limited as these types of games are, they are still fascinating to play. Other interesting concept is 4D toys, which allows you to play with different shapes in 4D space. I like it 4D mineryou’re limited to your 3D cross section, so you’ll see these toys change shape and disappear as you move them.