The graphics may not be the latest, greatest, high-definition type you usually see, but graphics are not what make the game amazing.
In the beginning, you wake up somewhere in the middle of a world of blocks where you must survive. These blocks can be destroyed and placed again wherever you choose.
To start off, you build a basic shelter to last you through the night. Monsters come out at night and you are surely dead without weapons. However, I recommend you start on peaceful difficulty, so no monsters will spawn and you can familiarize yourself with the game. After the first night, what you do is your call.
As you progress in the game, you will find randomly generated caves, dungeons, strongholds, and abandoned mine shafts. In these you will start finding ore such as iron, gold, and diamond. These can be made into weapons, armor, and a few other items. However, be aware that monsters are abundant in these places as well as the valuables.
There are also different terrains, or biomes, that you may run into. They include swamps, meadows, forests, mountains, tundras, and deserts. Each of these biomes is unique and they all offer different useful plants and building materials.
Animals also graze in abundance in the world of Minecraft. Pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens can all be killed for both food and useful resources. They are passive and will not attack you. You can also breed them and keep them in captivity. Wolves can be tamed and will defend against monsters. However, monsters are dangerous, because they will shoot you with arrows, hit you, or even blow you up.
There are three meters on the bottom of your screen—the hunger meter, the health meter, and the experience meter. If you are wearing armor, there will also be a meter showing how well armored you are. The hunger meter shows how badly you need food. When this meter is empty, you will gradually begin to lose health. The health meter shows how much health you have. The health meter will regenerate if your hunger meter is high. The experience meter shows what level you are. You can gain levels by killing animals and monsters and collecting the experience orbs that they drop.
The controls are pretty simple—WASD keys to move, space to jump, shift to sneak, left click to destroy a block, and right-click to put one down. These can be changed in the options menu. Also in the options, you can adjust brightness, graphics quality, and difficulty. If you ever get lonely, there is also a multiplayer mode where you can connect to a server and play along with other people.