Much like misery, Minecraft loves company, and as luck would have it, playing Minecraft in company is generally a recipe for misery. Not long after the game's Arcade release, for instance, we invited the Xbox Live community at large to strike the rock of OXM Land and raise mighty edifices for the glorification of our names to posterity. The Xbox Live community responded by burning OXM Land to the ground.
Great things have come of the realm since (it's now in the hands of OXM readers Pyro, Pwny, and Seiibutsu - if you want a tour, try dropping them a comment below) but welcoming another Xbox Live user into your precious creation remains a considerable risk, even given the addition of new Host powers and privileges. Trust nobody, not even the Minecraft World of the Week team. They've been known to "desecrate" things.
Perhaps it's better to open hostilities from the off, just in case - and with that in mind, here are some ideas for competitive multiplayer games you can play in Minecraft Xbox 360. Thanks to the denizens of Youtube at large for their ingenuity.
An old favourite on the PC circuit, and one of the easiest "modes" to set up. Simply build a large-ish arena over a lava pool, or sufficiently high up that falling off equals death. Then, hand every player a shovel and command them to dig away the blocks beneath each other's feet. I'm sure I don't need to paint you a picture.
The Hunger Games
If you're unfamiliar with the Hunger Games, it's a dystopian sci-fi novel cum film about cherubic teenagers in which said cherubic teenagers try to murder one another as part of a giant reality-TV tournament. To host your own Games, just wall off a bit of your world and fill it with nefarious traps, weapon caches, shelters and a limited supply of food. Last one to die, wins!
A little invention of my own, though I'm sure it's been dreamt up already. Find/dig yourself a decent-sized valley and build two majestic castles on either side, each housing a box of diamonds. Pile a bunch of construction materials and TNT blocks in the centre. Players then split into two teams, and must race to construct a TNT cannon (this way for pointers) atop each castle using the materials, with a view to firing on the opposing fortress and uncovering the treasure.
One for two teams of two players, one of whom rides a saddled pig while the other leads it on with a handful of wheat. When racing, the rider must place blocks ahead of the other team's pig to slow them down. Doing damage to the other pig is inadmissible, however. You wouldn't hurt a pig, would you?
Simple but sweet. Two players meet at noon one day in the centre of the map, then rush off in different directions and mine, craft, breed, forge and brew their merry hearts out. The next day at noon they meet up and do battle, using whatever they've managed to accrue in the meantime. As a master of indirect warfare, I favour Snow Golems, trained wolves and potion grenades, myself.