November 18, 2011 was a milestone moment for Minecraft. The game finally left beta, and several foundational features were implemented: potions, enchantments, and The End. Also included was Hardcore mode, which Notch had joked about just a few months earlier. To a very small niche of the gaming community, the dots connected: Minecraft was winnable; Minecraft had a Permadeath option; Minecraft was the newest rouguelike.
While roguelikes traditonally featured top down, 2D grid-based dungeon crawling, the last decade saw the genre regain popular acclaim, with games like Spelunky, Crypt of The Necrodancer and The Binding of Isaac using the formula to great success.
Playing Minecraft like a roguelike is still possible in 10.2, but aspects that make it a compelling survival adventure/building sim/all-encompassing game can detract from the roguelike experience. Living on the edge of your seat, constantly in fear of losing everything is exciting, but rebuilding everything from scratch and spending hours finding the resources you need can be needlessly frustrating.
The challenge of roguelikes is in pressing your luck, scavenging for the best equipment, managing a dwindling pool of resources, and fighting to survive. To make that next respawn a little bit more manageable, or for someone who needs some help starting out, here are some of the best seeds and spawns to help you clear the ultimate vanilla Minecraft Challenge.
All the seeds here were tested to work on the PC version, running 1.10.2.