Modder soultek101's Better Overwold: Project Zulu is an update of an old mod called Project Zulu: Better Overworld. Naming confusion aside, Better Overworld (let's just keep it at that simple name) is a mod that feels more like a mod pack. It adds a large suite of features like new mobs, structures, mechanics, and items, all focusing on the Overworld (aka. the regular dimension) of Minecraft. Let's take a look…
Better Overworld Ambient Creatures
One of the most developed features of Better Overworld is the host of ambient creatures it adds to the game. These are mostly peaceful creatures that roam the biomes of your world, filling it with more life. The animals included are very similar to what you might get in a creature focused mod like Animals Plus or Mo' Creatures, however here they are not the focus, so their design and behavior is not as well done as those mods - the models are a bit clunky and textures simple, and their AI only includes simple behaviors like walking around and attacking when attacked.
The list of ambient creatures is quite large and includes everything from regular forest creatures like foxes and rabbits, to biome-specific ones like penguins, and even fantastic ones like tree ents. Since this isn't a guide, I won't cover each of them separately, which is probably for the best since they mostly behave absolutely the same and follow logical rules, for example, penguins will spawn in the snowy biomes and drop feathers.
Better Overworld Hostile Mobs
Aside from the peaceful ambient creatures, Better Overworld also adds a bunch of hostile enemies, mostly to populate the structures the mod also adds (we'll get to those soon). The hostile mobs are numerous and follow the theme of the place they spawn at. Minotaurs and Mimics spawn in the labyrinth, Haunted Armors join them but also populate graveyards and so on. A large number of them are simple mobs that will just attack you on sight and keep going straight for you, like Zombies.
The desert-based hostile mobs include Mummies, Sandworms, and even Lizards, they however are accompanied by a boss mob (the only one in the mod currently) called the Pharaoh, who will fight you in phases. The first phase is still straight up charging at you, but later on he will cast spells at you, spawn help and even teleport, making the fight a little bit more exciting.
Better Overworld Structures
Minecraft's vanilla system for spawning random structures is woefully under-featured, and modders must agree since I see so many mods adding randomly generated structures to the game. Structures to spice up the world, and Better Overworld encourages this by adding 4 new structures. The Graveyard is a small surface structure with a couple of tombstones and some Haunted Armor mobs. The Labyrinth is an underground structure that has its entrance via a small entry on the surface that leads down. It is filled with spiderwebs and enemies, including the mod-added Minotaurs, Haunted Armors, and Mimics. There are even hidden rooms concealed by broken stone, which contain spawners and loot.
In the desert, which seems to be a big focus for Better Overworld, there are two structures. The first is the Oasis, a simple patch of grass, water, and palm trees in the middle of the desert. The second is the Pyramid, which houses lots of mobs, including the desert specific ones the mod adds. The pyramid is actually a multi-leveled maze on the inside, so searching it for loot may not be as simple as it looks.
Better Overworld Items and Blocks
Better Overworld also adds a number of new items and blocks to the game, a lot of which work in synergy with the other additions. Among the items there's lots of loot for the new mobs and creatures that is self-explanatory, as well as a huge range of new potions to go along with that loot. Notable are the new armors, Fur, Cloth, Cactus and Scale. Fur is made from animal fur dropped by the new creatures and cactus from cacti, but cloth and scale armors are unique because they can be made using many basic materials, making for an interesting range of possibilites. For cloth, you can craft armor from any color of wool, allowing you to make armor of any color! Scale armor is crafted with scales from creatures added by the mod, but can be combined with the regular materials (diamond, iron, gold) to make the armor more effective and change its color.
On the block side, aside from the expected mob heads for all the new mobs the mod adds, there's two types of campfires - regular and stone. The main advantage of a campfire over a torch, besides the cool look, is that a campfire is impervious to water (in both regular and rain form). The second important block is the tombstone, which works in sync with the new respawn system whereas when you die, all your XP and items are stored in a tombstone and won't despawn. You can get stuff back by right clicking or breaking the tombstone. This does make the game a lot easier, and I found that the new mobs were not hard enough to balance this huge advantage, so turn up your difficulty if you don't want the game to become too easy. The last block the mod adds are the ivory spikes crafted from elephant tusks. These can be placed on ground or on fences to provide additional protection to your base.
That about covers it for Better Overworld: Project Zulu. I guess the main thing to take away about this mod is that it is big and covers a lot of features, making it an overall nice pack, however, the quality of its individual components are not good enough to beat out mods that specialize for that specific feature. While you could always go to work and install a dozen mods to add all of the stuff Better Overworld adds, but more in-depth, as a pack it does provide a lot of value for those wanting to install just one thing and go. If you'd like to try the mod yourself, you can get it here:
Download the Better Overworld: Project Zulu mod here!
- Install the Forge API.
- Run Minecraft at least once.
- Put the .jar file in the mods folder located in your .minecraft folder.
- For any additional info, head to our big Mod Installation Guide.
- Ready to go! Enjoy.
Like always, feel free to leave any feedback you might have in the comment section below.
Version of mod reviewed: v1.4C2 on Minecraft 1.7.10.