How ’bout a little Mojang in your pants? Behold crafting public! Your prayer has not gone unheard! Minecraft – Pocket Edition has arrived!
For quite some time us Minecrafters have starved for a mobile edition of this beloved retro throwback. Minecraft – Pocket Edition is the official Mojang AB version of the PC hit Mincraft. If you have not played Mincraft the game is quite simple, it’s a “sandbox” type game where you interact with the environment and make different objects out of different materials. If you hit a tree enough you get a block of wood, which you can then craft into planks, or sticks, which you can then turn into swords, pickaxes, shovels, and on and on. There are two game modes, creative (which is like digital legos), and survival (wherein zombies roam about at night trying to kill you).
Here’s the bad part, unfortunately Mincraft – Pocket Edition, has a much smaller selection of items than the full computer game. Unlike the crafting system on the PC game, the mobile app shows all of the possible items you can make when you access the crafting table. There are some key components missing, such as anything made of Iron, let alone armor of any type. This isn’t a terribly big deal due to the fact that the only enemy in this app are zombies (sorry folks, no creepers or evil pigmen). While this is disheartening I’d remind hardcore Minecraft fans that Mojang put out several free expansions which made Minecraft the game it is today, I strongly believe that such will be the case with Minecraft – Pocket edition as well. Considering Mojang’s love of updates I imagine this app will eventually be much closer in content to it’s PC origin.
The game makes use of the onscreen directional pad system and objects in the environment are manipulated by tapping on them (in rapid succession to kill stuff) or tapping and holding to repeat an action (such as cutting down a tree).
The graphics are in the same blocky pixelated style as the original Minecraft; any retro games fan will appreciate the style. The app has an option to turn on “fancy graphics” which appears to have little effect (tree canopies become transparent instead of opaque). This game has no music, and sound effects are the same old-school bleeps and bloops which retro gaming lovers will find very endearing.
If you’ve never played Minecraft on your computer this app is a pretty good way to ease into what the nerd cultural phenomenon is all about. If you’re a diehard Minecraft fan this app is fun to mess around with to get a fix, or perhaps practice building before putting them on your server. As a Minecraft PC game fan I was disappointed at the lack of items, however, I’m sure more will come as the developers figure out how to cram them into my iPhone. If you’re looking for a carbon copy of Minecraft don’t get this app; it’s very pared-down and you’ll be disappointed. If you’d like to try Minecraft out before installing it on your system give this app a shot.