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Minecraft: Pocket Edition


Mobile games are time wasters. That’s the primary purpose of games on my phone. Whether I’m in a waiting room or even at school they are time wasters and not a gaming machine. Minecraft doesn’t fall into the category of a ‘time waster’ for me. So how is it?

Minecraft was released a couple of weeks back and I’ll be doing another review on that soon or just a update on new features. Even before Minecraft was released there was development of the game coming to other platforms which is always exciting, especially Minecraft coming to the Xbox but Minecraft to the phone? Could it be possible? It already had been possible for months on the Xperia if I’m not mistaken. I don’t have an Xperia so I got it when it came out to other phones, I have a Desire HD and I have to say it’s really cool on the big screen.

Unfortunately this review won’t be like a review of Minecraft on the PC. I’m not sure of the exact process of porting a game onto another platform and in most cases it is often frowned upon, not so much in Battlefield 3s case, it was actually praised, the porting apparently made the game better on console because of the advancements on the PC. PC elitists may disagree but who cares what they think? Anyway, getting slightly off topic. It really feels like they’ve tried to put the whole game onto a phone then slowly bringing it back and removing content until it runs well, and it does but with a lot less items and environmental features.

At first I didn’t appreciate Minecraft that much but later on you start to appreciate that actually the game is pretty massive. One unaltered world is something like 12 million blocks but don’t quote me on that and with the texture shader that was added in the beta the graphics got a lot more intense. You also don’t appreciate the render distance in Minecraft, it might not be a lot compared to other games but once you open Minecraft: Pocket Edition you really notice the difference. It took me a little while to notice but the render distance is pretty much non existent when you compare it to Minecraft on the PC. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. Also after a little bit of exploring I noticed that you do eventually come to an end of your world. On the PC I haven’t experienced this. Digging down it’s something like 64 blocks down which which is a lot less than on the PC and the only ore I’ve found so far is iron so I’m not sure if there is other ores down in the ground. Minecraft on the PC it takes forever to get to the bottom. Falling through the Earth has been taken out which I’m not surprised about.

The whole game at the moment is Creative mode which a lot of people won’t be happy about. Personally I don’t mind, I don’t have the patience to start a whole Survival game on a phone. Not everything is bad though after all, it is Minecraft! One of the best games created in my opinion. The auto jump is a great idea, the controls aren’t amazing, sliding your thumb around the screen and the clumsy directional controls in the corner obstruct a large amount of your view so not having to tap that jump button all the time is great. The filling, negative circle is a nice touch, the crumbling block animation as you click on it is a little pointless since your thumb is in the way. I haven’t played over WiFi yet, I haven’t had the opportunity to but I imagine it is pretty cool and a lot more exciting.

Believe me when I say I love Minecraft but I do not think this is worth €4.99. It’s probably worth $5 or something as well. When I say it’s not worth it I mean it’s not worth it at the moment. Right now there isn’t environmental features and enough objects that make the game great. Huge mountains, cave systems and mobs are needed to make this game at least standard. I know comparing this to the PC version is a little bit unfair but it’s the only thing that we know and the PC version is the standard. Mojang have been raising the bar more and more and right now it doesn’t even feel like alpha, pre alpha more like. I have full confidence that Mojang will make Minecraft just as good as it is on the PC, my only fear is that will it only come with new and better phones? I’ll definitely check out Minecraft on the Xbox 360 when it comes out so check this space for that.