For more than 10 years, we played block games on desktop and mobile devices, on consoles and VR headsets, and even enjoyed a promised Minecraft movie. But Minecraft Earth could be the next big phase for Minecraft: Take the crazy lo-fi sandbox game from your computer screen and put it into the real world where you can gather resources, encounter mobs, build structures and experience adventures with friends and strangers , everything on your phone.
Minecraft Earth is the latest attempt to change the way mobile phones play over AR. According to Newzoo, mobile gaming will generate revenue of $ 68.5 billion by the end of 2019, accounting for 45 percent of the global gaming market. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are tied to the future of immersive gaming, and although they have not started yet, a growing audience of players is taking to the streets not only to play Pokemon Go andbut also Also . (For this reason, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg .)
Minecraft Earth is currently available in selected regions for Android and iOS players who are looking for a pre-release version of the game. Microsoft has announced that it will publish the game from one country to the next by the fall. I've been playing the beta since I got access this week, and here's my previous experience with Microsoft's new AR game.
What is Minecraft Earth?
Minecraft Earth uses the popular unlimited sandbox game and turns it into an AR environment on your phone, much like Pokemon Go and Harry Potter did: Wizards Unite for these franchises.
As you walk around the map of the game, you will find "Tappables" – trees, treasures, chests, chickens, and other well-known Minecraft objects – that you tap to collect items that you want to keep in your inventory , You can also create models of structures and then place them in the real world on a large scale to explore alone or with friends. Each scale block is 1 meter high, and the structures you provide can be up to 64 blocks high. So for large projects you need some space.
And of course, because it's Minecraft, you'll find adventures on your map, such as surviving a skeletal attack or avoiding a lava pool to find treasures.
When will Minecraft Earth come out?
Starting this month, Microsoft plans to extend early game access to individual regions until it becomes available worldwide by the end of the fall. Once it's near you, you can start playing.
Sign up to become part of Minecraft Earth's Early Access program. Android users can also pre-register for the game and receive a notification when it's available.
Can I play on any Android phone or iPhone?
To play Minecraft Earth you need an iPhone with iOS 10 or higher or an Android phone with Android 7 or higher. You'll also need to have your Microsoft or Xbox Live account information handy so you can set up your Minecraft Earth account after downloading the game from the iOS or Android app store.
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Screenshot Clifford Colby / CNET
Screenshot Clifford Colby / CNET
As with Pokemon Go, you play Minecraft Earth primarily outdoors, searching for items on the map that you can collect and explore.
As you walk around, trees, pigs, chests, and other Minecraft items appear on the map. When you're within range of a touchable object, your phone will vibrate slightly and you can tap the item to add it to your inventory.
Collecting items gives you experience points or experience points to upgrade. Unlike other AR games, the inventory space is unlimited, allowing you to collect any number of stacks of oak logs or cobblestones.
At least in beta, the game blocks the collection of items when you are traveling at more than 24 km / h. So try to play as a passenger, but do not even think about building structures while you're behind the wheel.
Can you play Minecraft Earth inside?
Sure, to a degree. If you want to build, start with the so-called buildplates, pre-built in-world structures that allow you to create your own design. Basically you save time.
Building boards are easier to work indoors, where you can place the small model on a table and continue working from there.
The game comes with five of these ready-made templates for free, and there are a dozen other templates in the game's store that you can buy with rubies, the currency of the game.
The structural panels themselves each run from 75 to 375 rubies. You can earn rubies by collecting items found on the card, and you can buy them in bulk at the real money store, from $ 40 for $ 1.99 to $ 950 for $ 39.99. See "How to build?" Further information on building can be found in the section.
While Beta does not do this now, a gray tab promises you can smell ores and craft items. Microsoft said these features – plus new mobs – are on their way. Just like Adventures (see below).
How to create?
In Build mode, you are working on small model versions of structures. If you are satisfied with your creation, place a full version on the map of the game.
This version in full-size playback mode disappears when you're done with it. Any actions you take with this full version will not be saved in the build mode version of your tree.
And you can invite friends to help you build and explore structures. Even the smallest structures in original size are large. Make sure that you have enough space to set up and explore your structure.
What are adventures? , These adventures are marked on the map. When in range of an adventure, tap on it to enter.
If you're going on an adventure, you may have to dig up, hack, or fight enemy mobs. If you complete it successfully, you will be rewarded. And when you complete an adventure with a friend, everything you collect is shared. Although the current beta version does not include adventure games, Microsoft has announced that it will be available in later versions.
I will continue to play the game while Microsoft prepares it for worldwide release and I will keep this manual up to date with the latest news. In the meantime, you can also follow GameSpot's experience with Minecraft Earth.
Originally released earlier this week.