APP NAME: Minecraft – Pocket Edition
DEVELOPER(S): Team Mojang
RELEASE DATE(S): November 17th, 2011
Minecraft is one of the most popular games on any platform, and now it has finally made its way to iOS. In Minecraft you have tools for creation and destruction allowing you to craft an entire world, block by block. Minecraft – Pocket Edition is universal for all iOS apps, and you begin by generating a sprawling world, and then you can go to work. The first thing you notice is that the game creates an enormous world for an iOS device, and it’s great to see so much of the depth from the computer version come to the pocket edition.
You begin with an entire world, and you have the ability to add any blocks you want, and there are 36 block types. You can also destroy any blocks by simply holding your finger on screen until the blocks are smashed. You can create room on hillsides, dig trenches, or anything you want because there’s no limit to what you can create, destroy, and craft. The touch based controls are easy enough, and it’s smooth viewing and moving about the expansive worlds. The graphics are just as you would expect from Minecraft, and the best aspect is seeing your creation take shape.
The game itself is described as Alpha when you first launch it, and it’s definitely noticeable. The blade engine is there with the expansive worlds, build and destroy tools, and the ability to run smoothly. It’s the second level features that aren’t included with different modes, time cycles, animals, and specific creation tools. The survival mode is probably the most desired feature, because as it stands there’s not much incentive to keep building with blocks. It would also be nice to connect with worlds we’ve built on the computer allowing you to make adjustments while on the go, and see those changes when back on the computer.
Minecraft – Pocket Edition ($6.99, Universal) feels like a tech demo more than anything else as the outstanding Minecraft engine is there, but without any of the nuances to truly make it a game or even a worthwhile experience. The app is a great first step, but just isn’t ready for prime time at this point. Minecraft – Pocket Edition is worth skipping until some of the main features are added to the app, and we will be sure to come back to the review when updates are released.