The craze that has completely swept the PC gaming world has spread to Android devices with Minecraft: Pocket Edition from developer Mojang. Minecraft is one of the best virtual sandboxes you’ll ever play in, and being able to play it on the go only means the productivity of the world will suffer even more than it already has.
The game is all about exploring the vast, randomly generated world of simple blocks and reshaping it to your own imagining. Unfortunately, this pocket edition is way behind the PC version at the moment. All you can do is build and destroy things. It’s like a giant LEGO world. Several kinds of blocks, as well as certain items such as ladders and torches, are made available in unlimited quality for your building needs.
Unfortunately, this version is missing the real meat of the game, which comes from crafting, avoiding enemies, and exploring. You can still explore now, but without the looming threat of zombies, spiders, and lava, or the thrill of finding a vast amount of some precious mineral, it just isn’t as compelling. All of that being said, I’m sure these features will be added in later, and you can expect several big updates to the game.
The simple art style looks great as always. The only major issue with this version is the lack of alternative control options. The D-pad with a jump button in the middle feels awkward and makes building more of a chore. But then, no matter what the PC version will be superior in that regard. The game is optimized for the Xperia PLAY, and I imagine this game is a lot better on that device. There is a multiplayer mode, but I’m pretty sure it only works if you’re on the same local wireless network. This mobile productivity destroyer can be yours for seven dollars, and there is of course, a free demo version. Although these first iterations of the game are lacking, Minecraft is the game that will likely never ever be finished, and there is no telling just how much will be added to the game. In Notch, we trust.