Minecraft – Pocket Edition for iPhone, iPad Review

On November 30, 2011

App Type: iPhone

Minecraft – Pocket Edition for iPhone, iPad Review

Our rating:

By: Mojang AB

Version #: 0.1.2

Date Released:

Developer: By Mojang

Price: $6.99

User Rating:

Minecraft has become a phenomenon over the last few years with Youtube being filled with all kind of tutorials, projects, vidcasts, dedicated to this cubical sandbox. Not only has the game been a smash hit on the Mac and PC, but it has now moved to the mobile platforms starting with the Sony Xperia, and then to the Android, and now to the iOS. With a fan base the size of Minecraft, it is a sure bet this title will a popular download on the app store, but the question is whether Minecraft: Pocket Edition is able to live up to the immense expectations that fans of the desktop game have.

For the uninitiated, Minecraft proper is an mix of lego-like building, and adventure gaming. You start the game with nothing, and everything you get in the game you have must make from materials you harvest (or mine) from the surroundings. The charm of the game comes from this synergy of building and adventuring in this world that is your to mold and use. Throw in a multiplayer aspect and you have a game that continues to astound with its replayability.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition is certainly Minecraft, from the load screens to the look and feel of the interface, the blocky pixel graphics give a veteran Mincrafter a familiar home to begin your existence in the Minecraft world. Each map can be randomly generated or generated from a speed word that allows you to share interesting maps. The biggest difference between the pocket and the desktop versions is apparent from the moment your start the game. While the desktop version has you starting with nothing, the pocket edition is more like Minecraft’s creative mode with an inventory of thirty-six different blocks. You can place them with a tap and a simple tab-hold will allow you to destroy any blocks that are in the environment.

So while Pocket Edition does have a fairly good interface for building, you are missing all of the adventure elements that are present in Minecraft. There isn’t any need to build shelters, and you wont be harvesting material for crafting. It almost makes me wonder why the game generates a landscape at all if you will be sending most of your time flattening it out for your creations. If you are working on a particularly big project, you can play with friends via local wifi, but online multiplayer is not present in this app.

My first impression of Minecraft: Pocket Edition was disappointment. I was hoping for a version of the original that I could simply play on my iPhone. The lack of adventuring features is akin to building with Legos, but not being allowed to play with them afterwards. This might appeal to some, but I personally miss this feature as I gave my building purpose. It wasn’t until I thought about it for a while that I realized that this could be the start of something great. I remember that the desktop Minecraft started as a creative only game, and slowly developed into the game it is today, so that may be the path Mojang has planned here. While the game as it is has potential to be fun for people that want to build interesting buildings and designs, I think I would say hold to the Minecraft fan who wants to explore caves and fight skeletons with swords and arrows.

We rate this app 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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