Friday, February 24, 2012

Game Review: Minecraft Pocket Edition

If you don't know what Minecraft is, chances are you've only started using the internet this very second. :)

Minecraft is the Indie game that took the world by storm. It's a big sandbox game where you can shape the world to your exact liking. Add to that the harvesting of resources and building stuff (anything from a small log cabin in the woods to deep underground mines and glorious works of art!), as well as zombies and sheep, and you've got a pretty amazing and addictive game!

People will complain about the blockiness of the graphics, but that is what gives this game so much charm and personality! It just shows you, a games doesn't necessarily need awesome and high detailed graphics to be awesome!

Now, the pocket edition is a work in progress, much like the desktop version was for so very long. As you can see in the above screen shot, we're on version 0.2.0 alpha. So at this stage, it's not even close to what the desktop version is, but it's definitely getting there!

I bought the game for $0.10 when Android had there massive app download drive, but you can still buy it for $6.99 - a little steep for my liking (very happy that I got it for ten cents!), but I foresee great things for this little gem in the mining (see what I did there?? Gem? Mining? Minecraft??? ;P

Luckily, a demo version is available, so you can get that to first check it out.

Get the full version here

And the demo version here

So, at this stage the game has two modes - Creative and Survival. Creative mode just gives you this big, randomly generated world which you can sculpt to your exact liking, where the Survival mode adds a few things, like gathering some resources, and fending of zombies at night!

Here is my little house by the sea, which I started when the game was still version 0.1.0 (no survival mode back then):

In the second screen shot, I'm actually flying (something you can only do in creative mode) - you'll also see the on-screen controls on the left. The button in the middle is to jump - double tap that one to fly.

I must say, the game's performance on my Galaxy S2 is extremely smooth and without drops in frames per second at all. It does take some getting used to using the onscreen controls like that. Looking around is done by tapping and moving your finger across the screen. If you tap an hold in one spot, you'll start digging that specific block if it's close enough.

Here's a few from my little house's "porch" :)

The survival mode introduces a few extra things, most notably zombies that want to do nothing but eat your brains. So the first thing you always do in a Survival game is build a shelter, so that you can survive the night's horrors!

As you can see in the above screenshot, I made my little shelter by digging out a cave in the side of a hill. I recommend doing that because it's quicker.

You'll also notice the health bar, so in Survival mode you can die! EEK! ;)

Furthermore, you can start gathering some resources, with which you can only build at this stage. In the desktop version, you can craft all kinds of stuff, like weapons, doors, furniture, traps, etc. I'm sure these will be added to the game as new versions get released! (Hopefully!)

With this version you have a limited range of blocks that you can place, but I'm sure this list will also keep growing as time goes by:

As you can see, you have an unlimited supply of most of the blocks and items, but some of them you have to gather in your adventures.

I was lucky and survived my first night :) I did face a few zombies, but that wasn't too hard:

Anyway, this is a really good little time waster, and the promise of more updates to expand the features of the game means it'll keep on getting better and better. (I'll keep everyone posted on the updates as they happen!)

One thing I haven't tried out though, is joining some friends in a multiplayer game. If you have, feel free to leave some comments on how that is! Also, if you've build a masterpiece, and would like it to be featured on this blog, please let me know, I'd love to show off some of your hard work here :D

Time to go build a basement for my house! (will post some screen shots of that later!)

Till next time!