lightweight sandbox construction game
Minecraft has been dominating PCs and consoles for years now. So, it only makes sense that this popular simulation game is being adapted to your smartphone. Minecraft Pocket Edition has all the necessary features that will make both fans and newbies dig deep into their imagination but also test their survival skills.
Big game, small screen
Minecraft Pocket Edition has all the parts that made the original game famous in an accessible format.
The developers of Minecraft has taken steps to make the Pocket Edition as free-flowing as the original game. Once you’ve launched the app on your Android phone, you can immediately switch up the settings. It’s best to select Creative mode so you can familiarize yourself with the mobile version. This mode allows you to roam the game with reckless abandon because you have all the materials and ingredients in your tool box. No need to scavenge for wood, leaves or meat. They are there for you to familiarize and to try out. If you’re looking for challenges and rewards, then switch to Survival mode. As the name implies, you will have to fend for yourself by fighting off mob spawns, monsters and creepers while creating living spaces for your avatar. It can be nerve wracking at first since your inventory is empty, but not impossible. The developers are generous with the tools you can create with just a limited number of resources. They’re usually trees - which there are plenty of - sugarcanes, wheat, cows, pigs and sheep. With just these materials, you can harvest food, leather armor, beds, torches, etc. They’re also not that hard to gather. It usually takes a few wacks with your fists or with a sword. Just don’t forget to pick it up or it doesn’t count as a resource. Creating tools is not as hard as gathering since the game generates tools in your inventory. This is a convenient feature to have, but it would have been better if the developers also allow you to create your own weapons instead of a templated tool.
The interface of the game is easy to understand. The health bar on the upper left side is shaped like hearts, while the hunger bar on the upper right hand side is shaped like ham-legs. At the bottom of the screen is your inventory. You may be wondering where the map is. Well, there is no map. You have to source sugarcane to make one. What makes it more irritating is that sugarcanes are hard to come by. Sure, the map will only show empty plots of land. But, it would be better to have a map to see where you’re currently located or where you’re creating your builds. Without the map, you will end up running around looking for your creations. Another mystery is how difficult it is to make a wooden house. It will take some time to gather all the wood needed to make one. You can however, punch at a side of a hill to make a cave. This will serve as your home, while the wood will be used as a bed and a fire pit.
Minecraft is does not offer a lenient gameplay when you’re on Survival mode. Besides the challenges that come with filling up your inventory, you will have to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night. If they kill you, your inventory will return to zero. Don’t worry, you can still get them back. You will just have to return to the area where you died. These set of tasks will be overwhelming for first timers. What you can do is change your difficulty mode to Peaceful. That way, all monsters will ‘erased’ from the world until you’re confident enough to fight them off.
Where can you run this program?
Minecraft Pocket Edition is compatible with Android 4.2 and later. It is also available for iOS 8.0.
Is there a better alternative?
The appeal of Minecraft is that it you do not have an end goal and you are not part of a storyline. You are in the world that you create. If you are looking for a game that is the perfect balance of the sandbox and adventure genre, then play Terraria. This 2D action-adventure sandbox game is centered around building, crafting, combat and mining. Unlike Minecraft, the game starts with a fully-formed world. Using the tools already available to you - a pickaxe, a sword, and an axe - and other resources, you can craft new items and equipment. It doesn’t offer a rigid storyline, but you do have to complete specific goals like defeating a boss or retrieve a certain item. Check out Terraria for a structured and challenging gameplay.
By only maintaining the builds, inventory and mob spawns, Minecraft Pocket Edition is a fun and accessible way to play this iconic block game. The missing map and limited build options will make it difficult for both novice and experienced Minecraft players, but it is a minor convenience when you compare it to the ability to roam free and create your own builds.
Should you download it?
Yes. It may not have all the features of the original game, but it kept everything necessary to get new players into the game and fans entertained.
- Raw materials have multiple uses
- Challenging but rewarding gameplay
- Free-flowing creative mode
- Entertaining for players of all levels
- Lacks procedural generated map
- Difficult to procure necessary builds
- Limited challenges