Minecraft – Pocket Edition Review
- A virtual playground of blocks fashioned in to a pixelated world; create structures or other block constructs at will.
- Seeded level generation; share your best finds with friends.
- Local wifi multiplayer; create and save group projects.
- Crashes-galore; most commonly after changing options.
- Control issues; automatic jumping isn't always quite so automatic.
- (NB. This is a Pet Peeve) Branding the game as 'Alpha'; internal build terminology has no place on released games - once you've crossed the threshold of 'pay to play' it's a release build that you also happen to be updating.
There was a time when saying 'Minecraft' was synonymous with punching and dropping blocks in to a virtual world; now it has far more depth thanks to continued updates and community developed modifications, but Minecraft - Pocket Edition features none of these and simply replicates what is already available online for free.
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Like so many others I have spent my time with and enjoyed playing Minecraft on my PC. While there are debates about whether it is a 'game' in the strictest of terms, there's no denying the sense of satisfaction that comes from setting a goal and working your way towards it. However, Minecraft - Pocket Edition...
... well there's no other way to say it other than "it's simply the free java browser version for your iOS device of choice," and this alone wouldn't be so bad, but it's also plagued with issues.
Getting around your randomly generated world is easy enough thanks to a lack of monsters - simple swipes allow you to look around while a giant virtual pad moves you back and forward, side to side, and jump. However, the game does get a bit confused as to what it can automatically jump up, with some blocks placed in the world (such as glass) causing your character to hump and slide around the transparent cube like a zero-g sex offender.
This aside, you're free to drop blocks in the world, from a selection of 36 different kinds, to build the fantasy structure of your dreams. Unlike the game's bigger brother there's no crafting, which means no doors or other useful structures to make the world interactive, severely limiting your creative output to what amounts to a virtual game of LEGO blocks.
Things are further restricted by the limited size of each world, taking a mere couple minutes to traverse from corner to corner, less if the randomly generated biome (note: singular) is flatter than others.
What you get for your money is a virtual block playground that you can also share with your friends on a local Wifi network. Unfortunately having tasted the PC version (which is also still a work in progress), Minecraft - Pocket Edition feels more like a diversion than the creative time waster gamers have come to know and love.
Worth grabbing if you can't fulfill that creative itch or you'd like to gamble on updates adding deeper gameplay content.