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Review Minecraft - Pocket Edition
Build your own 8bit utopia
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 28 Jun 2014, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Quality game design, interesting plot, addictive game play
Buggy, challenging controls, inconvenient to play on a small screen
Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android is sure to please die-hard fans, and might even make some new ones. However, I don’t think this plays quite as well as other editions.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition is yet another installment in this hugely popular game. If you've never played before, the basic concept behind the game is building your own world to your liking and specifications. Place blocks made of different materials, like stone, earth, ice, etc. and build structures from the ground up. It takes a lot of patience and planning, but the payoff can be very satisfying. Just think of Minecraft as a really huge virtual puzzle. You decide what the pieces are, where they go and what everything will ultimately look like. You’re only limited by your imagination and patience.
The controls work fairly well. I found it much easier to play in 3rd person mode, where the point of view is just behind your little builder guy. I did find it very jerky and difficult to move with any real precision, but then, maybe that’s the artistic choice here, given the blocky look of the whole thing. I know this game is supposed to look like 8bit graphics, but it shouldn't necessarily move that way too.
I enjoyed creating little pig pens and chicken coops, but really, that’s pretty small time compared to the creativity that can happen here. It’s a massive commitment to really build something spectacular from the ground up, but I see the fascination. The good thing is, for parents, this means this one app purchase should keep your kid busy for quite a while.
The biggest flaw I encountered is I could find no way to return to the main menus once the game began. Nor could I find a way to tweak anything. Once you’re in that quiet little realm, that’s it, there's no going back.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition will be a must-have app for those swept away with this world. As a relative newcomer, it all feels a little overwhelming and like I’m late to the party. I don’t think this one is for me, but I totally see the fascination. The game did not seem to overload my battery or be overly greedy with system resources. I just think the overall structure of this edition could use a little tweaking as far as menus and controls. It’s a little clumsy in this iteration, but fans are sure to love it all the same.