Minecraft recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary and as part of that, revealed the next step for the blocky crafting game that took over the world. It's...going to take over the world some more, thanks to the magic of augmented reality. Minecraft Earth is the name of the AR game that aims to turned the real world into a sandbox, and it could be the next AR craze a la Pokémon Go! Here's how to make sure you get it ASAP.
A whole decade on, Minecraft remains incredibly popular, especially among youngsters. Microsoft says about half of all children in the US between ages 9 and 11 still regularly play Minecraft. So it's no surprise that Mojang and Microsoft have been working together to integrate the Minecraft universe, with its different materials, tools and creatures, into the real world.
What will Minecraft Earth be like?
Early hands-on sessions with the game have revealed some interesting details about gameplay. One part of the game involves wandering around looking for and collecting resources, looting around your neighborhood for rewards. Which is far enough, since we can't have everyone picking up a shovel and digging in real life. But you can also discover 'adventures', which, if you activate them, superimpose Minecraft environments as 3D holograms over the real world, visible through your smartphone cameras. Enter an adventure and you'll have to deal with traps and enemies but also get greater rewards. Even more fun: you can co-op with friends to raid dungeons together.
Of course, Minecraft Earth will also have actual crafting, where you put the resources you've gathered to use to build your own virtual house, castle, statue etc., Lego-style. Players who have managed to get their hands on rarer materials will no doubt command considerable bragging rights.
Pre-register for Minecraft Earth
Release is expected sometime during summer but you can already sign up on Minecraft Earth’s official website, but be warned, you need a smartphone with Android 7.0 Nougat or newer. You'll also be prompted to submit credentials for Google Play and Microsoft or Xbox Live. Once that's done, not only will you have the chance to play before anyone else, but you'll also get a free skin.
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Are looking forward to Minecraft Earth? Or does the thought of gamers crowding the streets bring back bad memories of accidents from Pokemon Go?