A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Minecraft Earth is a mobile, location-based, augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices based on the hit Minecraft franchise. The game uses augmented reality to merge elements of the Minecraft games with the real world. Players travel around, searching for and collecting various materials, using them to build customized structures to place in the world and share with others. Players occasionally enter combat, fighting against hostile creatures in the game and fending them off with a variety of makeshift weapons. The violence is light though, with no onscreen blood or injury. Due to the location-based gameplay, players need to make sure to stay aware of their real-world surroundings while playing. Parents should be aware that the customized nature of some of the in-game content could expose younger players to potentially offensive content.
What's it about?
Enter the world of Minecraft anywhere you go with MINECRAFT EARTH, the mobile, location-based, augmented reality game that gives players the opportunity to carry an entire world in the palms of their hands. You can discover and collect materials for your Minecraft creations while on your daily travels in the real world. Then, you can use your finds to build your own custom creations and share them with others. That means creating a farm, building a castle, or crafting a monument to whatever strikes your imagination. You can also join with friends and dive into original quests, exploring dungeons and fighting creatures, collecting treasure and earning rewards for everyone. There's a great big planet out there just waiting to be seen … and a Minecraft Earth just waiting to be built.
Is it any good?
While the world outside is full of its own brand of wonder, there's something to be said about being able to watch the visions of your imagination take on a life of their own. That's the magic of Minecraft Earth and the way it interacts with both players and the world they live in. It's one thing to simply walk around and tap on materials scattered around the map, though it's still nice to occasionally stumble across some rare item or cool material. But it's the other layers of the experience that separate it from the rest of the pack. It's a blast to come upon a beacon of light shooting up from the map, then dive into some random, unique adventure. Whether it's solving a puzzle, skirting past booby traps, or fending off strange creatures, these realtime quests make you feel like Indiana Jones on the cusp of some great discovery. And the experience is even more fun if you find a few friends to party up with for the challenges ahead.
Of course, it wouldn't be Minecraft without the "craft." Crafting is the other half of what makes Minecraft Earth so much fun. Players earn or buy premade "Buildplate" templates, then use AR (or augmented reality) technology to drop the template onto a table, moving around the structure and customizing it to your liking. This takes a little getting used to if you've never played a Minecraft game before, as there's not much in the way of tutorials to guide new players through the experience. But once you've built something you're proud of, the game lets you take your creation and place it in the Minecraft Earth map full-sized for others to view and interact with. The result is a sort of virtual art gallery that encourages visitor interaction. There are two very important warnings to make about the game, though. First, ALWAYS stay focused on where you are in the real world when playing, so you don't find yourself in the middle of a street or trespassing on others' property. Second, although offensive content can be reported and is usually quickly removed, there's still a chance to stumble onto something that might be objectionable, especially to younger players. But aside from the warnings, Minecraft Earth is a great way to bring a little of your favorite game from the screen into the real world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about artistic creativity. What are some of the things kids can build using the tools in Minecraft Earth? How can the game be used to show off your personal creativity and imagination?
How is augmented reality used in Minecraft Earth? What are some other potential applications of AR technology?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: November 12, 2019
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: STEM, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- Size: 193.20 MB
- Publisher: Mojang
- Version: 0.7.1
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 12.0 or higher; Android 8.0 and up
- Last updated: July 1, 2021
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