Minecraft Earth, the upcoming mobile AR game based on the incredibly popular Minecraft series, went into closed beta a few months ago. Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a number of new gameplay details from those with early access, along with footage of new aspects of the game from last month’s Minecon convention.
At Minecon, the developers confirmed that the game will release worldwide on iOS and Android this month. We haven’t got anything more specific beyond that, however, it appears the game will be launching on a regional basis, bit by bit.
We previously detailed some of the core gameplay as seen in the beta, similar to that of Pokemon Go and other mobile AR games. However, we now have even more details about some features and experiences that make Minecraft Earth unique.
The biggest new details surround “Adventures” – a kind of story event that you can enter by pressing an icon on your Pokemon Go-esque map of the Minecraft Earth world. The best way to understand how Adventures work is to watch the footage above, taken from Mincecon last month. The events place an AR Minecraft structure in front of you and your friends, via your phone, to explore. Each adventure will vary – they can be combat orientated, feature puzzles or focus on mining through the structure or into the ground.
At the end, you and your friends will receive rewards for completing the adventure. It’s not just limited to your friends either – as the events are located in public locations, up to 40 people can join an adventure event while it’s in progress.
The recent beta and early-access builds didn’t include Adventures, nor did they include crafting or smelting items. However, all of these will be available at launch.
Character Building, Structure Building
The developers also announced at Minecon that the game will receive a character creator that will allow you to customize your Minecraft avatar with clothing and other cosmetics. Additionally, you can save up to 5 appearances and they sync across both Minecraft Earth and Minecraft: Bedrock Edition (on whichever platform you play).
A recent CNET article also gave us some juicy details on the AR building elements. Here’s the quick version:
- You can work on a small scale version of a Minecraft structure before placing it in full size in a location, via AR.
- 1 Minecraft block is 1m high in real life.
- Your structures can be up to 64 blocks, therefore 64m, high.
- You can buy “buildplates”, which act as a small prefabricated piece of Minecraft land for you to draft a structure on at small scale. You can later place these, with your structure on top, in full size (think of them as a Minecraft version of a LEGO baseplate).
- You get 5 baseplates for free. They can then be bought with the in-game currency, rubies, that you collect from exploring and playing. They can cost anywhere from 75 to 375 rubies.
- You can also buy rubies with real money – pricing currently ranges from $1.99 for 40, up to $39.99 for 950.
- Structures and builds can be worked on collaboratively with your friends.
All in all, Minecraft Earth is shaping up to be an impressive looking AR game. Let’s hope it can live up to the increasing hype.
Are you excited for Minecraft Earth? I definitely am. You can pre-register online to be notified when the game is available in your region. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.