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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MineCraft for Android

Stop right there. I know you were just about to chew me out for writing about Minecraft pocket edition because it has been out for some time now. This is mainly my opinion but I will be mixing in a review and maybe a video or two. If you don't know already, Minecraft has recently been released for the Android platform. Originally the game was exclusive to the Xperia Play but has recently found itself on quite a few different devices. I will be testing the demo (HERE) on the OG Droid, Droid 2 Global, and Acer Iconia Tab. Just for reference spec wise the OG is running Liquid Rom at 1.1GHz with 512MB Ram, the Global at 1.2GHz with 512MB Ram, and the Tab at 1GHz Dual core with 1gig of ram.

Alright so my first impression of the game on my Global was that it was kind of slow loading. Bringing up the world took quite some time but then again it is generating a rather large field. Only minimal lag was ever experienced during gameplay and I had no issues with crashes. There was a weird thing where the world just ends in blue but that might be part of the game. Controls are a bit odd to get used to. There is a four way directional pad on screen to the left with jump in the center and your block selection in the center. To mine blocks you just tap and hold. To place a block just tap. Jumping over things is nice as you don't have to push the jump button if you are walking and facing the block you want to jump over. Made things a lot easier in my opinion. I would definitely like to see some controls for keyboards as a good number of devices make use of them but the performance is pretty good.

Alright so the Droid Global will be my control as it is in the middle spec wise to my other two devices. Next up is the Tablet which had a much improved speed boost. Loading the world was noticeably faster and no lag was experienced at all. Playing on the larger screen was a nice treat and touch controls were a bit more bearable. On that note though a big thing I have with control is the four way direction pad, you can't swipe to other directions and have to physically lift and tap. I would love to see a circle pad in its place.

Moving on we go to the OG Droid which is a few years old. The first thing I noted was that load times were roughly the same as the Droid Global, second thing I noticed was that looking around didn't work. For some reason swiping to pan the camera refused to work despite being able to do everything else. Gameplay lag was a bit more evident on this device but wasn't unbearable. In my opinion this game will be played mainly on tablets or high end larger screened phones.

Multiplayer is going to be a big thing with Minecraft as you get to play around with friends and create amazing things. For now you can only play over a LAN connection so everyone needs to connect to wifi. Just set up a hotspot with your phone and all will be fine. I tried running off the Global and incurred a couple issues mainly ending with disconnects of players and other various bugs. When I switched over to hosting on the tablet all was well again so you might wanna use a higher end device as the server. One great thing I noticed was you can get around the demo limit of world saves using multiplayer. If you leave a server running then just connect to it and the world is saved. I can't wait till tomorrow when I get a good chance to try out multiplayer but for now it seems to work incredibly well.

Final thoughts on this game are that it is amazing. I loved the desktop version and the mobile version doesn't disappoint. There are a few things I would change but oh well. Maybe they shall come in future updates. This is still an Alpha build after all. Make sure you check out the free demo and leave your thoughts comments ideas and more down below in the comment area of wonder. As always, have a great day and see you next time!?

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