With Sony Ericsson teasing a very short Minecraft - Pocket Edition video a couple of days ago, our excitement levels are starting to rise ahead of a second hands-on at Gamescom next week.
There's a chance you don't know very much about the hit PC indie title that swept past all-comers last year, picking up game of the year awards, selling millions, and turning its creator into an indie superstar.
So if you're one of the four people that statement applies to, here are our top five reasons to be excited about Minecraft Pocket Edition. Read on, learn a little bit about the game and its imminent Xperia Play port, and find out why you should be excited too.
If you’re unfamiliar with Minecraft, it’s a game that sets you free to explore a randomly generated world full of blocks.
Every block can be removed and replaced somehow, and they all have different properties. For instance, wood burns and can be carved into planks or sticks. These in turn can be used to make a huge selection of tools, with which to get more blocks, and so on and so forth.
All the while you're troubled by the dangerous monsters and zombies that come out at night. It sounds simple, but it’s probably the most fun you can have without a jar of Nutella.
Pocket Edition will focus on the creation mechanics (it’s been called 'Creative mode') within a limited world, but it will still bear the name and feel of the real McCoy.
There’s a slew of clones already available to play for both iPhone and Android if you want to get a taste for what to expect.
Some of them are fairly good imitations, but none of them holds a torch to the real thing. That added authenticity and originality is sure to make it worth the $6.99.
It’s exclusive to the Xperia Play (for a bit)
Sorry, iPhone and other Android users, but this isn’t really a reason for you to be excited at all (please skip to item three).
If you're an Xperia Play owner, this is the time to tell everybody how clever and handsome you are for buying the PlayStation-y handset. Minecraft - Pocket Edition will be exclusive to your device.
However, project lead Jens Bergensten has revealed that it'll only be exclusive “for a while,” so savour that smug feeling of superiority while you can.
You can play it with friends
In certain conditions, anyway. Mojang has confirmed that you’ll be able to jump into other people’s world’s and play about with them or work together to build something special.
Right now, this is restricted to LAN multiplayer over wireless. There's no word on any internet play at this stage, but Jens has also said that it might get Bluetooth network capability as well, as part of a later update.
Mojang is famous for supporting its titles with content. It’s still work on adding new blocks, monsters, animals, and tools to the PC version, despite the fact that the team could easily sit back, crack open a cold one, and watch the money roll in for the rest of time.
It isn’t unreasonable, then, to expect a similar level of support for Pocket Edition. Even if the initial release disappoints you, you can be sure that the Swedish developer will listen to every little piece of feedback and suggestion, with a view to improving any flaws.
It’s back to basics
Maybe less of reason to get excited if what you enjoy about the PC version is evading the Creepers and digging deep into the earth’s core. But if you’re a fan of building structures and engineering grand castles Pocket Edition’s Creative mode is perfect for you.
It’s very similar to Minecraft’s Classic mode (and the Alpha version of the game from back in the day). It takes place within a limited world, but you automatically have a choice of blocks fitted across the bottom of the screen like a paint palette, so there’s no hassle of collecting and saving up blocks for later – a time-consuming (but strangely compelling) gameplay feature of the PC edition that sadly wouldn’t translate well to the phone version.
On the bright side, this means you can focus on constructing elaborate and beautiful worlds of your own design without having to worry about everything being blown up by those pesky green creepers.