App Reviewed on: iPad
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Minecraft is one of those games that snuck up from nowhere and grabbed gamers’ attention in a hurry. The computer game has not even announced an official release date, yet it has sold over a million copies. This is mind boggling to many, yet exciting at the same time. Now this addictive game is starting to find its way onto iOS in the way of Minecraft World Explorer. This is a great idea that, sadly, is hampered by some poor execution.
If you have never laid eyes on the Minecraft world, it is a game that sparks your imagination. You have items like grass, sand, stone, snow, and other environmental building cubes. You use these items to construct a world however you see fit. The only limiting factor is your imagination and the amount of time you are willing to put into this endeavor.
Minecraft World Explorer takes this building mayhem and brings it to iOS. There are no exploding cucumbers or flammable skeletons here, like there is in the computer version. It is just you, an assortment of construction materials, and a wide open world. Keep in mind, the world you play in is completely randomly generated right on the iPad. If you don’t like what you receive, just delete the world and try again. A nice touch is that even the underground caverns make an appearance in the iOS version.
Another nice touch is the ability to bring in your hard work from the computer version of Minecraft. There is an easy to read tutorial that will help you get your crazy world ported right into the iOS app. This is a huge help for those that want to work on their worlds while on the road.
All this fun does come with some rather large downfalls. First off, there are no monsters in this version. You won’t fear spiders, creepers, or skeletons invading your world here. Another downfall is there is no item construction. You won’t be building a workbench so you can craft bookcases, picks, or armor. This is a light version of the game that will allow you to build a world free from harm. Having no enemies to fight is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because you are free to build with no worries of death, yet a curse as it does take away a bit of the charm that is fearing sunset in the game.
Those who enjoy retro visuals will have a lot to enjoy here. Everything is constructed of pixilated cubes, and that includes the sun in the sky. Items like snow, sand, gravel, and grass blocks are clearly distinguishable. Issues like open skies randomly appearing in areas you are digging are common, but resolved by simply moving around. Overall, this game carries the same retro look and feel as its bigger, computer based, brother.
The biggest issue comes in the performance of the game. The randomly generated world is huge. Rendering this massive playground is rather taxing on the iPad. Players will need to enjoy an abundance of loading screens and stutters as rendering this expansive world chokes the iPad’s processor. While the game never crashed, I was met with plenty of lag just trying to get around my world. These stutters make for a frustrating gaming experience at times.
Unless you are extremely addicted to Minecraft, it would be a good idea holding off on purchasing this app until the official Minecraft game is released on iOS. This way you can compare the two and make the best purchase possible. That said, this is still a fun app, despite the performance issues.
Tagged with: $2.99, Minecraft World Explorer, robots and pencils