Minecraft Earth Early Access Review: A Bit Buggy, But The Potential Is There

jason_minecraftearth_earlyaccess
A bit buggy but fun. Mojang

Early access to Minecraft Earth is now live, but is limited. As of this writing, it's live in eight countries which include Australia, Canada, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, and Sweden.

Fortunately, I'm in one of those regions so I got to try this one early. My initial impression of the game generally is that it still is a bit buggy, but it's fun and the potential is there.

I'm going to approach this initial review focusing on the gameplay and the technical aspects.

Gameplay

While there are a lot of AR mobile games, let's admit that most people are familiar with Niantic's games. These are Ingress, Pokémon Go, and the newly released Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. If you're familiar with these games, you'll immediately get the feel of Pokémon Go once you log into Minecraft Earth. However, rather than being a clone, Minecraft Earth offers something more. After all, it is Minecraft.

One of the things I liked was getting resources through "Tappables." From the name, you simply need to tap on these objects continuously until you get resources. Unlike Harry Potter, you get a lot of these Tappables. In one area alone, for example, I was able to get access to five Tappables. There are even Tappables in areas that are considered remote.

In addition to Tappables, there are also adventures which can be seen on the map as an item having a beacon of light. You can also craft and smelt resources if you want. This being early access, there's not much to do yet, but it has the Minecraft feel and the music is relaxing enough to let you enjoy tappng away.

Technical

This is the part where most players are likely to get turned off, and there are a lot of reasons for this. For starters, once you start Minecraft Earth it takes a while to update. You're also going to need to have an account, so that's going to take time as well.

The location, while not perfect, is good enough. One problem is that it takes a while to detect changes. Meaning even if you've already moved there's a chance your icon is still in the same place or area. It also doesn't detect if you're in a vehicle, unlike Pokémon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Don't be surprised to see you character move from one point to the next very quickly. To be fair, I haven't had any problems with regards to Tappables since they load rather quickly.

You also need to have enough battery charged up if you want to play the game for long stretches. This is because while playing the game, your phone is going to be using data (if you don't have access to wifi), need access to the camera, and even use location services. As you can see, that's a lot of battery-draining resources.

There are also some issues on the buildplate and adventures. Though, again, hopefully these are going to fixed eventually. One of the things I liked, though, was that when you forget that your camera is covered, it gives you a warning.

Final Impression

Overall, Minecraft Earth is still very much in Early Access. There are a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, but overall I had fun trying it out. Hopefully that fun increases once the full game is released.

My advice? If you’re a fan of Minecraft and don’t want to ruin your experience early, then just wait for the full game after the beta ends. If you’re haven't yet tried the game, then Early Access is the way to go.

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