An updated version of Minecraft for Android is hitting devices now, and it brings in a number of exciting things, including the use of powered rails. How a game called "Minecraft" could exist for this long without minecarts may be initially baffling, but this is the pocket edition after all, and some things do take time to bring over to our handy mobile platform. Gamers hooked on this immensely addictive title will also be happy to know that this isn't the only addition making its way over from the PC version.
Today Minecraft developer Mojang is launching a beta program for the Pocket Edition of its absurdly popular sandbox game. Anyone who purchased Minecraft on an Android device via Google Play is eligible to join. This will give you early access to new, experimental features before anyone else and allow you to provide feedback that could impact future versions of the title.
To enter the beta program, interested players simply need to request to join the Minecraft Pocket Edition Test Group on Google+.
Minecraft Pocket Edition has had a hell of a development cycle. Each new point release brings a ton of new awesome stuff, though. Today, the app reaches version 0.7 and users get a whole bunch of awesome new features. Like fire. Fire is cool. Spawn eggs have also been added. You can use these items to create sheep, pigs, cows, or chickens.
The new version also includes an in-game chat function (finally!) and initial support for Minecraft Realms.
Mojang may have a mortal fear of giving releases full version numbers, but that hasn't stopped the company from cranking out new features like mad. Today's update brings a slew of new blocks (including Nether Brick, Block of Quartz, and Sandstone), as well as the ability to build staircases in corners. Oh, and one other thing: the sky finally has clouds now.
The new goodies don't stop there, though. Gravity is also finally in full swing, so now things like sand will fall when the foundations beneath them are removed.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition may have one of the slowest development timelines around. Of course, the main reason we accept this almost Valve-ian wait is because every time we do get an update, it brings awesome stuff like friggin' Zombie Pigmen. Oh yeah, and the Nether Reactor that summons them, which is exclusive to the Pocket Edition. Heck yes.
The update also brings a few other new features, like paintings and mushroom farming.
Minecraft is the world's most popular online multiplayer not-quite-Lego creativity tool/game with 8-bit graphics and zombies. It's also an Android game. Until recently, though, Minecraft Pocket Edition was limited to creativity mode, only a few materials, and players lacked the ability to fly. Today, that all changes. Minecraft Pocket Edition just got a whole lot more like Minecraft Normal Edition with the addition of Survival Mode, plus a ton of other new features.
One of the biggest questions about Minecraft: Pocket Edition since its release on the Android Market has been whether the game will be updated to include survival mode. For those not aware, Minecraft: Pocket Edition currently only supports build mode, a zen-like manner of play in which the user can freely build structures using a variety of materials and tools. Survival mode adds interest, surrounding you and your structures with monsters and animals.
If you've been holding back the jealousy since Minecraft's arrival on the Xperia Play, then a sigh of relief is in order -- Minecraft is coming to other Android devices on September 29th.
Just a bit ago, Daniel Kaplan from Mojang posted a video on his Twitter of Minecraft: Pocket Edition being played with touch controls along with the announcement that it will be available this Thursday, September 29th.
So, get ready Minecraft addicts outside of the Xperia Play world -- your time is almost here.