Microsoft and the Minecraft Team want to give Minecraft players a chance to try the franchise’s new AR game on Android. Minecraft Earth is already available as a beta test for people running iOS 10 devices. Now, that test is expanding to include Android 7 or higher.
You can sign up for Minecraft Earth now. You’ll need to have a Microsoft or Xbox Live account. You’ll also need to provide some other information as well as your choice of iOS or Android. Microsoft will then email you with details about how to get into the game.
Minecraft Earth is an AR game. This means that it augments the real world with computer graphics as well as gameplay mechanics. Using your smartphone and its camera, you can view Minecraft creations that people build and leave around your neighborhood. You can, of course, build structures yourself and leave them for others to discover.
This is obviously a lot like the megasuccessful Pokémon Go, which has players catching pocket monsters out in the real world. Like that game, Microsoft and developer Mojang are creating permanent digital installations in public. Some of these locations will offer players the chance to go on adventures.
In these adventures, you can dig through digital blocks to uncover chests and materials. You will even have to fight mobs. One of the coolest aspects of these adventures is that your position in 3D space is locked to the game. That means if you see some skeleton enemies underground, you will have to go down one story in the real-world to get to them.
Minecraft Earth does not have a release date for its public version, but the game is clearly making progress. So expect to hear more about it soon.