If you’re a Minecraft addict jealously looking at your iPhone owning friends playing the game in AR, then your wait may be over.
“May be” because although the Minecraft Earth beta has arrived on Android, it’s invite only, and it’s currently only available in five cities: London, Stockholm, Tokyo, Mexico City and Seattle.
“Most of the same rules apply from our previous post regarding the iOS closed beta,” wrote Minecraft.net’s Kelsey Howard announcing the arrival on the Android version. “You’ll need to sign in once every seven days to keep your account active and you will need to sign up for an invite.”
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Also new in this version: rubies. That’s in-game currency to you and me. Apparently rubies can be earned during gameplay or bought directly and used to buy buildplates during the closed beta. Currently that’s Android only, but Howard writes that that iOS users will get that “very soon”.
If you’ve missed all the fuss, Minecraft Earth is a version of the building sim that can be played in the real world in AR. Pull up your phone screen, and Minecraft’s familiar blocky overlay will appear over the world around you, letting you build anything at any spot in the real world for other players to admire, hence the need for a slow rollout.
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This might sound like you’re going to spend a lot of time outside shivering in the cold while you finish off your complete replica of Neuschwanstein castle, but Microsoft says you’ll be free to build up a scale model in the comfort of your own home before you drag it out into the real world at full size.
Like Minecraft, the world will eventually be filled with spiders and creepers, just like the regular versions of Minecraft. The game is free to play, but you’ll need an Xbox Live account for tracking progress and so on.
Are you in the beta? Let us know how it is on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.