Minecraft: Pocket Edition

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Minecraft: Pocket Edition, sometimes referred to as Minecraft PE, is one my son’s favorite Kindle games.  The latest version includes “The End” and many other things that were previously missing from Pocket Edition and brings pocket edition much closer to “real” Minecraft. It’s not completely there, and it doesn’t support mods and playing on full Minecraft servers, but the experience is definitely making progress.  The rest of the review I wrote before the 1.0 update, when everything was still referred to as “beta.”

I was a little late to the party. I’m a 42 year old engineer who has been playing computer games since Lemonade Stand on my Apple II+. I remember thinking Zork was awesome. For those who don’t know, neither of those games actually had graphics…

So, when I started hearing about Minecraft I thought, “Huh?” I piddled with it a little and it was this clunky looking Java based game and I couldn’t really understand the appeal it. I derided it as a jumbled up, incoherent mess, and I wasn’t really wrong, but… I hate being wrong. My son started getting older. We bought Minecraft on the PC. We bought Pocket Edition on his Kindle Fire. I installed a private server for him and his friends on our Synology Rackstation (see my blog page about how to to do that). I even played a little while testing those things. Still: meh.

Somehow my 8 year old son, now 9, sucked me in. Geez. We’re now on our “Mark II” Pocket Edition survival world sharing between his Kindle Fire and my Windows 10 Beta version, and we have a system of rails, lava motes, redstone equipment (omigosh, I’m tediously creating digital systems!?!) and I’m completely hooked…. So, I stepped up and bought a 2nd PC copy because the Pocket Edition doesn’t quite cut it, and I want to play on our server.

OK, what does “doesn’t quite cut it?” mean? The Pocket Edition game (available on iOS, Android/Fire, and Windows 10 desktop and mobile) lacks some of the gameplay of the full game. Additionally, there is no real server version outside of Realms, so if you want a persistent world, you either buy a Realm or the host player has to log in to make it work. It’s been catching up with the main version, but some of the way things behave are also a little different, driven by limitations of the mobile platforms. That said, it’s still super fun.

The Kindle version has been keeping up. Sometimes Amazon’s Android fork has caused issues, or developers have half ignored their app store, and at one point I think Minecraft ran a little behind on Amazon’s app store, but since I’ve been sucked in, the Windows 10/iOS/Google Play/Amazon App Store versions have stayed perfectly synced. I think that if there’s a game that you don’t have to worry about, this is it.

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Amazon Links:

Amazon Download ($7)
My Amazon Review


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