If you've always thought your neighborhood could use some more blocks, you're in luck. This morning, Mojang announced Minecraft Earth, a new Minecraft game that transports the survival and blocky building of Minecraft through your phone via augmented reality.
Minecraft Earth will launch in closed beta this summer on AR-capable iOS and Android devices. If you want to get in, you can head over to the sign-up page, which states you'll need a mobile device that runs at least Android 7 or iOS 10, as well as a Microsoft or Xbox Live account.
The launch trailer shows players using their phone as a lens around town, constructing buildings and seeing blocky wildlife in all its geometrical splendor. Much like Pokemon Go, it seems to mix game elements with real life to create an interlaced world. Looking forward to my local park teeming with Minecraft Earth players this summer, I suppose.
You'll be able to build creations and place them in the real world, in life size. You collect resources through Tappables, which can be clusters of blocks, enemies, or chests. There will also be survival elements, as you'll have to battle mobs who roam your neighborhoods. You'll be able to go on Adventures, which are tiny slices of Minecraft gameplay that integrate with the world around you, like a mine in the sidewalk that holds treasure down below.
Builds can be crafted in a tabletop-sized environment, then placed on Build Plates to see them spring up in real life through your phone. In a press release, Mojang says these are "permanent," so no hint of PvP or base control similar to games like Ingress yet.
Minecraft Earth will be free to play, and Mojang emphatically states in one section of its FAQ that there will be "no" loot boxes. The game will also be rolled out gradually to different regions to "ensure everyone gets the best play experience," though Mojang says Minecraft Earth will support all the same languages as regular Minecraft.
It will be interesting to see if this game ends up inspiring the same fervor as Pokemon Go did, though hopefully with less regional issues and dangerous trekking. Still, the allure of seeing a blocky utopia of my own design sprout up in my backyard is extremely appealing.
We'll see more once the game lands in closed beta this summer. In the meantime, keep up with everything you need to know about Minecraft Earth in our guide.