My Minecraft Earth Diary
Braving the cold Swedish streets with our augmented reality game!
Once upon a time, an up-and-coming games company called ‘Mojang’ phoned up this impoverished British writer and offered him a job. Three years later, the mobile phone has finally redeemed itself for playing a part in that terrible mistake, by being able to run our new augmented reality game, Minecraft Earth!
At time of writing, Minecraft Earth is available in Early Access in nine countries (want to see if it’s out in your lovely part of the world yet? Click here for a continually updated list of Minecraft Earth-enjoying nations!)
Here’s what I’ve been up to in the game, a few tips for starting out, and my hopefully-not-tragic quest to obtain the Muddy Pig.
The first thing you’re going to want to do when you start playing Minecraft Earth is collect some resources to buld with. You do this by simply having the game open and walking around in the real world. Keep a watchful eye on the map and you'll soon ecounter tappables.
Tappables are little icons that are highlighted when you’re within range. A tree can be tapped to unlock different types of wood blocks. A cluster of blocks can be tapped to gain various blocks and resources (and, fair warning, the occasional skeleton). Chests can be tapped for all sorts of items and rewards.
Tapping any tappables also awards you experience points for levelling up (and every five levels, you'll unlock a new buildplate). So to fill your inventory and get your level nice and high, you’ll want to get within range of as many tappables as possible.
Mobs can be tapped as well, to, you guessed it, gain mobs!
I take Minecraft Earth for a walk through central Stockholm, and soon find myself crossing streets and heading down paths I don’t recognise, all just to get within range of more chests. I take an unplanned walk through a supermarket, seriously consider scaling a wall so I can tap the cow on the other side, and even look up at one point to find myself in a cinema, holding an apparently-purchased ticket for the Judy Garland biopic Judy.
Looking back now, it’s hard for me to pick a favourite moment from the experience, but Renee Zellwegger's performance as Judy Garland in Judy is phenomenal, and the musical numbers simply sweep you away. Sure, I’d have rather seen the gritty origin story of Judy from ‘Punch and Judy’ that I’d been expecting, but this is still an excellent fil- wait, what was I meant to be talking about again? Oh, Minecraft Earth! Yeah, that’s pretty good too.
Having been thrown out of the cinema for trying to tap a chest that was in someone’s popcorn bucket, I continue searching the city for tappables. Obviously having your eyes glued to your phone while out and about is far from a good idea. Luckily, there’s no need to keep staring at the map for tappables, because your phone will vibrate when one is in range and ready for a good tappin’.
But annoyingly, sometimes I’ll feel my phone vibrate and excitedly check it, only to find it’s someone texting me. Like my boss complaining that I’m not at work, or my boyfriend proposing to me, or some other inane rubbish that I can’t tap on to unlock more spruce logs. I highly recommend blocking all your contacts before playing. Less distracting.
If you find a beacon on the map, you can try an adventure! But I'd advise going in better equipped. There's loads of blocks to mine up and keep, but I've neglected to craft a pickaxe, so it takes longer. I'm also unarmed, so think it's best to flee before any of the nastier mobs showed up....
Also, I'm like, three days late for work. So I stop by the office!
"Have you finished that Minecraft Earth diary article you were meant to finish three weeks ago?"
"What are you doing to Jens' desk?"
"Are you stealing all the resources from my buildplate?!"
Irritating questions like these haunt my delicate ears. Can't my beloved Mojang colleagues see I'm trying to catch the Muddy Pig? I mean, write?
Anyway, I’ve got to briefly pause this feature now to go to some silly work meeting called ‘Does Tom Have a Future at Mojang?’. Be right back!
ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!
With the meeting finally over, I go to my desk to try and write this/eat snacks, when I suddenly see something on my Minecraft Earth map. Another beacon! I quickly turn to my BFF/arch-nemesis, writer Kelsey Howard.
“Kelsey, look!” I say, shoving my phone in her face. “Just a few feet away from the office is an adventure!”
“Tom, you pasty British fool, we live in Sweden,” she reminds me, slapping my phone away, “and it is November.”
But I won't take no(vember) for an answer. So a few minutes later, Kelsey and I are outside in the freezing cold, walking towards the adventure beacon. Kelsey is miserable and angry. More importantly, I couldn’t be happier! It’s adventure ti… wait, that’s copyrighted. It’s time for adventure!
This time I made sure to craft some weapons first. The trusty pickaxe will let me mine resources quickly, and a sword will stop this zombie and giant spider from getting the jump on me.
Kelsey’s fingers are too frozen to tap, so I have to brave the adventure alone. I stab zombies, slay spiders, bravely defeat that tree, and leave the adventure, rich in resources, experience and high self-esteem. Even Kelsey bellowing in my ear about how I’ve dragged her to her wintery grave can’t bring me down. If you’re cold, Kelsey, just warm your hands by all that lava! Oh, she’s walked off.
Want to try Minecraft Earth in Early Access yourself? Click here to see if it's available in your part of the world yet. Keep that article bookmarked - we'll update it every time we add a new country!