One of the most popular games, Minecraft is making its biggest leap to an augmented reality game called Minecraft Earth (ME) playable on iOS and Android.
There are many other augmented reality (AR) mobile games, however ME will allow you to collect items and actually build structures that all your friends will be able to see and even help you with.
Similar to Pokémon Go, ME will use OpenStreetMaps data including all inferred information including all safe and unsafe places. Much the same popular pokestops, the ME map will have the tappables.
As in the original game, you will find as well in ME animals that you can catch like any other items and you can also breed them.
Other exciting features are the adventures which are small AR instances in which you will fight monster, collect resources and so forth. All this instances including the items found are shared between friends so fortunately, no player-versus-player combat for resources.
In ME you will be able to dig into the ground, build any structure as each build plate is completely open-ended and yet closely bounded. Is quite exhilarating to see how your miniature build plate becomes a life size and part of your building.
To ensure players find their friends on exact map location in real time, Microsoft is using new Azure Spatial Anchor system. As per the ME testing team, at least 10 players played together into one instance quite smoothly without major issues.
The developers are also working hard on ensuring no adventures will spawn on private properties or unsafe areas like a highway for example.
One notable limitation is that in ME verticality is a very important part of building, however in the real world you cannot climb the stairs or descend into the cave you just built into your virtual world.
Although is not narrative-driven, millions of people are playing this game and creativity is the only limitation of what they can do in it.
In support for kids experiencing the game, the developers added an icon indicating that is not safe or cold be scary for them. Last but not least you can donate build plates to your friends or they can “steal” them from you however game is structured in such a way that it should not be an issue causing grief.