Minecraft fans, rejoice. Minecraft Pocket Edition just got updated to 0.3.0, and the new release finally adds the feature you’ve all been waiting for: crafting. Oh, and cows and chickens too.
There were those who, on the initial release of Minecraft PE, wailed and gnashed their teeth over the lack of crafting. What was the point, they asked, of playing Minecraft without having any access to the crafting bit?
The point was, I believe, not to rush into anything, and to make use of Minecraft’s excellent gaming reputation and the App Store’s unbeatable reach. The earlier versions of Minecraft PE might have lacked crafting, but they provided enough entertainment to pull in many thousands of new players who might never have heard of Minecraft if it remained wedded to the desktop.
I speak from experience. My 9yo son is a total Minecraft nut, even though he’s never done any crafting. He began with the first PE release and treated it like electronic Lego. He went crazy building: huge palaces, cozy cottages, enormous torch-lit caverns. As new features (Survival mode, zombies, etc) were added, he just adjusted to them.
Crafting, of course, adds a whole new dimension to the game. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, it’s simply this: as you explore your Minecraft world and begin to exploit the natural resources within it, you can start combining them into useful items. These might be tools, or materials. The materials themselves can be combined, crafted into yet more materials. The more time you spend crafting, the more advanced your little blocky world becomes.
Minecraft Pocket Edition is still $6.99, which some people consider expensive for an iOS game. In this case, your money is well spent. Minecraft is one of those games that has so much to offer in terms of variety and replayability. You easily get your money’s worth. And consider this: this is still only version 0.3.0 “Alpha”. There’s a lot more to come.