Why Microsoft might be the best thing that ever happened to Minecraft

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Picture courtesy Xbox
Picture courtesy Xbox

Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft maker Mojang might read like another “corporate behemoth swallows a beloved indie” story, but in reality this could be the best thing that ever happened to the game.

The inevitable snarky reactions on Twitter called out the deal as yet another reason to hate on Microsoft. While those might be valid points when it comes to some of Redmond’s more egregious enterprise software tactics, there’s simply no reason for worrying about the fate of Minecraft. When it comes to gaming acquisitions, Microsoft has shown itself to be anything but a harsh master.

Minecraft lures kids to museums like nothing else

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Playtime at the Anchorage Museum. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
Playtime at the Anchorage Museum. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — 12-year-old Josh couldn’t wait to get to the museum. For once, the visit wouldn’t be about “boring” old artwork or educational science, but something he really loves — Minecraft.

“This is great,” he said while tapping and mousing his way through a multiplayer Minecraft landscape that was part of an activity at The Anchorage Museum. “My friend told me about this and it’s way better than staying at home doing this in my bedroom.”

TuneIn Radio Pro gets unexpected price hike

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If you haven’t already paid to upgrade to TuneIn Radio Pro, then chances are you won’t be doing so anytime soon. The popular internet radio app just got a massive price increase from $3.99 to $9.99 for no apparent reason, making its free, ad-supported counterpart look like an even more attractive option.

Infinite worlds, pets, villages and more come to Minecraft – Pocket Edition

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When it was first released on iOS devices in 2011, Minecraft: Pocket Edition was just a shadow of what it was on the PC. Where as the PC version contained infinite worlds, Pocket Edition’s worlds were tiny and self-contained. There were no monsters, nor underground chasms. And so on.

For Minecraft fans hoping to play the game on the go, these omissions were disappointing. But over the years, slowly but surely, Pocket Edition has caught up with the features of its progenitor, and the 0.9.0 updated, released yesterday, makes Minecraft: Pocket Edition almost indistinguishable from having the PC version in your pocket.

This Week In Weird: 5 Games You Won’t Believe Exist

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Weird games header
Photo courtesy of Meghan Stratman

Hundreds of new games come out every week in the App Store. A select few are the next must-play title that everyone will be talking about (and ripping off) for the foreseeable future. Most of them are perfectly decent but may not receive the attention they deserve. And then you have the third group: games so odd, bizarre, and head-scratching that you’re not sure what to make of or do with them.

They aren’t necessarily bad; they’re just confusing and weird. And worst of all, people may never know that they exist. But that’s why we’re here.

Here are some of the strangest games to drop into the App Store this week. What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.

MonsterCrafter Pro Offers Creativity, Battle, And Questionable Pet Ownership [Review]

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Monster Crafter Pro

I have a really random PlayStation 2 game on my shelf called Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color. It came out in North America in 2002, and it was basically a game in which you drew your own Pokémon and then made them fight.

MonsterCrafter Pro by Naquatic
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free (promotional price)

Animal-abuse undertones aside, it was at least an interesting concept, and MonsterCrafter Pro follows in that same proud, if morally gray, tradition. But instead of drawing your murder-pets, you build them out of Minecraft blocks.

It’s a weird game for sure, but it has its charms.

Heartbleed Bug: How To Update All Your Passwords In Just 10 Minutes

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(photo Buster Hein, Cult of Mac)
(photo Buster Hein, Cult of Mac)

By now you’ve heard all about the catastrophic Heartbleed bug and how it has siphoned passwords, credit card numbers, emails and other data to the vampires who would drain all of us dry. From your love life (OKCupid) to your tax returns, there’s a lot at stake.

Since 66% of web servers are vulnerable to the bug, that means you’re faced with only task more fun than decluttering the garage: changing your passwords.

To help you on your password resetting chores, we’ve compiled the best tools to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Also, they’ll sync your new passwords to your iPhone — all in under 10 minutes. Leaving you time to watch Silicon Valley again.  You’re welcome.

Here’s how:

Minecraft On iOS Is About To Get A Hell Of A Lot Bigger

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Do you love playing Minecraft on your iPhone or iPad? So do we, but you’ve got to admit, there’s some compromises in playing Minecraft: Pocket Edition compared to the Mac, not least of which the size of the worlds. On the Mac, Minecraft worlds are infinite, but on iOS, they are extremely limited. But according to a new blog post, that’s about to change soon.

Don’t Starve: An Uncompromising Wilderness Survival Game [Deals]

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Don’t Starve’s intuitive nature from beginning to end makes it a highly addictive and enjoyable game to play, and almost perfectly teeters the edge of becoming a major time drain…without going quite that far. The combination of that well balanced gameplay and it’s super cool overall design makes it one of the best of the year.

And you can get Don’t Starve for 33% off – only $9.99 – courtesy of Cult of Mac Deals.