Entertainment

Minecraft Earth now available in US

Fans given early access to AR edition

(CNN) - Minecraft fans, the wait is over: Minecraft Earth is finally here.

The famed sandbox-styled game released an early access version of its long awaited augmented reality edition on Wednesday, which the creators, Microsoft and Mojang had been touting for months.

"Hey United States, we found your Minecraft Earth invite, it was behind the couch this whole time!" the game tweeted. "Welcome to early access!"

In Minecraft Earth, which fans are hopeful will rival the success of AR blockbuster Pokémon Go, players set out to build an 8-bit world utilizing virtual objects collected through their phone screens from real-world locations.

This experience is central to the gameplay: AR is not an option. It is required to build in the game. However, it is not required for users to interact with the Open Street Map, a collaborative map of the world, where users can build and create practically anywhere.

Players are able to embark on sharable adventures, working as a team to battle monsters and complete other challenges that help them earn rare resources and prosper in the game. Cobblestone, dirt, or sand are used to build structures. These resources are collected by mining from objects that are geolocated on the map. Minecrafters can then build the cubed fortresses of their dreams.

While the game is free to download on iOS or Android, there are some in-app purchases.

One thing to note: This is still an early access version. Players may encounter some bugs.

It's also a pretty hefty design, meaning its usage of your phone's data, camera, and location may potentially drain your battery faster than you'd like.

Still, if you're a fan of Minecraft or AR, get ready to pack up your batteries and take to the streets to test out the newest experience.


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