By Stephen Schenck | August 16, 2011 10:11 AM
Since February, we’ve been hearing about the effort to bring indie gaming breakout hit Minecraft to smartphones. In May, we learned that the port would launch as an exclusive title for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, and after a period of exclusivity, be available on additional Androids. If you have a Play, though, your chance to start building has arrived, with Mojang announcing the app’s release today for about $7.
Mojang hasn’t released an exhaustive list of what features are and aren’t present, but from the sound of things it’s had to make some judgment calls about what features from the PC version would survive the transition. For now, the app is being released as version Alpha 0.1, with promises of frequent updates, so just because something might be missing now doesn’t mean it will stay missing for long. The current Android experience sounds very much like Minecraft Classic, without the elaborate crafting system and enemy battles found in the latest Minecraft Beta release.
One big change is the inability to connect to multiplayer servers, a major component of the PC version. You can connect locally with other users on Xperia Plays sharing your network, but that makes putting together multiplayer games sound like quite the chore. Hopefully, remote multiplayer is one of those features planned for a future update.
There’s no word on just when other Androids might see the app, nor of the once-mentioned iOS port.