Microsoft Pokémon Go-alike Minecraft Earth has begun rolling out to its first group of beta testers – those who previously signed up and live in either London or Seattle.
Anyone with early access is free to post gameplay videos and impressions – and from these we have a good idea what’s in the game currently.
The Map screen looks very familiar to Pokémon Go, with things (“Tappables”) to click on in a radius around your avatar. It’s here you’ll find blocks, items and mobs.
One nice touch is that, when playing in a car, your avatar is shown riding in a minecart.
Then there’s the Buildplate screen, where you use your collected Tappables to create Minecraft builds. Different sized Buildplates are available as you level up, with varying biomes.
Here’s the best footage I’ve found of more advanced builds available in Minecraft Earth. YouTuber SethBling demonstrates a couple of redstone creations such as a TNT cannon and a life-size human speedometer which reminds me of something I’d probably have to do in PE.
It’s worth noting, as SethBling does in the video, Microsoft provided him with extra redstone parts to complete his creations. Otherwise, they’re only available as a rare drop, he said.
Missing from the beta at present are Adventures – Minecraft Earth’s AR encounters with mobs I got to test out at E3. The app’s in-game store is also unavailable while in beta.
There’s no word yet on when Minecraft Earth’s beta will open up to more users, but you can still pop your name down on Microsoft’s official site.