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Minecraft Earth has launched in Early Access

Iceland and New Zealand get it first

As was announced at this year’s MineCon, the worldwide release of Minecraft Earth, Mojang’s new augmented reality spin-off of the PC block-builder, has just begun. The mobile variation of Minecraft is now in Early Access in two major countries, with more coming in due time.

Minecraft Earth has officially started taking on players. If you’re in New Zealand or Iceland, you can now download the Early Access version of Minecraft Earth on iOS and Android. Building an interactive diorama, visiting tappable landmarks to obtain materials, crafting and smelting with other players, and the single-player survival mode are included in this first release.

At the same time, the news post on the official site has revealed that demos will soon be available from Microsoft stores around the world. So if you’re conscious of your phone space or specifications, you can get a hands-on at a Microsoft store to see if you fancy playing more. The US, Canada, Sydney and London will be the first locations to have these, and the post promises more information soon, so watch this space.

London and Seattle hosted a closed beta earlier this year. Moving from there to Australia and Iceland to start the formal roll-out is a good way to spread the load among players, giving more people a taste while testing the global systems.

More than just Minecraft on mobile, Minecraft Earth uses AR technology to bring the beloved game to life. Players can build, share and collaborate in their creations using the world around them as a backdrop and platform, similar to how Pokemon Go integrated the pocket monsters with the real world. Alas, nothing in the Early Access announcement mentioned a possible PC release.

All the same, if you’re in Iceland and New Zealand, you can start building in Minecraft Earth now.