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10 things we want to do in Minecraft - Pocket Edition for iPhone and Android

The ultimate wish list
Product: Minecraft - Pocket Edition | Developer: Mojang | Publisher: Mojang | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad, Xperia Play | Genre: Adventure, Brain training
Minecraft - Pocket Edition Multiformat, thumbnail 1
This week, the Android version (with the iOS version still pending) of cult hit Minecraft received its first major update.

It's no longer just a low-poly Lego kit. There's now a Survival mode where deadly zombies come out at night, falling down mines will kill you, and you can bash a sheep's skull in with a pickaxe.

But it's a long ways off from offering the full Minecraft experience in an app. There might be mobs, swords, doors, and shears, but vital elements of the blocky PC game are still missing in action.

So consider this a wish list of sorts, to be delivered directly to Mojang AB. We won't be satisfied with Minecraft - Pocket Edition until we can do the following...

Craft our own items


In Minecraft proper, you aren't dropped into the world with a sword and pickaxe. In fact, your inventory starts off completely empty and it's your job to find materials to turn into handy items.

With a little know-how (or a quick peek at crafting guides online), you can turn raw materials like wood, cobblestone, and coal into useful objects like swords and ladders.

Part of the game's thrill is finding the right ingredients to build the coolest gear. If you can't make your own stuff, Minecraft is all mine and no craft.

Mine for ore


In this first major update to Minecraft - Pocket Edition, Mojang has added a little taste for gathering your own resources. If you bash a tree with an axe or dig your shovel into the beach, you'll get wood and sand blocks to use.

But that's merely scraping the surface - and I mean that literally. In the PC version of Minecraft, you can dig deep into the ground to find rare ore like iron, redstone, diamond, and gold.

This stuff lets you craft more resilient and complicated items, like diamond helmets, golden swords, and a compass if you should get lost. Without ore, there's no real reason to mine.

Fight off enemies


The first major update to Pocket Edition added zombies. These shambling monsters come out during the night (or if you venture too far into the caves below) and try to kill you.

But compared to some of the enemies of planet Minecraft, zombies are small fry.

The iconic Creepers explode when touched, destroying your brilliant creations. Skeletons attack from afar with annoying bow and arrows. And the nightmare-enducing Endermen that only attack when you look directly at them.

Craft and ride minecarts


There's no better way to get around the world of Minecraft than in your own personal roller coaster. Once you've mined a bit of iron ore, you can build tracks, minecarts, and a coal-powered train engine to push it all along.

It can be used as a handy way to get from your house to the deepest pit of your personal strip mine. Or it can be used to transport animals around your farm. Or if you've got a bit of time on your hands, you can build a massive intricate roller coaster with jumps and dips.

Build redstone circuits


Redstone - a nifty piece of ore found deep in the belly of the earth - is used to make electric circuits and logic boards in Minecraft. By carefully sprinkling redstone dust along the ground, you can build anything from a trapdoor to a 16-bit arithmetic logic unit.

Smarty pants Minecraft obsessives have used the stuff to build Tic-Tac-Toe, a 5x7 dot matrix display that can spell out the alphabet, PC game Minesweeper, and an ASCII word processor with a 100-input keyboard.

Farm for food


The most recent major overhaul to Minecraft's PC edition added a hunger bar that slowly saps your health when you're malnourished. This means that while you'll building the Taj Mahal, mining for ore and fending off creepers, you also need to grab a bite to eat.

There are lots of options open to you: you can go vegetarian and tend to a self-sufficient garden of crops, like wheat or sugar. Or you can make a chicken farm and live off eggs. Or you can turn to livestock and breed animals together to make an endless supply of meat. The sky's the limit.

Enchant magic weapons


Minecraft went a bit The Elder Scrolls when it added the ability to enchant items and add magical properties to your gear.

If you've got an enchanting table, some bookshelves, and the necessary level of experience, you can imbue your armour, weapons, and tools with perks.

This makes swords more powerful and lets you craft helmets that let you stay underwater for longer.

Brew magic potions


No Minecraft castle is complete without a brewing stand. This handy bit of kit can turn boring old water into magic potions - as long as you have the right ingredients.

Just like crafting, it's all about working out which bits and bobs work together to make the best potions. Once you've figured out some recipes, ingredients like sugar, gunpowder, spider eyes, and magical dust can give you all sorts of powers and effects.

Install mods


While the base Minecraft experience has more things to discover than you could find in six lifetimes, there are still plenty of fans out there who have added their own ideas in the form of downloadable mods.

Some recent mods include the ability to add the gun from Portal (complete with interdimensional wormholes), ride on the back of dragons, and find user-made dungeons to pillage.

There are also fancy mods that tweak the look of the game. There are plenty of texture and skin packs to replace the in-game art, or ones that add seasons and new enemies.

Enter The End


Minecraft might not feel like the sort of game that has an ending, but there is actually a way to complete the game: the only catch is that you'll need to find, activate, and enter a parallel dimensional gate to find it.

Hidden amid the blocky world of Minecraft is a stronghold, complete with a portal to "The End". After dropping in a few Eyes of Ender, the portal will open and you can hop in.

Here you'll go toe-to-toe with the Ender Dragon: the game's final boss.

Seeing as you can't even craft your own axe in Minecraft - Pocket Edition we doubt we'll be fighting the Ender Dragon on smartphones any time soon. But if Mojang wants a complete version of Minecraft on mobile, we expect all parallel dimensions (there are more than one) to make the leap.

Is that all too much to ask? (Yes, probably).

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 13 February 2012
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