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Minecraft Earth is an AR spin-off that lets you build in the real world

With devious games now tricking us into walking around outside and, god forbid, meeting real people, Microsoft and Mojang have decided to get in on the action with their own AR mobile game: Minecraft Earth. I am riddled with cynicism when it comes to AR, but this might be kinda neat? Take a gander at the reveal trailer above.

The popularity of Pokémon Go might have been a factor in its creation, but aside from being AR games they seem to be as different as regular Pokemon and Minecraft. You'll be able to collect critters, however, and blocks, all scattered throughout the world. That's all just a precursor to building, and after you've got some wee beasties and blocks, you can start plonking them down to create your own architectural wonders. 

This should all sound familiar if you play Minecraft on PC or the many other platforms it's slid onto since it first appeared a decade ago. You find resources and build. And just like Minecraft, you'll be able to build big. It looks like you'll be able to put your creations together at a more manageable scale first, before placing them in the real world at "life-size".

On top of collecting and constructing, expect to get into fights with mobs lurking in your neighbourhood and complete challenges.

Despite being a big Pokémon fan, I didn't find hunting Pokémon in the real world all that engaging, but turning my flat into the giant blocky fortress I've always deserved sounds pretty great. 

Minecraft Earth will be free to play, with a closed beta kicking off this summer on iOS and Android AR-capable devices.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.