Whether you’re like me and you’re constantly looking for new games to add to your Nintendo Switch library or enjoy having little to no rules in a game, Minecraft is truly a great option and has become one of few games that are still relevant in any time period in which it’s played. Adopted and cherished by the community, Minecraft is endless and can be played in any way you’d like, there’s no manual and is left to the player to experience it for themselves.

The Origins Of Minecraft

Minecraft is a sandbox game created and designed by Swedish game designer Markus “Notch” Persson, and later fully developed and published by the team at Mojang, released on November 18th, 2011 on Windows, OS X and Linux. Unlike many games, Minecraft has the ability to grow and adapt to the needs of the community, whether it’s by creating new texture packs to visually change the look of your world or by developing mods or skins to enhance your gameplay experience. This phenomenon of a game has impacted the lives of many including myself.

During my early adulthood, I personally didn’t have many games that I had a genuine interest for. I became fond of sandbox games for their originality and their bold decision to entrust a game to players with little to no rules, allowing them to be free and to express their creativity in whatever way they’d like. What I found so intriguing about Minecraft is the concept of allowing players to build and adventure together with friends and family or alone, enticing the idea of community. The core of Minecraft is still the same on all platforms however some features may vary.

Performance and Comparisons

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition has a world limit of 3072×3072 blocks, being categorized within the ‘Medium’ world size, and out-performing its PSVita predecessor. Throughout my time with Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, I didn’t experience any frame-rate drops in its graphical performance, running at a seamless 60 frames per second in 720p in handheld and docked mode. The render distance in docked mode was slightly better than the handheld mode, however, it didn’t affect my experience with it whatsoever, for I prefer to play in handheld mode since the animations and textures look very crisp on the 6.2 capacitive display.

Unlike Pocket Edition, Minecraft for Nintendo Switch doesn’t have any touchscreen support, therefore, you’re limited to controls either by playing with both Joy-con (cannot be played with only one) or with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. You can have up to 2 players in handheld or 4 players in docked mode, and 8 players in total online. Even with additional players in local or online mode, the performance of the game is superb however it doesn’t offer any in-game voice chat service which could be a future add-on with the online Nintendo Switch subscription, but only time will tell. For now, just as the old days in PC Minecraft, use Discord or Skype.

What makes Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition so remarkable is the portability aspect of the game. You can sit down and play mini-games with friends or family at home on your TV, and when you need to be on-the-go, just simply remove it from the dock and continue wherever you left off. During my time playing in handheld mode, my battery life ranged from 4-5 hours at the lowest screen brightness settings, which is fantastic!

Super Mario Mash-Up Pack & DLC

Just as the Wii U version of Minecraft, you have many skins and texture packs to choose from, including the Nintendo exclusive, Super Mario World level, and the Super Mario mash-up pack. The attention to detail in both the texture pack and the builds on the Super Mario World level brought back many nostalgic memories, especially revisiting Princess Peach’s castle from Super Mario 64. As you move around the map, you can also hear themed Super Mario soundtracks from earlier games within the series. I didn’t play the Wii U version of Minecraft however, when walking over to see all the Super Mario themed buildings, it makes me appreciate the amount of time and effort the team at 4J Studios and Mojang took to recreate fan favorite characters and iconic structures, proving that you can literally build anything in this game.

Even with the Nintendo Switch lacking a rewards system, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition does have an achievements section where you’ll be rewarded for your progress within the game through badges which will always keep you wanting to unlock them all, adding replayability value with the different modes and mini-game selections the game has to offer.

At the time of conducting our review, the Minecraft Store wasn’t available however it will be once the game has officially launched and should have DLC skins and possibly additional texture packs for download.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition is an excellent port of the original game and is one to pick-up for its portability, uniqueness and superb performance with all the game modes it has to offer. During my time playing, it has rekindled my love for Minecraft, and I seriously can’t put it down. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will be available for download on e-Shop for $29.99 on May 11th at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET!