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'Minecraft Earth' makes the world your augmented reality playground

'Minecraft Earth' makes the world your augmented reality playground

Microsoft wants you to see Minecraft everywhere you look: a virtual tree on your lawn, a life-sized castle sticking through your house and an elaborate cave system hidden beneath your local park. This is Minecraft Earth , a free-to-play version of one of the most popular games ever made, rebuilt around augmented reality for the iPhone and Android. Similar to Pokémon Go , which popularized AR gaming in a massive way, it relies on your smartphone as a window into a virtual world. But unlike that game, Minecraft Earth is completely committed to the notion of augmented reality. You're not just running into a random Pikachu on the sidewalk, you're building elaborate Minecraft creations that everyone else can see. The title says it all: It's a planet-wide Minecraft takeover.