MCPE & SC: A Tale of Two (well, Three) Updates

It’s been a bumper week for fans of mobile block world games as the Behemoth that is Minecraft Pocket Edition released its much anticipated 0.8.0 update whilst Kaalus dropped both his 1.23 & 1.24 updates for Survivalcraft. On the surface both had certain similarities, but despite all the work and effort that has gone into these updates I find myself only playing one of the games. Let me explain…

Minecraft 0.8.0 saw the addition of big ticket items such as minecarts and rails meaning that, at long last, there was a reason to mine redstone because without it you couldn’t make the powered rails that make MC’s minecarts so much fun. This alone would have been a huge deal in an update, but 0.8.0 is crammed with other additions as Mojang slowly move the mobile version of their game further down the road to parity with their desktop or console versions. True this will take some time, not just for them to do but for mobile platforms to become truly powerful enough, but they have a roadmap and they are doing their best to stick to it.

Minecarts aside, Mojang also pulled some cool tricks out of the bag. They added breedable animals meaning that overnight farming became a serious option in the game rather than the luck-of-the-spawn it had been before. They added new crops too (pumpkins, potatoes, carrots & beetroot to be precise) further enhancing the farming options, but they didn’t stop there. They upped the draw distance to allow you to see pretty much all of the world as long as you have a powerful enough device, my 1st Gen Nexus 7  struggles a little with the maximum setting but runs smooth one notch down and the difference is wonderful – the horrible fog has gone!

Meanwhile, over in Survicvalcraft, Kaalus managed to squeeze two updates out in the time it took Mojang to release 0.8.0, but boy did he pack a heap in! A massive revamp of the electricity system, a huge draw distance upgrade (the maximum setting of which does not make my N7 stutter at all), lots of new animals, and a new weapon, namely the bow.

But I said at the start of this post that I was only playing one of these games, so which? You can stop holding your breath now, it’s MCPE. The Survivalcraft updates have left me cold since about 1.20 and the latest one is no different. 1.24 adds yet more bloody animals and a weapon that’s simply not fun to use. This is my biggest problem with Survivalcraft now, each update simply adds more of the same and the same is always po-faced and dull. I don’t want a bow I have to load manually and then practice like crazy to use effectively, I want a shotgun with string! I don’t want a tiger to add to the same landscapes as the lion, wolves, bears, coyotes, and whatever else Kaalus can model and shove in, I want pigs that pop babies out when fed!

Y’see, complain as we might about Mojang’s release schedule whilst sat the same time heaping praise upon Kaalus for popping something out every six weeks, the simple fact is Mojang give us fun stuff whilst Kaalus gives us the gaming equivalent of a 2am Open University programme on TV; worthy but dull.

In the week that 0.8.0 has been out for MCPE I have built three farms, two more monster-zones and retro-fitted a minecart system to my main deep mine shaft. In roughly the same time in Survivalcraft I have watched the bow work on youtube and decided not to play it again. Hell, I haven’t even downloaded the latest patch and that is a baaaaad sign for any game.

It pains me to say it, it honestly does, but what I thought might happen is now occurring; Mojang are finally making their game more like the PC version and giving players what they want, all the fun of MC on their phones and tablets. In doing so, MCPE will always bee seen as the leader of the block world pack and games like SC will be niche attractions, well-done and clever, but niche all the same.



  1. I’m honestly about to go back to Minecraft PE also. I like the flat creativemodes of SC (which is the only reason I play it) but with the new update, the game crashes on the loading screen. It seems I am one of only a few who this happens to, but I’m afraid Kaalus might leave these 2 or 3 people who have this behind, and focus on the majority of his players, iOS users.

    I also find the updates a bit pointless. Why add new animals that just take up space when there is no reason for them? Tigers, gnus, reindeer, giraffe, and such do not give you anything when killed. While you can get some handy items from the few but useful animals in MCPE.

    Sorry, Kaalus, but until you decide to tackle the big requests like minecarts or multiplayer, I must say goodbye.

  2. If you hate the bow, you’ll hate the new crossbow which has to be loaded and pulled back in a separate edit window. At least you can pull an arrow from the left slot to the right slot to load a bow repeatedly. The arrow is crazy in the fact that it won’t stick into anything even dirt, and will often bounce back and damage you. What real arrow even does that?
    I think Kaalus does not have all animals drop meat, especially unique exotic meat, so the non-cattle animals are nutured rather than outright killed, especially to prevent someone from collecting, say, giraffe meat as a trophy.
    My thing with the new animals is they don’t have unique behaviors that make me want to notice and keep them. Well, the horses you can ride, and the donkeys are stubborn, the tigers seem to come straight for you, but what I mean is that the giraffes don’t seek trees to eat the leaves, and the lions and tigers don’t attack the other animals. I think you can tame a wolf somewhat but not to the point of being a dog.
    Generated structures have been a start, but only random graves with headstones and treasure inside are start. (You can’t even write on the headstone like a sign! )
    I think in six months he’ll get around to adding some more interesting things, but right now I download big maps with lots of buildings and wander around burning the wooden ones and blowing up the others because I’m bored. I don’t bother to look inside because everyone is limited to the same few blocks in order to furnish the interior.

    1. Hiya Tim – I’ve not played SC for months now and haven’t updated it since before the bow was added. I can’t honestly see me playing the game again. I got a reply from Kaalus to my email about the roadmap. He explained why he wouldn’t do a roadmap (not wanting to disappoint people when plans were scrapped at the last minute or mid-way through development) but when it came to my explanation that I wanted to know where he was heading so I could decide whether to keep playing or not he was much less interested. Long and short of it, as I’ve always said, he’s making the game for him and not for his customers.

      I played MCPE a lot before Xmas but even that grew boring. I’m not playing anything right now (bar Left 4 Dead) until Elite Dangerous comes, out or Mojang add more fun stuff to MCPE of course 😀

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