Mining is your craft

Crafted lets you play a 2D version of the megapopular game Minecraft, using many of the same sounds and graphics--so much so that we're surprised it's still available in the iTunes App Store.

Crafted lets you play a 2D version of the megapopular game Minecraft, using many of the same sounds and graphics--so much so that we're surprised it's still available in the iTunes App Store.

Mojang's Minecraft has achieved a huge following for its open, sandbox style of gameplay, letting you manipulate every block in the world. Once you've gathered the right materials, you can make picks for mining, axes for chopping down trees, torches so you can see at night, and a whole laundry list of other items.

Crafted offers a similar experience, but all in 2D. For those who have played Terraria (another game that closely resembles Minecraft in many respects), Crafted feels a bit like a Minecraft-skinned Terraria. But other than the 2D, this gaming experience is all Minecraft. It has the same sounds, and the blocks (such as blue diamond blocks, black coal blocks, and orange iron blocks) will be immediately recognizable to Minecraft players.

Though we're excited to play a Minecraft-like game on iOS, the control system for Crafted seems unnecessarily complex. You have buttons on either side for hitting blocks, a place-block button on the left, and a jump button on the right. To move you use an invisible directional pad on the left side of the screen (left and right), and you'll need to swipe on the right side of the screen to aim your character.

This aiming system is where it gets a little confusing: though it's probably necessary to have it for aiming at specific blocks, what ends up happening is that simple movement won't turn your character around, so you'll end up walking backward a lot just to get where you need to go. This is not a huge problem, but it does mean that you're required to move to each block, aim at it, then start mining--a time-consuming and less than ideal method for gathering each type of block. It seems like it might have been easier to have a directional pad on the left (that aims and moves), and then buttons for placing and mining blocks on the right.

Aside from the somewhat strange control system, you'll be able to do most of what you would expect from playing Minecraft. You can create a workbench that lets you add the same ingredients to make the same items. You can mine downward, find rare blocks, make ladders to get back up, place torches as you go deeper, build giant 2D houses--and really anything else you would do in a 2D Minecraft world.

Overall, even with the control system, we think Crafted is a neat knockoff that will appeal to fans of Minecraft, but with all the similarities, we wonder just how long it will last in the iTunes App Store. If you're a Minecraft fan and want to try a 2D version, grab this game fast--it may not be around for long.

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