Minecraft has mined almost every system currently being produced, but the Nintendo Wii U, 3DS and Wii have gone without the crafting and mining giant. UCraft, from Nexis Games, is bringing their version of mining in simple worlds to the home console, pairing the system’s gamepad with a type of game that seems made for just that kind of interface. While there are some obvious comparisons between them, UCraft hopes to separate itself from Minecraft enough to bring unique gameplay elements to players. Mojang Studios had left the door open for a Wii U port of the popular title after years of actively shunning anything with a Nintendo moniker, but this particular developer seems tired of waiting.
Minecraft is synonymous with the procedurally generated world trend that has come across other genres and titles due to the game’s popularity. UCraft, using that same base, looks to bring some other key pieces from the landmark miner into their own entry. The one-by-one block layout is the same with slightly altered skins on each of the various materials, and the first-person perspective also seems intact and unchanged. The inventory system, heart containers, building and mining all seem to be translated almost line-for-line from the Minecraft system.
UCraft, however, adds enough differences to the formula to attract even those that have played the crafty title on other platforms. One of the biggest differences is the addition of a class system at the beginning of the game, which has players selecting either a Warrior, Magician or Engineer for their journey. Nexis Games’ intention with this separation is to encourage cooperative play as there will be “things” in the world only attainable by certain classes. Players working together will neutralize tasks that “will be impossible to face alone,” a Nexis administrator says.
The characters in UCraft will, apparently, have to face further in-game enemies while expanding the world under the player’s imagination. Including a Warrior class points to this increase in foe activity, and the inclusion of some named areas, one of which is called Sumeria, indicates that there may be a loose path to follow through UCraft or labeled zones to find specific items, monsters or materials. Either of these would add to the title something beyond what Minecraft is currently as mining is often a random activity and enemies are an infrequent occurrence. UCraft, though only announced Sept. 30, is targeted for a Holiday 2014 release for the Wii U.
Minecraft creators Mojang have been against bringing their lauded game to any Nintendo system since their initial release in 2009. While comments have circulated that gave hope to the relationship between Nintendo and Mojang, comments emerged just before the Microsoft sale saying simply that the company was done with ports for now. This could have been caused by a number of factors, including the departure of their leader and $2 billion sale, that have little to do with Nintendo’s systems, but many fans feel that this has been a long time coming. UCraft, which acknowledges this struggle in the video below, looks to bring the Minecraft experience Wii U owners have been waiting for this holiday season.
By Myles Gann