Mojang has released a free version of its Minecraft game for the tiny, low-cost Raspberry Pi, letting players build virtual worlds on the cheap.
It’s a cut-down version of the Pocket Edition for iOS and Android, thoiugh it lacks the survival mode. However, it has support for multiple programing languages, allowing players to edit the game’s code at base level.
“It’s like hacking your way into Minecraft and modifying the game world with code, a bit like being Notch, Jeb, or Nathan, but arguably more fun and less stressful,” says Mojang’s chief word officer.
“You can start by building structures in the traditional Minecraft way, but once you’ve got to grips with the in-game features, there’s opportunity to break open the code and use programming language to manipulate things in the game world. You’ll be learning new skills through Minecraft.”
Mojang’s been promising a Raspberry Pi edition for some time, and says it still has more work to do. “We’re adding new features in due course, but thought you guys would appreciate us getting something out to you as soon as possible,” the company says.
The aim of the free edition is to support the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s efforts to boost the learning of programming skills.
The Raspberry Pi costs from $35 in the US – although it’s currently sold out. Users first need to download a program called Raspbian Wheezy, and then boot their RaspPi boards with the program and enter a few commands. There’s more information on getting started here.