The latest Minecraft - Pocket Edition [$6.99 / Free] update, the one which we first learned about from developer Mojang earlier this month, is now available in the App Store. In version 0.5.0 of Minecraft - PE you now have the ability to create paintings to adorn on the walls of your cave dwelling, or your 1:1 recreation of Uncle Phil's mansion from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, if that's how you roll. You can also now farm mushrooms, despite them being the most disgusting food on the planet (can you tell I don't like mushrooms?).

The ability to build a Nether Reactor has been added, which leads into the game's newest mob: zombie pigmen. Yes, they are exactly what they sound like, humanoid pig people that have been turned into zombies. Awesome. Another new item related to The Nether are Glowstones, which are luminescent blocks that you can create from Glowstone dust. Different than torches, Glowstones can be used as a light source that works underwater, which is pretty cool.

In addition to these additions, this update also tweaks the health in the game, restoring hearts while you're in bed and also giving you more hearts when you eat food. The fog in the game has also been toned down, and noticeably so. The worlds in Minecraft - PE are such a great deal smaller than those of its desktop counterpart that the excessive fog could make the environment around you feel even more confined. This update also fixes a whole slew of bugs, though I've noticed a couple of new ones, like the item descriptions for Paintings and Glowstones being strange placeholder text.

Finally, I've got to say that Minecraft - PE has come a long, long way since we reviewed the initial release version. With just the last couple of updates, it's gotten to the point where I can get lost playing in a similar fashion to the desktop version. Don't get me wrong, the desktop version still blows it out of the water and Pocket Edition still has yet to hit a proper version 1.0, so there's still a ton of work left. However, it's at least become what I've always wanted it to be: a satisfying sandbox experience that I can take with me anywhere. In fact it's been far away the most played game on my new iPad mini, which feels like the perfect platform for portable Minecraft.

I have high hopes that eventually Minecraft - Pocket Edition will become a very close proximity to its full-featured sibling, and all of the updates the mobile version has received since release really point in that direction. If you've been holding out on Minecraft - PE because it seemed to basic and boring, it's worth checking out again in its most updated form. I'm hoping Mojang continues to bang away at the project, and we'll definitely keep you up to date on any further update plans from them.

  • iarepan

    The obsidian tower that forms over your reactor after you port back is rather weird.

  • bigred447uk

    You can get the reactor back which is nice. I need a bit more gold to get my second attempt going. I'm not keen on how my tiny world is going to get covered in ugly obsidian towers. I intend to try and decorate them rather than clear them up though. It's just too much work to consider clearing them up.

  • bigred447uk

    Destroying pictures with my diamond pick sometimes glitches and gives me two back for one. Time to start a scale model of the Louvre in survival !

  • MrSpud

    I want caves!!

  • V!3T

    Go in creative mode and you can dig beyond bedrock :) But you'll just fall down and die eventually :S Fun though!

    • tim240

      Dig under lava or water and look up as it goes down to the center of your little world!

  • ducksFANjason

    The pocket version is getting pretty damn cool now! The only thing it really needs now is larger worlds and caves and I'd be completely happy.

    • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

      Same here.

    • Iain Reinboth

      Yeah

    • http://www.facebook.com/Rowan.AwEsOmE.Ainsbury Rowan Ainsbury

      Caves exist, try bestseedintheworld

  • deadfolk

    Sounds good. The tiny worlds are the only thing putting me off actually playing this now.

  • MrSHakerEsq

    Waiting for larger worlds and caves. Then I'll buy.

  • http://twitter.com/TomateDiseno Tomate Diseño

    You think Mushrooms are bad? You'd love a trip around some of the back alley taco stands we've got. Bits that don't make it into dog food are considered gourmet.

  • JacksonTysonJordanGameSix

    Somebody please respond. 1. Can you enter the Nether in Creative? 2. Do you have to make a 20 block portal like in the other two versions?

  • http://twitter.com/1DCrazyCarrot 1DCrazyCarrot

    I can't seem to get any zombie pigment in my game.. Any tips at all?

    • Bloko

      It's not "pigment", it's "pigmen". Pig men.

      • Iain Reinboth

        Bloko is right no wonder u don't have zombie pigment

  • Th3R3n3gad3

    No and no

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    it plays faster on my ipod touch 3 than on my Intel i5 PC.

    goddamn java.

  • Terwilke

    Caves!!!!!!!! We need them and dungeons and Enderman

  • Matthew Gile

    I struggle with the controls. The jump button is inside the d-pad; to run-and-jump requires me to put both thumb on the left side of the screen. Also the "touch" to action is difficult, a simple fixed action button would work better.

    • PonyFeathers

      You can swipe your finger from whatever direction to the middle to jump, and you can tweak the controls to act more like twin sticks.

  • TheSwordKid

    Gah! Glowstone, not "glowstones"! Ah well, I guess it doesn't make much of a difference anyway. I couldn't stop myself from correcting, being a long-time Minecraft PC and Pocket Edition player. :P

  • matthew barrett

    i want wolves

  • yocdub

    It needs Game Center online and bigger world and bosses like ender dragon with

    • yocdub

      And also caves

  • kuly113114

    Well, now i need easier way to join the [ multiplayer server ] <----- importain thing

  • Zoe

    Minecraft is so cool it just needs

    Fishing poles
    Fish
    Pumpkins
    Wolves
    Signs
    Buckets
    Animals on creative
    Spawn eggs
    And so you can change your skins on the iPods

  • Kenneth

    They need dungeons

  • Ibagas

    I wish the new update
    Came out
    I need a flatland

  • http://www.facebook.com/caleb13197 Caleb Melvin

    Love the game, but it needs the bucket to carry water and lava to improve the gameplay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brumavit Vitalie Bruma

    Buckets

  • cupcaketales21

    I want wolves in the next update 0.7.4 and endermans :(