Swedish game designer Markus "Notch" Persson must never have imagined how his sandbox PC video game “Minecraft” would explode into a multi platform phenomenon since its first release in 2011. With its publisher Mojang now owned by Microsoft, the base game has since sold up to 121 million copies, leaving it in second place only to “Tetris” and its myriad variations as the all-time best-selling video game. From computers, “Minecraft” has spread to game consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3/4, where some cool stuff was introduced like cross-platform play and licensed franchises being featured.

The latest bridge the game has crossed was in becoming available for handhelds, with the Nintendo New 3DS version finally coming out.

Third time for Nintendo

The Japanese game company had already made “Minecraft” available in some of its other platforms such as the Wii U in 2015 and the new Switch in May. It was on the latest Nintendo Direct event on Wednesday, September 13, and they announced that the game would be made available on the New 3DS handheld as well. The release comes in two stages: a digital version available now at the eShop and a physical game card that will be sold at retail stores at an unspecified later date.

According to Nintendo, the New 3DS version of “Minecraft” features two of the game’s classic gameplay modes.

Survival Mode, as always, has players trying to keep themselves alive as long as possible in the game world by collecting food and building shelter as protection from monster mobs that appear during the evenings of the day-night cycle. Creative Mode is, of course, the sandbox building mode of the game, which has resulted in some magnificent digital constructions that have gone viral at least in the gaming community.

The N3DS “Minecraft” will also have new additions in the form of five skin packs for characters and two texture packs for the blocks, some of them patterned after Nintendo properties.

Touchscreen gameplay

Owing to its port in the Nintendo New 3DS, “Minecraft” will utilize the handheld platforms dual-screen display and stylus touchscreen controls of the handheld gaming platform.

While manipulating the character can be done with the button controls, the touchscreen can be used to open the inventory, call up the environment map and crafting items.

The game is also set to have local multiplayer capabilities, but that it would have to be implemented in a future patch according to the official “Minecraft” website. It's news post also puts the Nintendo New 3DS port to be closely equivalent in specs to the “Minecraft: Pocket Edition” version 0.15.4 on mobile devices.