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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has announced the name and some of the features of its forthcoming augmented reality mobile game based on Minecraft.

Called Minecraft Earth, it differs from other big AR titles, such as Pokemon Go and the forthcoming Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite, in that it doesn't require users to explore their surroundings to find creatures and enemies placed by the developer. Instead, it encourages them to build their own creations for others to stumble upon.

It will be available as part of a closed beta to testers on Android and iOS this summer, with a full launch later this year and you can sign up on a dedicated website to find out more information closer to release.

We could even see the first public demo during Apple's developers conference, WWDC, next month.

The game effectively transfers the hugely popular Minecraft experience to the wider world, giving builders the opportunity to place new designs anywhere they fancy. Other Minecraft Earth users can then view those builds on their smartphones.

Gameplay beyond creation is yet to be expanded upon, but it is believed that there will be collectables of some description, to find dotted around. And, the creatures and animals of Minecraft will play some part.

Sadly, The Verge has revealed that there could be some microtransactions available too.

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To be honest, that can only be expected as the game will be free-to-play on mobile platforms. We will find out more in the coming weeks and months.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 17 May 2019.