Top Critic Average
Minecraft: New 3DS Edition is a surprisingly competent version of the game despite its obvious limitations. However, the draw distances are terrible, multiplayer isn't available at the beginning, and it won't stack up to the console versions. If you truly want Minecraft on the go and own a Nintendo Switch, I suggest buying that version instead as it is the same price and, unlike the New Nintendo 3DS Edition, it will be receiving the Better Together Update this Winter.
Minecraft New 3DS Edition isn't a bad game at all—at its core it's still the same brilliantly addictive creativity sandbox. That said, its complete lack of multiplayer and the availability of the vastly superior Nintendo Switch version for the same price unfortunately makes Minecraft on 3DS functionally obsolete.
If Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition existed within a vacuum, where a version on mobile devices wasn't available, this game wouldn't be a hard sell. But that's not the case ...
The title of “New Nintendo 3DS Edition” is a misnomer as there is nothing here that makes this edition any more special than those already available. And now that we know it will not be included in the Better Together cross-play campaign, it almost feels dead on arrival. There is a chance, down the line, Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition will actually be worth its asking price, but that time is not now.
We suspect that some will purchase Minecraft for the New 3DS for the sake of having it on every platform, but it's hard to see the audience that would buy this version instead of any of the superior versions available on other platforms, including both the Wii U and the Switch.While the 3DS's touch screen does add some convenience, the trade-offs made to fit such a large game onto the New 3DS create a notable deficit. If you don't have another platform on which to play Minecraft, New 3DS Edition is a good way to test the waters and sample the solo experience, but there's so much more that this game has to offer elsewhere.
Overall, Minecraft on New 3DS is exactly what I imagined it to be: a portable version of a game we've all played several times. If you're in the market for a portable version of Minecraft, just get it on Nintendo's newest system, the Switch.
While many asked for the game on 3DS, the wait has dimmed most of those hopes, and now the game simply arrives too late to be worth it for most gamers. If the price drops and the 3DS is the single platform that you have as a Minecraft option, then sure, it's pretty decent. However, if you have any other way to play the game then it's likely better.