I recently won a $5 Google Play credit through the Hershey's Android KitKat promotion. With that credit, I decided to purchase Survivalcraft which is a game in the same vein as Minecraft Pocket Edition. I had heard that Survivalcraft is much like Minecraft PE yet with more features. And, I can honestly say that, truly, Survivalcraft has a lot more features than Minecraft PE and feels much more like the PC version of Minecraft than Minecraft PE does. One does have to wonder why Survivalcraft is able to include such goodies like electricity, caves, fire animation and so much more while Minecraft PE is lagging so far behind that it only offered buckets and eggs three revisions ago. Survivalcraft also allows you to directly download additional content like maps and texture packs while Minecraft PE does not. Let's also not forget that Survivalcraft beats Minecraft PE on the price point as well.
As much as I love Survivalcraft and think that it represents a lot of what Minecraft PE should be striving for, there are a few things that I simply cannot get past. Survivalcraft takes an age to load and, every time I start a new game, I'm met with that stupid introductory sequence where the ship leaves my avatar on the island. Okay, I get it: They won't be coming back, so I'm stranded and I need to survive on my own. Does the game really need this sequence? Can't I just jump right in to playing? The user interface on Survivalcraft is much clunkier than the one on Minecraft PE. Perhaps I am biased because I started out on Minecraft PE, but I have a very hard time navigating the Survivalcraft interface and have a difficult time even moving around the Survivalcraft world. The ultimate deal breaker, however, is the lack of multiplayer on Survivalcraft. One of the reasons why I bought Minecraft PE in the first place was so that my daughter and I could collaborate together via our tablets. It's so much fun to be able to explore, build and play with someone else and I find that it's almost essential to this type of gaming experience.
Pros and Cons of Minecraft PE and Survivalcraft aside, I'd like to stress that they are both great games. There's room in this world and on your device for both. That being said, I think that, if you're going to be playing alone, Survivalcraft is probably the better option. If you're hoping to play along with someone else, then Minecraft PE is for you.