I can say it’s arguably the finest iteration of Swedish studio Mojang’s magnum opus how much is the full version of minecraft. December 2015 to bring a Nintendo system into the fold. Nor, had the game arrived sooner, would it have been enough to fire the Wii U’s failing engines. But Minecraft, which debuted in 2011, presently thrives on everything from iOS and Android to Linux and Raspberry Pi.
To be clear, Minecraft for Switch’s allure has more to do with Switch than Minecraft. The significance of there now being a continuous TV-mobile version of Minecraft can’t be overstated. At the risk of offending tablet apologists, Minecraft on smartphones and tablets is a wonderful experience marred by poor controls. This has nothing to do with Mojang or Minecraft. It’s the baked-in shortcoming of any 3D first-person 360-degree control scheme yet devised for a multitouch device that lacks discrete buttons and control sticks. Enter Minecraft for Switch, which to be fair isn’t the utmost version in all dimensions. Though it includes the colorful Super Mario-themed world previously exclusive to the Wii U version, it’s missing a few features that I assume will appear down the pike.
But in every other meaningful way, this is what I’ve been wanting from Minecraft for years. It glides at a silky smooth 60 frames per second in the dock, though Microsoft confirmed to TIME that it runs at 720p in both docked and handheld modes, a minor disappointment and one I’d love to see reconciled with an optional 1080p at 30 frames per second toggle. Shift to split-screen, be it two, three or four-way, and the frame rate remains rock solid. In handheld mode, the game looks crisp and gorgeous on the Switch’s 720p screen, the only compromise being a drop in render distance that’s most visible if you’re surveying potential seeds from on high in Creative mode. The argument for Minecraft on Switch comes down to two words: continuous playability. In both instances, the idea of continuous play is either impossible or involves tradeoffs.
With the Switch, the tradeoffs vanish. Screen real estate aside, you’re having the same experience on an airplane, subway, or in a remote wilderness tent as when docked to your TV. Minecraft is already the finest thing I’ve experienced in this medium, the answer I’d probably give to the one-thing-you’d-want-on-a-deserted-island question. And thanks to Switch, it just got an order of magnitude better. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.