Microsoft has been hard at work on an augmented reality game along the lines of Niantic’s Pokémon GO and we will not have to wait too long before it will be in your eager little hands. It’s called Minecraft Earth and there is a trailer for the game which you can watch below:

What better IP in the Microsoft portfolio to put up against Pokémon than Minecraft – one of the most popular video games in history? Minecraft Earth works with Open Street Maps to determine your location. You will be able to to find items called “tapables” in the area around you and yes, you will want to collect as many of these things as you can find. They give you resources which you can use to craft things. Locations in the real world correspond to terrains in Minecraft Earth. Admiring the view of your local river out here in the real world? Try fishing with Minecraft Earth and see what you catch. On a nature walk? This is a great time to pull out your phone and chop down some trees in the game.

The maps also feature areas where you can have an adventure. You may think that is your favorite burger joint but point your phone at it and you just might find a risky quest before you. If you manage to complete the quest you will be rewarded with treasures. Other players in the area can help you on the adventure by battlings mobs at your side or helping collect resources.

As you would expect from a game called Minecraft Earth, there is a build mode included. Think that office building would look better with a stone tower on top of it? You can build one and share it so others will see your handiwork. Try adding some pigs around your local park or have lots of chickens wandering around the parking lot of your local KFC restaurant.

will launch later this year in five cities with a worldwide rollout afterwards. If you are interested in signing up for the beta, you can do so here. Just by signing up you will get a free Earth skin that you can use in the Bedrock version of Minecraft.

A tip of the hat to Jez at Windows Central.