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Minecraft digging its way on to iPhone and Android

Smash-hit mining game Minecraft is digging its way on to your iPhone or Android phone as the excavation simulation goes mobile.

Minecraft is digging its way on to your phone. The word-of-mouth smash-hit world-building game will be arriving on Apple iPhone and Android mobile phones some time this year.

Minecraft is a Java game that's already sold more than a million copies, despite having no publisher or advertising and still being in beta. It was developed by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson and has become an addiction for many gamers.

The game involves wandering around vast sandbox worlds seeking out raw materials like wood and coal to build giant structures, rendered in charming 8-bit-style blockiness and limited only by your imagination. Basically, it's Lego for God.

You can head underground as well as roaming the surface of the world, to search for diamonds and coal. Watch out, though, for lakes of lava -- and at night, hordes of heartless vicious fiends emerge to try and end your mining activities. They must be Tories.

The mobile versions of the excavation simulation will be developed by the Minecraft team over the coming year, although there's no firm date yet. Could Minecraft on your mobile be the next Angry Birds?

If you're new to Minecraft, check out the wonderfully cheerful video below to see what it's all about.

It strikes us as surreal that so many people love playing a game that recreates the experience of the heavy industry our grandfathers lived in real life. Maybe one day our grandkids will all be addicted to a game recreating the experience of working in a call centre.

Are you a manic Minecraft miner? What's do you dig about the game? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.