A new Minecraft snapshot has arrived, the Minecraft Lacoste Build Challenge has been announced, and the French President's reelection campaign has its own Minecraft server in a whirlwind of news about Mojang's blocky building game.
Following an incredibly silly April Fool's joke, Minecraft has returned to normalcy with a new Snapshot that builds on content first introduced back in mid-March 2022. There's a lot of interesting and weird stuff going on today, so let's dive in!
What's New in Minecraft Snapshot 22w14a?
Today's first big piece of news is the launch of Minecraft Snapshot 22w14a. This new Minecraft Snapshot adds in the Mangrove Swamp biome and a new item called the Recovery Compass -- something that has been needed in the game for a while.
The Mangrove Swamp biome is the place to get new Mangrove Trees. These trees have a good chance of spawning a Bee Nest, so this biome will be the place you'll want to check out if you're on the hunt for honey. Naturally, the game's new amphibians will be here, too -- you can find Warm Frogs in this biome, happily running about the new Mud blocks.
The other major addition in Minecraft Snapshot 22w14a is an item that has been needed for a very long time: the Recovery Compass. This new item will point towards the last place that you died, finally giving players a way to track down their lost loot without any mods. The Recovery Compass can be crafted with a standard Compass in the center of the Workbench grid and 8 Echo Shards surrounding it; Echo Shards are a new crafting item that can be found in Ancient City chests within this new biome buried in the Deep Dark.
Of course, there are a bunch of bugfixes and other technical changes, too -- you can read about all of the new stuff in the full Minecraft Snapshot 22w14a patch notes. We still have more Minecraft news to cover, though, so let's continue on!
It all begins with play… and design! Join the Lacoste Foundation Build Challenge for a chance to have your tennis court design be made – for real!— Minecraft (@Minecraft) April 7, 2022
Click the link for more info and submit your design using #LACOSTEFOUNDATIONCHALLENGE before April 21:
🎾 https://t.co/7WCJLkG8qq pic.twitter.com/ROUmYig60f
Minecraft Lacoste Build Challenge Will See the Winning Design Built IRL
Mojang hasn't just released a new Minecraft Snapshot -- it's also announced the Minecraft Lacoste Build Challenge that will see the winning creation actually built in real life.
Here's how it works according to today's announcement: players will have to download the free "Croco Island" map from the Minecraft Marketplace. Then, you'll have to find a Crocodile in the game and teleport to a template of a tennis court. You are then challenged to build a tennis court within the template using only vanilla blocks, while avoiding using any non-Minecraft brands, copyrighted characters, etc.
Once you're all done with the build, you have to share it on Twitter while tagging @Minecraft, @Lacoste, and #LACOSTEFOUNDATIONCHALLENGE to qualify. The winning design will actually be built in real life in partnership with clothing brand Lacoste and the charity Sports dans la Ville. If this sounds interesting to you, you have until April 21, 2022, to submit your design.
French President Emmanuel Macron's Campaign Has a Minecraft Server
And now we get down to the final bit of Minecraft news for the day: French President Emmanuel Macron is currently in the midst of a reelection campaign, and someone within that campaign has apparently decided that a Minecraft server is a worthwhile expense.
As PC Gamer reports, Macron's campaign revealed the server late last month. I decided to pop on and check it out and it's surprisingly well-designed. Whoever made this island really knew what they were doing: the time of day is locked to afternoon, you can't build or destroy blocks, and you're contained within a custom map to prevent visitors from going off the rails.
This is a little more than simple electioneering; one of Macron's stated campaign goals is to move away from big tech companies and create a "European metaverse." This isn't the first time that politics have dipped their toe into video games, either; back in 2020, the Biden campaign created Animal Crossing designs that players could use within their own games.
You can visit Macron's campaign server by connecting to mc.avecvous.fr from within the server browser. You can check out the server or dive into the latest Minecraft Snapshot with Minecraft Java Edition. If you want to participate in the Lacoste Build Challenge, though, you'll need to do that in Minecraft Bedrock Edition; you can buy the game on all of the major platforms via its official website, typically at prices ranging from $19.99-$26.95 or your regional equivalent.