App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Minecraft App Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Worthy spin-off of popular PC game encourages creativity.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 85 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 515 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to think creatively and explore new areas as they envision a world they want to see. Players can build essentially anything in this game, as long as they're able to mine the appropriate resources. That encourages not only creativity, but experimentation. Minecraft - Pocket Edition rewards imaginative thinking and may give kids a confidence boost as they show off the worlds they've created. 

Ease of Play

The game offers no instruction or hints on what the object is. You're left to your own devices without any sort of instruction about either goals or how to build objects. Learning is done through exploration and experimentation, which creates a learning curve. Players can enable a "peaceful" mode, though, which eliminates any threats and lets them practice. 

Violence & Scariness

Players can combat monsters, but those can also be avoided. Player arsenals include a sword and arrows. While there is occasional combat, there is no gore -- and the game's intentionally blocky graphics further reduce the level of violence. Monsters disappear in a puff of smoke when they're killed. 

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Minecraft - Pocket Edition is a mobile version of the popular PC game. While early versions of the game lacked monsters, danger, and resource restrictions, updated builds have inserted those popular objects. The game is still an alpha build, but is fairly feature complete and offers the sandbox-style gameplay of the PC version, letting players create things from materials. It still lacks any sort of direction for users. That's partly understandable for a game that fosters creativity, but it leaves newcomers stumped about what they're supposed to do. The app includes very mild violence.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 7, and 7-year-old Written byDena R. March 2, 2017

Has some positive and some questionable aspects

My boys love playing this game on the iPad. They're 7.5 years old and I wish I wouldn't have introduced until they were a bit older. We've had... Continue reading
Parent Written byKristin M. October 7, 2017

the best game ever

This is a review by my son---it is educational, and is very fun. There are mobs in survival that come in night, and try to kill you. But there is creative mode... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byPleasedonttaket... October 28, 2019

The best game for children

Kids dont listent to the parents saying ''ThIs GaMe HaS sWoRdS tHaT mEaNs ThErE iS vIoLaNcE'' there is no violance but its good to not play... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 30, 2019

I Stan

I have been playing this game for many years and I have never gotten scared or had nightmares about the monsters and “violence”. There is no blood or anything v... Continue reading

What's it about?

Minecraft - Pocket Edition sets players in the middle of a randomly generated world that has no structures, other people, or objectives. Players must build a shelter and other buildings using resources they harvest from the world. The game encourages creativity -- and can be played in a monster-free mode, to encourage that free thinking (rather than having to worry about being attacked). A secondary mode gives you unlimited resources, letting you create anything you can dream up and fly around the countryside viewing your land.

Is it any good?

MINECRAFT is an amazing success story on the PC, and while this mobile version of the game originally was stripped of a fair bit of what makes the original game so successful, recent updates have made it much more familiar. Users can still build structures until their hearts are content, but challengers have finally arrived, adding a degree of risk (though players can still opt for a peaceful mode). Mining and crafting items is also possible, at last. 

It's still a very hard game to learn, though. With no tutorial or idea of what your goal is, less patient players will likely never dig too deep into what makes it popular with so many people. Before playing, it's a good idea to consult the many online guides to get a sense of what you can do there. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Play the game with your kids and work collaboratively on creating structures.

  • Get a set of blocks (or Lego bricks) and create real-world creations to further encourage creativity.

  • Help beginners find online guides to the game to help them get a sense of what they can do.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulation games

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate