Minecraft - Pocket Edition

 

Learning(i)

Worthy spin-off of popular PC game encourages creativity.

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Players can join other games that are local via Wi-Fi, but there is no online play in this version. 

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.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Can be adapted to a wide range of learning objectives, and a great investment for promoting collaboration, creativity, and critical-thinking. The PC version offers more opportunities for more complex and sophisticated engagement, though.

Learning Approach

Lots of opportunity for imaginative creation here -- especially for builder/tinkerer types. Also great for layering on top of in- or out-of-school learning.

Support

Recipes for creating in-game items are built into its crafting interface. Creative mode is relatively anxiety-free, but surviving the first night of survival mode can be challenging for novice players.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Collaboration

  • cooperation

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. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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?

QUALITY
 

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. 

Families can talk about...

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

  • Get a set of blocks (or LEGOs) 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$6.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 17, 2011
Category:Simulation Games
Size:2.90 MB
Publisher:Mojang
Version:0.4.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.3 and up

This review of Minecraft - Pocket Edition was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous March 23, 2014
age 6+
 
LEARNING

Awesome!

I play this game all of the time, and it is wonderful. It allows you to indulge your inner-mind in a world of awesomeness and creativity.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Teen, 13 years old Written byTalbond January 15, 2012
age 2+
 

Really Common Sense Media?

Really Common Sense? Really? This game is in Alpha, and was rushed out due to high demand. The game is already loved by many, and it's next update will have Survival. I lost my trust Common Sense.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent Written byhelper + April 7, 2012
age 3+
 

good

i love this to fun
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old June 27, 2012
age 3+
 
LEARNING

MINECRAFT, but Pocket Edition

u should get the pc verison its better gamerquinn is out

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