Minecraft: Story Mode

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Minecraft: Story Mode Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Famous blocky adventure has a generic story to tell.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 70 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Strong messages about collaboration, friendship, especially with regard to giving people benefit of the doubt, ignoring rumors about individuals.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Focus is on bonding with teammates, being strategically diplomatic within your traveling party, with whom you won't always see eye to eye.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Cartoony hits on enemies with swords, but no gore, blood whatsoever.

Sex
Language

"Crap" and "hell" uttered a few times.

Consumerism

Latest take on wildly popular game franchise with large amount of merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Minecraft: Story Mode is a downloadable episodic adventure game, whose story will be complete when the fifth chapter is available. This also is an extension and embellishment of the preexisting Minecraft game, which is basically Legos on a computer. This outing injects a narrative into that universe, introducing characters and a plot that had not existed before, blended with the Telltale Games' characteristic adventure-game model, which hinges on the player making branching decisions at pivotal moments to shape the adventure ahead. Violence is cartoonish, without any blood or gore.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRebeccaSpark August 10, 2019

Swearing, Bullying, Everything I DON'T Want My Child To Be

The characters swear and say words like "stupid" and "freak". The Ocelots are bullying Jesse's Gang. Then Jesse calls them jerks. This... Continue reading
Adult Written byA sad dad March 2, 2019

My kids cried...

My 9-year-old and 6-year-old both cried hard after Reuben died. He squeals for a solid minute before closing his eyes and dying. It’s unnecessary and irrespon... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byTobu June 10, 2019

*sigh*

I grew up on Minecraft. It was my childhood. This... "game" is so TERRIBLE it's almost offensive. The writing is awful, it's obvious that no... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byCrispandCrunch January 19, 2017

Disappointing. I Am very upset.

I Purchased this game from steam. Episode 1-3 or so were nice, but than it started to suck. In episode 4 It got to a point I spent 1 hour or more on a single ri... Continue reading

What's it about?

In MINECRAFT: STORY MODE, you play as Jesse -- who can be either male or female -- on the day of EnderCon, a sort of meta-Minecraft competition within the Minecraft world. If that sounds confusing, basically what it means is you join your friends while en route to build the best possible contraption at a contest that kicks off a big festival for the town. While you're building, a fire breaks out in the area, sending your pet pig squealing off into the woods. You track him down and begin to make a series of discoveries that unveil some dark secrets about your town's history. 

Is it any good?

This game had a tough challenge to overcome in injecting a narrative into a world where previously there was none. The narrative that does unfold is a tad generic, since it seems to want to play both to fans of Minecraft (who are typically children or teenagers) and of Telltale (whose games have skewed more mature and nuanced). (The story in a Telltale game is very important, since the focus is on dialogue and navigating the personalities around you.) Though not every episode is out yet, this first outing is a good effort, though noticeably lighter in terms of what you're able to do, the locations you can visit, and choices you can make. 

In other Telltale games, the threat of one of your decisions leading to someone's death is very real. However, since this is a game intended for children, your choices feel somewhat neutered. The focus here seems to be more on being diplomatic and kind to everyone. This isn't a truly harsh issue, as the writing is enjoyable and there are a few genuine laughs, but the series still has a chance to turn things around and go in some interesting directions. As the first chapter closes, it's set up to be fairly generic, although it borrows from myths and familiar stories, which a kid might see as repetitive. Chances are they won't mind, though: It's freakin' Minecraft with a story!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about new people working on older ideas. What do you like about the concept? What could be problematic about building on preexisting content?

  • Which challenges do you think went into creating a story in a world that previously had no story? Did you have a story in your mind already? Why, or why not? 

Game details

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