What is Minecraft Story Mode?
Minecraft Story Mode is a story-driven point and click adventure style game set in the Minecraft universe, where an all-powerful Wither enemy has been accidentally released, threatening to destroy the entire world. It's up to the protagonist and their companions to track down the four heroes of legend to help defeat the monster and restore peace to the land before it's too late. Depending on the decisions you make during the game, you'll be able to alter the course of the story, taking a different path to saving the world each time.
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How do you play Minecraft Story Mode?
Your time with the game will be split fairly evenly between taking part in conversations with your companions and exploring the Minecraft world, solving simple puzzles. Chatting to your companions, via the game's cutscenes, you'll have a choice of responses, and can directly influence the way the story plays out, whether it's deciding which of your friends has the better plan, trying to diffuse an argument between your companions or choosing a name for your building team. Outside of these, you'll have a bit more free reign to explore the game's areas, talking to characters and picking up useful items, before using them to get past various obstacles, such as creating a diversion of chickens to slip past a guard on a door. Most puzzles are fairly straightforward and talking to your companions will pretty much point out what you have to do anyway, should you struggle.
How easy is Minecraft Story Mode to pick up and play?
The game itself is pretty much fully voiced, except for one crucial aspect - the conversation options your character makes. With a choice of four different responses, and a time limit in which to make the decision, less able readers may struggle picking the option they want in time. Likewise, the time pressure of some of the game's QTEs, where a picture of the button you need to press pops up on screen for a short time may add a bit too much of an urgency to the proceedings, and while you're not generally penalised for missing the odd one or two, missing too many will mean you have to start the section over again.
Intended to be more 'family friendly' than some of Telltale's other offerings, Minecraft Story Mode has little in the way of truly mature content - there's no sex references, bloody violence or nudity to speak of whatsoever. Much like the game that inspired it, there is some combat, against blocky imaginary enemies like creepers, zombies and withers, but it's very much of the slapstick kind, with enemies simply disappearing into a vapour when defeated by your character's sword blows. Arguably the most mature thing in the entire game is the rare utterance of the words 'p*ss' and 'crap'. it is worth noting too that a couple of characters do get killed off during the story, and while nothing particularly grisly happens to them, one in particular may be upsetting for younger children.
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360