MineCraft: Story Mode Episode 1 Review

"Came for Minecraft, stayed for the charm!"

*We would usually break up our reviews into gameplay, mechanics, and graphics but since this is an episodic game, I will base this review on a Pros and Cons list to more easily break down each episode.* 

Minecraft: Story Mode is pretty much available on all platforms so if you want the game, you can pretty much get it anywhere. The game is out for PC, Mac, Playstation, Xbox, Android, and IOS with later releases coming to the Wii U and Playstation Vita. 

First Episode Summary: 

Minecraft: Story Mode follows our heroes through the Minecraft universe as they travel through the Nether, the End and beyond to find "The Order of the Stone." Our heroes need the remaining members of the Order to defeat the Wither that's destroyed half of their hometown and is threatening the safety of everyone else! The game is set up just like any other Telltales game with a protagonist (Jesse), a story driven narrative, and a quest to save the world! The episode begins with our heroes at EnderCon and an introduction to their homes, lives and other world building material. Jesse and his friends have to come up with a way to beat their rival team and win the build competition for the first time ever at EnderCon! Until about chapter 2 or so, players' main focus is the build and situations surrounding the build and the competition. What does it mean to be the best builder in the game? I have no idea because we're pretty much immediately thrown into some kind of drama but as the player, you get to build one of two creations and some rather funny events take place during your build. After the competition (whether you win or lose), you meet up with Petra who saves you from an impending doom and you pretty much offer to help her with a quick job. This "job" sets up the rest of the narrative. A series of events take place and you end up witnessing a member of the Order unleash havoc on the convention all to prove a point! Things quickly get out of control and you are tasked with finding the rest of the Order to take down this evil that's been bestowed upon your group! Cue the rest of the episodes. 


+Amazing representation of the Minecraft Universe: 
    This game is Minecraft through and through. The in-game sets are amazingly beautiful and incredibly authentic. The world seems more alive than any other we've seen Telltale make. Proof of Telltales fidelity to the Minecraft Universe can be seen every where like in the build mechanics and the way the characters interact with the environment around them. The characters know hows dangerous it is to be outside at night and there are even points where players have to "craft" story-critical items by placing them directly on the crafting table. Everything feels familiar but then again, everything feels like something completely different. 

+Bridge Falling Intro:
   Probably one of the best introduction we have ever seen in a Telltale games. It doesn't really add too much to the story but what's cooler than seeing your protagonist fall off a bridge in slow motion?...Nothing. Exactly. 

    Rueben is Jesse's faithful pig sidekick full of charisma and personality. Rueben says more and shows more emotions with his eye brows than most of the one dimensional characters shown in this episode. 
His amazingly thick eyebrows tell us everything we need to know about his feelings!

+A darker look into the Minecraft Universe:
Withers looks like something out of a nightmare!
    The Wither is placed to destroy everything you know and love.People are killed (or we assume) and all of EnderCon is brought to an end. There are points in the story where we catch a glimpse of some of the criminal underworld found in the world of Minecraft. It was nice to see the nitty and gritty of the world and added a bit of substance to everything. There are dark and heavy themes in Minecraft Story Mode - death, destruction, betrayal, and despair that are all very much present throughout the episode. 

+Genuine Laughs: 
    Exaggerated training montages, slow motion chicken attacks, and teen dialogue all add together to create some genuinely cute and funny jokes. True Minecraft fans will crack a smile seeing some nice references to the game. 


+Decisions don't feel impactful:
A small example of the prompts that come up throughout Episode 1. 
   There aren't too many choices to make in Episode 1 and the choices you can make do not feel as though it truly makes an significant difference even after two play throughs making significantly different choices in each. Telltale game choices usually lead to an out-of-nowhere plot twist (most likely a death) or a different plot path but nothing drastically changes in Episode 1. The story turns found in Episode 1 are often foreshadowed through dialogue or visual cues. 

+Weak Characterization/plot: 

   The introduction to Episode 1 feels incredibly childish both in the characters and opening cut scenes. The dialogue feels like a child's Disney movie and some prompts are cringe worthy. We, as players, don't learn too much about our heroes throughout this episode and it's a bit frustrating to be thrown into a world playing as people we have no connection with. To be fair, we grow closer to our protagonist as the two hours go by but there isn't a significant amount of information about our heroes. They are severely underdeveloped. 
    The plot is charming but too predictable. There was never a defining moment that made this episode truly great. Playing the first episode has made me a bit skeptical about how the story will progress but I'm hopeful. 

+Not enough exploration: 
   Part of the appeal of Minecraft is the open world exploration. Story Mode does have better exploration than previous Telltale games but it's not good enough to sustain most Minecraft Fans. The level of interactivity in this episode is very low and felt more like an interactive flip book than an game. There's a relatively large amount of watching instead of playing but that's not ALWAYS a bad thing. It is here though...


   Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 1 is much more family oriented than recent Telltale games. There are plenty of goofy hearted moments to lighten up the whole end-of-the-world scenario and it's entertaining to be a part of this adventure but it reminds me of a corny 80s teen adventure flick. It has a coming-of-age feel to it and definitely kid friendly but with that being said, Minecraft Story Mode is not in any way watered down for it's younger audience. It touches on heavy subjects while staying true to it's roots as a Telltale game and being a faithful representation of the Minecraft Universe. The drama found in Minecraft Story Mode is not nearly as heightened as games such as the Wolf Among Us and my choices didn't feel nearly as impactful but I found myself being excited for the next episode nonetheless. Telltale had a blank slate to work with when they began this project and did a fantastic job of winning me over. It's characters are lovable and I found myself invested in my companions just as much as any other Telltale game. We can't make too many judgements since it's only the first episode but hopefully our choices feel more meaningful in the upcoming episodes. 

Written by Bryant Del Toro 



  1. Currently, Minecraft is the best selling video game of all time. They have sold more than 176 million copies and this number will increase daily. https://miguelcleon.com/ is where I downloaded this game.

  2. After, you don't want to end up damaging your important gaming data, especially if you have set up a large server for thousands of players. Minecraft Servers



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