Minecraft: Story Mode is a five-part episodic adventure brought to us by the storytelling geniuses at Telltale Games. Partnering with Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, Telltale takes us on a grand adventure within the world of the popular game. I didn’t have much experience with Minecraft going into Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1: The Order of the Stone, but I enjoyed it and found myself wrapped up in my heroes’ journey.
Unlike Telltale’s more mature titles, like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, Minecraft: Story Mode has a more family-friendly environment. The story takes place around Jesse his (or hers) loyal companions Axel, Olivia and their pet pig Reuben. You and your companions are a talented group of builders, wanting to win the builders competition at EnderCon. Due to a series unforeseen circumstances, a Wither – a terrible monster which destroys everything in it’s path – is released at the convention. Jesse and the group set off on an adventure to destroy the monster by finding the remaining members of the fabled Order of the Stone – a group of warriors and builders who fought a similar monster before. I won’t go into further details on the plot, in fear of spoilers, so just know they don’t call it Story Mode for nothing.
The original Minecraft doesn’t really have a story of it’s own, but is known for it’s thousands of stories created by the players. Telltale and Mojang did a great job creating a unique story where none exists. The family-friendly subject matter sits well with the cheery and bright look, and even in the most intense moment, the episode never goes to any dark or terrifying territories. This makes Minecraft: Story Mode a great opportunity to introduce younger family members to the joys of Minecraft in a relatively safe environment. Veteran Minecrafters will find it engaging and enjoyable to take the role of Jesse and see a different side of their beloved title. However, the story progresses feels more linear than in other Telltale’s adventure games, probably as an attempt to make the series more approachable. However, this linear way of storytelling doesn’t always fit with the freedom associated with Minecraft.
Linear as it is, Minecraft: Story Mode is still propelled forward by dialog choices, quick-time events and difficult decisions – some of which do effect the plot in one way or another. Basically, the choices you make effect what part of the episode you’ll play through, as well as change the way certain characters interact with you. Most of your decisions involve siding with one character over another, so expect to make a lot of friends, but also a lot of hurt feelings. Action sequences include either what passes for combat in the world of Minecraft, or building and crafting. As always, these are all experienced through series of quick-time events. Admittedly, those feel more clunky than in other Telltale games, but that could be contributed to the game’s animation style, which is very much like that of Minecraft.
While playing Story Mode, you’ll find that much of the world looks just like the one you know from Minecraft. The game includes a simplistic version of the Minecraft crafting system, which you will use to create objects that help you complete objectives. You will also see all of similarities during the free roam and fight sequences. Fans of the original Minecraft will appreciate the visuals in Story Mode, as they look and feel a little smoother than those in the base game. The voice work includes familiar talents such as Patton Oswalt as the male version of Jesse, Ashley Johnson as the brave adventurer Petra and Paul Reubens as the evil villain Ivor. They bring real personality to their characters, and carry the game to even bigger heights.
Even as a huge fan of Telltale Games, I wasn’t sure how well they would be able to tell a story that would interest those who weren’t already Minecraft fans. It turns out that Minecraft: Story Mode can be enjoyable for both adults and kids who are new to Minecraft, or veterans builders who know everything there is to know about the original game. Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1: The Order of the Stone runs approximately 2 hours in length, and being the first episode in the series it does a great job at getting you hooked. Due to the multiple options in dialog and decisions, you have plenty of reasons to replay the episode and maybe even create several save files for future episodes. Don’t worry – The Order of the Stone is just as fun the second time around.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.