Review: Minecraft Story Mode (Android)

Take a dive into the Minecraft expansion that gives the game a little more purpose and keeps players coming back for more

I recently purchased Minecraft Story Mode from Google Play. I didn’t really have any driving desire to play the game enough to purchase it, but it was on sale for 10 cents — which is always a steal for any Android or iOS game — let alone one with a name like Minecraft.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a Minecraft fan, and I’ve played The Walking Dead game by Telltale Games, the studio who teamed up with Minecraft creator, Microsoft-owned Mojang to add a story element to Minecraft. I loved The Walking Dead game, despite not being crazy about the show. Telltale Games has a great setup and knows how to build and tell a great story.

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For those unfamiliar with Telltale Games, they essentially create games, typically from existing universes, like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and The Walking Dead in the classic point-and-click style. The studio’s games are similar to the old “pick a path/option” books where each option will give you slightly different outcomes and, in turn, a different path to the endgame.

Unlike games with similar systems, like Mass Effect, there is a timer every time you are faced with a choice, thus creating a sense of panic that makes players work toward a choice in a realistic manner.

This timed-choice system gives Telltale’s games the feel of an interactive movie, which has a certain charm, but comes with a downside because it makes the games feel less like a game and more like a chore, at times.

As a fan of Minecraft, Story Mode is a great game. It gives you a bit more of a purpose than playing Minecraft’s base game. You’ve got a story, instead of “forging your own” story, as it were.

You play a character named Jesse, who is part of a building team. You and your friends are trying to win the Ender Con Building Competition, but as with most stories, this leads to problems for the protagonists.

For those of you who haven’t played it yet, I won’t ruin the story or give you any spoilers, but the story is interesting, and, in a very nice way, Telltale incorporates a lot of aspects of Minecraft into their version of the game.

However, in comparison to Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead game, Story Mode is a bit more of a movie. At least, that’s how I felt. I felt like I didn’t get to play the game enough and that I didn’t have as much freedom as I wanted. This could be due in part to the version I bought being a mobile game. I may have to try this game on my Mac.

That said, it does have a great story, one that drew me in and kept me playing. I wanted more, and that’s how Telltale gets you to purchase the next episode or the season pass.

For people unfamiliar with the episodic games setup, let me explain. To get you started, Telltale sells you the game’s first episode. In the past, many of the first episodes for Telltale’s games have been free on various services such as PlayStation Plus, Games with Gold and others.

This has proven a good strategy for the company as it often gets players hooked and they want to buy the rest of the episodes to see what happens next.

After playing episode one, players can choose to purchase the next episode or buy the season pass, which includes all current and future episodes, but typically this season pass hasn’t covered any additional DLC.

In the case of this game, the season pass is $14.99 while each episode is $4.99 if purchased separately. As you can tell, buying the Season Pass nets the player all the episodes at a pretty nice discount. I’m not the biggest fan of this model, but it works for them and they do create some great games and stories.

They also offer regular deals that allow you to purchase the whole kit and caboodle at a discount. Depending on the game, the price can vary, but they usually run $15 to $20 on the Steam platform.

In the end, I haven’t determined if I’ll be purchasing the additional episodes. As much as I want to play this game and figure out how it all ends, I’m always hesitant to spend any serious money on mobile games as they can be limited.

Perhaps this is an example of one done correctly though. If I do decide to go ahead with the game, I’ll be writing up a complete review later on, so stay tuned to Shortcut Gamer as well as my Sleepless in Sac blog.

Minecraft Story Mode is available across multiple platforms. To find out more, or to purchase the game, visit Telltale Games.

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