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Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone

Score: 92%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone takes the popular sandbox game and puts players in control of a character that is about to go off on an exciting new adventure.

In pretty much every license that Telltale Games uses for their games, they come strikingly close to replicating the visual style of the source material. With Minecraft: Story Mode, they have once again succeeded. Both the world around your character and the various mobs that populate the world looks just like the blocky, pixelated style that Minecraft is known for.

You get to choose one of six different styles for your avatar, three male and three female. The male versions of Jesse (the main character) is voiced by Patton Oswalt, while the female version uses Catherine Taber (Star Wars: The Clone Wars). I played through the entire first episode with Taber's voice, but I did also play a considerable amount of another save, exploring different choices, with Oswalt's voice, and I can say that both do a great job of portraying Jesse.

Outside of the two main actors, there are also Jesse's companions on her quest. Your two closest companions include Olivia (Martha Plimpton) and Axel (Brian Posehn) and a pig named Reuben (Dee Bradley Baker). You will also end up running into a hardcore survivor known as Petra (Ashley Johnson), and another potential friend named Lukas (Scott Porter). Rounding out the game's vocal cast includes Paul Reubens as the mysterious Ivor and Dave Fennoy as Gabriel the Warrior. Also, while they don't have any speaking parts in this first episode, Corey Feldman, Grey Griffin and John Hodgman are credited as other members of the legendary Order of the Stone.


Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone starts with a legend containing the Order of the Stone: Gabriel the Warrior, Magnus the Griefer, Ellegaard the Redstone Engineer and Soren the Architect. It talks of their adventures that culminate in the killing of the Ender Dragon.

The first episode not only introduces us to that backstory, but also Jesse, Reuben, Axel and Olivia as they prep for a big building competition. Unfortunately, Jesse's group has a reputation as losers, and their biggest rival is a group called the Ocelots, headed by Lukas. While the build competition is a big part of this episode, it isn't long before the focus changes when Jesse ends up running into an odd character who seems to have some dirty plot in play that ends up putting the entire town in trouble. With Petra and Gabriel the Warrior on hand, your group decides that they have to help, and the only way to do that is to travel to The Nether and find The Order of the Stone's temple in order to find the other members and get them to stop the impending doom.

One aspect of Minecraft: Story Mode that I really enjoyed was that it uses the crafting system from Minecraft. You can't do it all the time, but there are a few cases in this first episode where you have to take the random inventory items that you've picked up along the way and put them on a crafting table and use one of the recipes from Minecraft in order to make something new. This detail really goes a long way into making Story Mode feel like an extension of Minecraft rather than just an adventure game that was skinned to look and feel like the other game.


There are a lot of aspects about Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone that give off a more family-friendly feel than most Telltale games. One of those is difficulty. Where games like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones have bouts of intense and fast action that require both a quick eye and quick fingers in order to make it through the quicktime sequences, this game's equivalent sequences don't feel nearly as pressing and often have a lighter tone to them. As a result, the difficulty of the game's action sequences is noticeably less than that of Telltale's other recent offerings. Similarly, the puzzles it presents to the players aren't all that difficult either. The most challenging aspects might be putting the right items on the crafting table when that is required, but even during those times, you can pull up the recipe the game wants you to use, so there isn't really much of a challenge from that area either.

Game Mechanics:

Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone uses the same general mechanics that Telltale started developing with The Walking Dead. Those would be the ones that make the game feel more like an interactive movie than a classic adventure title where you are given free reign to blunder from scene to scene looking for what you are supposed to do next. That being said, there is a drastically different feel to this game than to most of Telltale's other titles. It is obvious that this game is meant to appeal to a wider audience as some of the actions it wants you to perform are somewhat ridiculous, and always amusing. As a result, I found myself enjoying this game a lot, and while I enjoy the other adventure games that Telltale produces, it is for a very different reason. With those others, there is a sense of a growing piece of drama where an intricate story is being crafted around your choices. Here, it's all about enjoying the ride and while your choices do affect events, they don't seem to be as drastic or dark as the other games.

Normally, I would primarily recommend Telltale adventure games to fans of the license that they are building on, but in the case of Minecraft: Story Mode, even players who have never touched Minecraft will enjoy this experience. I can't wait to start on Episode Two: Assembly Required, and it has been released already (just two weeks after the first episode), which is unexpected given the company typically puts a month or more between episodes.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP Service Pack 3, 2GHz CPU, 3 GB RAM, ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM, DirectX Version 9.0, 3 GB available Hard Drive space, Direct X 9.0c sound device, Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics

Test System:

Windows 8.1 64-bit, Intel i7-4770K 3.5GHz, 8 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 11

Related Links:

Windows Abandoned: Chestnut Lodge Asylum Sony PlayStation4 Saint Seiya: Soldiers' Soul

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