Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure is based on Mojang’s popular block based building game, Minecraft, but adds Telltale’s unique blend of story telling to bring a rich and detailed look at a universe that has become a solid part of the gaming world.
Like Telltale’s other games, Minecraft Story mode is episodic in nature and the first episode was initially released back in October 2015 for major consoles, the PC and mobile devices. It had an initial run of four episodes with another four being added with the release of the Adventure Pass. The complete Adventure on the Nintendo Switch contains all eight episodes in one bundle and lets players experience it on the go or at home.
The first four episodes of the season see Jesse and his companions set out for a building competition to prove they’re the best builders. Inevitably, things don’t go as planned and they’re thrown into a quest to save the entire world from a destructive force known as a Wither by enlisting the help of the legendary Order of the Stone. while the first four episodes are a continuation of one another, the final four in the season offer their own story per episode, but are linked in an overall ark; all of which pulls together nicely at the end leaving the series open ended for the second instalment.
The story is really brought to life by the talented voice work of the game’s voice actors. Jesse, the game’s main protagonist is voiced by Paton Oswalt and Catherine Taber for the male and female versions respectively; while Axel is brought to life by Brian Posehn (we know him as Bert the socially awkward geologist from the Big Bang Theory). Even a few well known Minecraft YouTube stars lend their pipes to the series, including Joseph Garrett (Stampy Cat), Stacy Hinojosa (Stacyplays) and Daniel Middleton (DanTDM). Including some of the more prolific YouTubers who helped make the original game so popular was a smart move by TellTale, even if Garrett annoys me to no end.
While Minecraft Story Mode was divided into two distinct versions, touch screen for mobile devices and controller based on consoles (the PC platform uses a mouse and keyboard but it’s essentially the same) the Nintendo Switch release combines the two and allows the player to choose a number of different control styles. while using the touch screen the options take on a more Minecraft feel, with bulky buttons to tap while the controller control scheme opts for the more tradition face-button input.
Other than the above-mentioned touch screen ability, The Complete Adventure on the Nintendo Switch doesn’t contain any other additional features unique to the hybrid console. With this being said, however, it’s not a watered down version with reduced visuals. Having played the PlayStation 4 version I can say that both builds of the game run equally well. You get the occasional stutter but I found that this seems to be a staple of Telltale games; while the transitions have gotten smoother over the years you still notice the odd stumble in otherwise fluid scenes.
Hardware wise the Nintendo Switch does offer the ability to play on the go or while at home. I found myself playing Minecraft Storymode in both setups fairly equally. The ability to take the game with me and continue playing is definitely a win and there is no noticeable slow down while playing in handheld mode. Telltale has worked hard to optimise the game to make the most out of the hardware.
For those not familiar with Minecraft may find Story Mode a little strange. The visual style fits in with Mojang’s creation perfectly and you’d easily be forgiven for thinking the game takes place in the original game. The attention to detail is phenomenal and leaves little to the imagination. There’s the odd mechanic that’s been thrown in for practicality reasons – which are few and far between – but other than that Story Mode is pretty true to the source material. The character designs are spot on, and despite their blocky appearance, they have a lifelike feel to them which makes you genuinely care about the characters you’re playing as.
Overall Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure is a decent port to new hardware. While it’s true that both Android and iOS devices also allow it to be played on the go the Nintendo Switch version also allows you to enjoy the full experience at home, offering the best of both worlds. Admittedly, I can’t imagine this is enough to tempt players to purchase the entire package again but it’s worthwhile if you’ve not played the series before.