Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click adventure developed by Telltale Games and set in the Minecraft universe. Fans of Minecraft who don’t mind taking a break from building might enjoy Story Mode’s cinematic feel: a fun story, a star-studded voice acting cast, and button mashing quicktime events. Players take control of Jesse, whose group of friends are preparing to enter the Endercon building competition. But it turns out the friends have more to worry about than the competition as they uncover an evil plot that can only be stopped with the help of a few legendary heroes who have already saved the world of Minecraft once before. Minecraft: Story Mode is rated E10+ by the ESRB, and its mild humor and zingy dialogue make it well-suited for playing and viewing together as a family.
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
There are many ways that Minecraft: Story Mode will test your child’s flexibility. First, and perhaps most important, is the fact that it doesn’t contain all the creative building that makes the original Minecraft so attractive to many kids. Story Mode will have Minecraft-lovers branching out into something very different, but the combination of point-and-click exploration and quicktime events is engaging enough to ease the transition.
Because these two gameplay styles are very different, this very combination presents another level of flexibility practice. One moment a player is examining a tree house in a leisurely fashion, the next moment they’re plunged into a fast-paced conversation or a frenzy of button mashing. The game’s story addresses the more abstract problem-solving aspect of the flexibility thinking skill, overcoming obstacles, as the player’s character and friends encounter problems large and small and work out creative ways to solve them.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
All video games require focus, but the really good focus practice comes from games that demand quick and precise reactions from a player. This is the kind of focus practice kids get from quicktime events, a type of gameplay that challenges players to press buttons in a timely manner in response to prompts on the screen, allowing them to not only watch a scene play out but to participate in it. Quicktime events are a Telltale Games signature and they make up the overwhelming majority of Story Mode’s gameplay. While players will enjoy periods of exploration during which they can “click” around to explore areas, more often they will engage in conversations and activities that require quick responses and have lasting impacts on the game.
Managing our actions, feelings and behaviors.
Minecraft: Story Mode’s quicktime events and fast-paced conversations will test a player’s self-control. It’s important to manage the pressure one feels as prompts appear on screen or a timer ticks down during a dialogue sequence and be sure that a choice is thought through as much as possible and the correct buttons are pressed. In the game, as with life, reacting impulsively can result in chaos and even failure.
Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings and empathizing with others.
The choices a player makes in Minecraft: Story Mode affect the game in many ways. From aesthetic decisions to options that affect the outcome of the entire story, a player has many opportunities to exercise self awareness. Some of this self-awareness practice comes in the form of social awareness as as player engages in conversations during which they have a brief period to choose responses, though the outcomes of these conversations have a lasting effect on the game. The fact that decisions like those made in conversations affect how the game plays out means that players also get practice with another important aspect of self-awareness: self-assessment. Did I say the right thing? Was that a little too harsh? Is that what I really want to do? These questions will naturally come up as a child makes their way through Minecraft: Story Mode.
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