Minecraft: Story Mode mashes the classic Telltale Games formula with Minecraft, and it ends up crafting a kid-friendly experience that's still rewarding for adults.

Media aimed at kids tend to be cringeworthy when watched by adults, but the first installment of the episodic video game Minecraft: Story Mode completely blows that trend and brings a fun, original experience for all.

Minecraft: Story Mode is developed by Telltale Games, the same developer that created the violent, tear-jerking adaptation of The Walking Dead. But this time around, Telltale has taken a softer side that is kid-friendly but still brings fun and smiles to their college-aged older brothers or sisters.

The first episode in the five-part game series, titled "The Order of the Stone," was released Tuesday. It follows Jesse, his two friends and his pet pig as they try to win the building competition at EnderCon. The grand prize for the winners is the chance to meet Gabriel, one of the four members of the Order of the Stone, which will remind any Camelot fans of the Knights of the Round Table.

But a shady character, Ivor, pops up and ruins everything by unleashing a monster on the land. Suddenly, the player finds himself or herself tasked with reuniting the Order to fight back and save the world.

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Those familiar with Telltale have a lot to love, even the small touches — for example, Gabriel is voiced by Dave Fennoy, who voices Lee in The Walking Dead. The experience is largely passive, relies on quick time events and is quite cinematic. Dialogue options pop up from time to time as the player gets to choose how Jesse reacts. 

Those range from small decisions that might just hurt some feelings, such as deciding who has the better idea when two friends suggest opposing views. Tougher decisions involve who to save in tough situations.

At its worst, though, the game never offers up decisions or gameplay that would heavily trouble a young player.

That isn't to say that the college-aged student will find Minecraft: Story Mode to be excessively childish. The story may be kid-friendly, but it's still well-crafted, well-written and original. The voice acting is superb, a point that in itself sets the game apart from most other forms of kid-friendly media. 

The game also manages to stay true to its source material: the smash hit Minecraft. Sound bytes from the original title make their way into Story Mode, and some of the music follows the same mellow tone the band C418 brought to the original.

Crafting is present in Minecraft: Story Mode, albeit in a slightly different way. The same blocky art style from the original is present, and it's all animated in a way that is familiar to anyone who has seen one of the many Minecraft music video parodies that are scattered across the Internet, (example below).

Minecraft: Story Mode manages to infuse a delightful story into the Minecraft world. Although the story is non-canonical, it is certainly fun for all, including kids, adults, Minecraft pros and those who have never played it. (With that being said, it is certainly more rewarding for those who have played the source material a bit.)

Episode One sets the scene for the next four that will follow, and it crafts a tale that's interesting enough for adults to find rewarding while still being simple enough for the younger gamers to grasp and enjoy. It provides a great entry-level experience for the kids who are just beginning to move past Minecraft and into games with legitimate storytelling, but it also provides a beautiful, well-rounded cinematic experience for those old enough to appreciate the work that went into it.

Score: 8/10