Minecraft Review

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Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and survival-play, children can use complex ‘Red Stone’ circuitry to automate their creations and make interactive spaces.

The game is constantly evolving, with updates adding new blocks, enemies, capabilities, characters and interactions. Upcoming extensions of the Minecraft experience include Minecraft Dungeons, which offers an action-adventure challenge for up to four players on any standard gaming platform.

The stand-alone Minecraft: Story Mode (PEGI 12) games also offer character and choice-driven adventures. Minecraft Earth enables players to build structures that look like they are in the real world with a new AR (augmented reality) app. There’s also an array of online ‘server games’ where children can compete against others online in different battles. This is a great way for children to experiment with ambitious building projects, as well as learn the principles of programming to make their creations come alive.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Shooting

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game. The way you play Minecraft affects how long a play session will last. The open-world offers a stream of new things to do. Children will happily play for hours and return to work on their creations week after week. The online multiplayer server games are usually over in a matter of minutes as they are competitive and played in rounds.
 
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online. You can have 20 people in a Minecraft server to build together. The multiplayer games have up to 16 players competing with each other. You can compete in these games in split-screen mode to accommodate more players on one system.

Cross-Play: You can play against people on different systems: Xbox One, Switch, PC and Moblie. But not with PlayStation. If you purchase a map without Xbox account it is available on the other systems when you log-in.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.

Minecraft has a marketplace where you purchase additional content, skins, resource packs, and more.

This game is free with Xbox Game Pass.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE.

 

This app has been rated PEGI 7 and contains mild fantasy violence and scary content. The examiners report expands this rating with the following: The game's player character can encounter pixelated spiders, skeletons and zombies in a dark environment, which they can fight. They fall down and disappear in an unrealistic manner. Characters are pixelated and blocky with non-detailed faces.

The app includes in-app purchases.


Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

AccessibilityAccessibility

There are different versions of Minecraft. The main version is now what is called the Bedrock version. It has the following accessible.

If you have a screen reader enabled on your platform, Minecraft will automatically enable menu UI narration when the game is launched.

The Minecraft Launcher includes audio cues to help players navigate the login and launch experience. To enable audio cues on the Minecraft Launcher, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+B. You should hear a sparkle ringing sound to confirm that the sound is enabled.

You can customise the difficulty depending on the setting of the world you create.

You can toggle auto jump to make it easier to get around.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game.

Assistance

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Menus are Voiced: All of the game menus can be narrated for easier navigation.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Two Motions Targeted: Play with touchscreen, two simultaneous taps, swipes or hold gesture.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Re-map all buttons/keys.

Swap Sticks: Swap the sticks over.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

High Contrast Mode: You can adjust the contrast of the game to be high-contrast.

Head-Up-Display Visibility

Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.

Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Communication

How you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

Text to Voice: Sent text messages as voice to other players.

System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: Andy Robertson



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