Platforms PS4 / Xbox One / Windows / OS X / iOS / Android / Xbox 360 / PS3/ Vita / Wii U
Publisher Telltale Games Developers Telltale Games & Mojang
Genre Point and Click Adventure Platform Played Xbox One
Minecraft: Story Mode’s sixth instalment called A Portal to Mystery continues the self-contained story formula introduced in the previous episode. A Portal to Mystery completely strays off course from the overarching story, but results in arguably one the best episodes in the series.
A Portal to Mystery begins as Jesse, Petra, Lukas and Ivor come stumbling into a new dimension, using tools earned in the previous episode. The world they stumble in is found to be populated with lush greenery and a unique sky occupied with two moons. This exploration into unknown dimensions further drives the vision of this hero-like, archaeological mythos that the team is clearly following. Whilst sightseeing, they find a mysterious looking letter inviting them to attend an event in the area.
Before the group of heroes are able to survey more of the area, they are overrun by zombies. Being resourceful and fearless, the group, teeming with a dynamic, breaks into the eerie looking mansion they were invited to. Once inside they are greeted by seven mysterious different characters, each with their own unique flair. As everyone is conversing a single character is killed and it becomes apparent that A Portal to Mystery will be following the “whodunnit?” style of storytelling as the surviving people set out to find and avenge the death of their colleague.
Through a series of interrogations and deductive skills by Jesse and his friends, it becomes evident that the group has found themselves embroiled amidst conflicts and tensions as the newly introduced characters all begin pinning the blame on each other. This tension is as a result of unresolved history between them and it comes down to Jesse and his friends to find the guilty one and hold them responsible.
It is interesting to witness the group, who have been shaped by their experiences, placed in a situation such as this where they must not only rely on evidence but trust their morals and gut instinct to help find the murderer responsible. This style of storytelling allows for some great dialogue as we see Jesse interact with all of the characters to make some sense of the situation at hand. A great sense of leadership rings throughout this episode as Jesse takes the lead on the investigation and in specific sequences it is also expected for players to keep the peace amidst tensions through the choices presented to them.
Some very exciting and interesting gameplay mechanics are at work in A Portal to Mystery as players must rely on a number of factors to find the murderer. In addition to surveying the crime scene, to unearth any traps or trip wires, players must interrogate and listen carefully to all the characters testimonials, to pick up on any hints. ‘Time awareness’ must also be considered as it plays a big part in knowing which character was in what room at what particular time, this helps with deducing who was missing when the crime(s) were committed, it’s almost like a classic game of Cluedo.
As a result of the new gameplay mechanics featured in A Portal to Mystery there weren’t particularly a large amount of puzzles as the entire episode was essentially a puzzle, trying to fit the metaphorical pieces together to complete the goal of finding the one responsible.
Telltale found a great way to involve fans from the Minecraft community in A Portal to Mystery as all the new characters introduced are YouTube creators from the Minecraft community. This is a great nod to fans of Minecraft and demonstrates that Telltale and Mojang are constantly listening to the fans and always inject a great amount of detail into their storytelling.
Once again Telltale chose to go in a different route in terms of storytelling with A Portal to Mystery. In this self-contained story players had the opportunity to experience a detailed plot with a great amount of superb dialogue. The mystery themed storytelling allowed for some very exciting and interesting gameplay mechanics where players had to rely on evidence and cross examination of statements in order to deduce which character was responsible for the crime committed. A great balance of entertaining storytelling and great gameplay mechanics results in arguably one of the best episodes in the series. A Portal to Mystery stands as a testimony to the level of quality, detail and effort Telltale instills in its games.
- Great mystery-themed story.
- New gameplay mechanics and trail of thought introduced.
- Entire episode is one massive puzzle.
- Detailed plot.
- Few instances of stuttering, nothing major.