I have played Minecraft PE since the first release (which was terrible) !!! I really didn't like it.
With every update it gets much better though. There is a free demo version you can try, but it has less blocks and no save feature.
Now the game is enjoyable and has enough content to keep the game interesting. The multiplayer is also good. I would cautiously give it the thumbs up, remembering that it's not a full blown version of Minecraft, but getting closer to the PC version with each update.
Once you have a good play with the controls they are fairly easy to handle.
For the price i would say it is good value to play at a bus stop or during a lunch break.