Minion Masters Reviews

AuthorReview
Myckel Jay
191,936 (119,309)
Myckel Jay
TA Score for this game: 2,129
Posted on 18 April 19 at 20:40, Edited on 29 April 19 at 15:34
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
NOTE: Information in this review is subject to change as the game moves from Beta to open servers, progresses through seasons and/or when new content is introduced into the game.

Minion Masters is an online, "easy to learn, hard to master" tower defense game. I know what you're thinking, "oh, great. Another tower defense game." But let me tell you, it's far from generic. The goal is to cross the bridge and destroy your enemy's tower before they destroy yours. Sounds simple enough, right? But how do you spawn characters? How do you know what each character does? Here's a (sort of) brief rundown of the game:

In Minion Masters, you complete challenges and win battles for a chance to unlock new cards to add to your deck. Cards = characters. There are 3 different kinds of cards in the game: minions, spells and buildings. Minions are your brute force characters that will charge over the bridge and storm your enemy's tower. Spell cards are pretty self-explanatory. They spawn mostly defensive characters who will cast spells on your enemies to influence their behavior or wellbeing (hypnotize, stun, etc.). Building cards are your stationary turrets, launchers, cannons, shrines and guilds. Some will attack, some are strictly for defense. Each card has its own task, which can be viewed pre-game o win-game by hovering over the cards. Cards can cost anywhere from 0-10 mana to play. Mana is gained automatically in a matter of seconds. Just like many real life trading cards, the cards in Minion Masters have their own stats such as health, range, damage, speed, etc. But if I'm being honest, that's not something you currently have to memorize or even worry much about. As you play, you'll quickly learn your deck pretty well, which is great for such a fast-paced game. In time though, as players get more familiar with the game, it could prove beneficial to learn the powers of each card, especially your opponents', to gain the upper hand.

The game currently has ten different masters that you can play as. Each master has its own power-ups, which are activated in-game as you earn XP. The last team with a character on either bridge "holds" that bridge. The longer you hold a bridge, the quicker you'll earn XP. As you win matches, you'll level up your rank for the current season.

To my knowledge, the game has three game modes. Those game modes include solo battle, team battle, and solo challenges. Solo and team battles are pretty self-explanatory, so I won't elaborate on those. Solo challenges are essentially the same as solo battles, except you're playing against a computer instead of a live opponent. Winning battles can earn you chests, giving you a chance to unlock shards, gold or rubies, which are the three currencies in the game. With varying currencies, you can purchase power tokens, emblems, masters, and craft cards for your deck.

That's pretty much the gist of the game.

Now let's talk about the gameplay. There's not much to it. Each match can be quite different depending on how you and your enemies decide to play your cards, but the gameplay remains similar from match to match. I really, really do enjoy this game. I'm not usually big on tower defense games, so that means a lot coming from me. Minion Masters is definitely changing my attitude toward the genre. It's fast-paced and chaotic, and because of this, each match usually lasts between 1 and 5 minutes. It's a great game to just throw on while your significant other is in the shower, you're waiting on your roommate to get out of the kitchen, or if you just need a quick break from homework or chores. It certainly is "easy to learn," and I'd argue that it's actually easy to master as well. Aside from maybe 2 hours of Magic The Gathering in high school, I've never had any experience with trading cards, and I usually suck at tower defense games. But in my first 80 matches of Minion Masters, I only lost 3 matches. Don't let that shy you away from playing though. It can be challenging, it just depends on who you get matched up to face against.

At the time of writing this review, the game is still in Xbox Preview, so of course there are some bugs that need to be worked out, which at the moment is actually what's keeping me from giving this game a 5/5. For starters, the developers reward players who signed up for their newsletter a code to redeem in-game for some bonus content, but the redeem system doesn't work. Developers also introduced a Guild system, which you may know as "clans" or "gangs" in other games. Currently, upon joining a guild, you're introduced with an 'unknown error' window. But, don't let this window discourage you from joining a guild. You actually do join the guild, but this error message will continue to pop up every 2 or 3 minutes until you leave it. The first match I played after joining a guild also failed to return me to the hub once the match ended. I'm sure this is something that will be fixed in the next update, but for now, it's a pretty inconvenient broken feature.

Aside from some frame rate drops causing periodic lag, the game looks pretty good and runs well. The announcer is quite annoying, but you'll get used to it in time. All online matches are ranked, which is a huge bonus that I was not expecting to see. I love ranked matches because it encourages players to actually try their best, and not quit the game prematurely. If you're in the Gold rank or higher, losing matches will de-rank you. If you quit a team battle early, you will be banned for playing team battles for 2 minutes. Not a huge penalty, I know. But at least it gives some incentive not to leave a match early. Oddly enough, this perk actually brings me to the next thing I dislike about the game. As I mentioned, losing a match can de-rank you, and if your teammate quits, your team forfeits the match. As a result, if your teammate quits -- which mind you, is completely out of your control -- you could potentially get de-ranked if you're ranked high enough. It'd be nice if the game waved forfeited matches due to quitting teammates.

Before concluding my review, I'd like to inform you about one more bug that may make you change your mind about starting this wonderful game. There is a buggy achievement. There's an achievement in the game for completing 5 achievements. If you're unlucky like I am, you're likely to unlock the achievements for completing 15 or 30 achievements before unlocking the one for completing 5. A small bug that is surely an easy fix, but annoying nonetheless.

To sum it up, if you like non-turn based tower defense game, give this game a try. If you don't fancy such games, still give it a try. Once these bugs are fixed, I'm confident I'd give this title a 5/5 rating. It's likely that once this game leaves Xbox Preview and is released to the public, these bugs won't be an issue, But until they are corrected, I have to give it a 4/5.
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