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Review: Despicable Me: Minion Mania

June 29, 2010


Despicable Me: Minion Mania is a new game from Namco based on the upcoming movie. The game is a puzzle adventure game where you have to direct the little minions around various complex levels. You'll have to press buttons, use weapons, and special potions to make it through these puzzling levels.


The game has 20 levels with each one given a rating gold through bronze depending on how long it takes, the number of coins collected, and how many minions were harmed. The game features rocket launchers, freeze rays, grapple guns, moving platforms, changeable walls, and more. As you complete levels you will earn coins which you can then use to buy outfits to customize the look of your minions.

The Good

Puzzle adventure games are few and far between in the App Store with not much beyond Beneath A Steel Sky, Secret of Monkey Island, and Broken Sword. It's nice to see the game given fresh life with a brand new movie tie in, that is actually good quality for a movie based game. It's great to see the little minions from Despicable Me star in this game as they look like the most humorous aspect of the movie. The game is plenty challenging and fun as you have to figure out how to use multiple minions and objects to make it through the complex levels. You will need to think out your plan of attack, and go step by step to make it through the levels. It's much more puzzle than adventure based with every move forward contingent upon a previous move. There are all kinds of obstacles to deal with, and you will no doubt lose a few minions on your journey. The game does a pretty good job of balancing challenge and frustration so that you'll keep going trying to figure a level out rather than giving up entirely. There's no doubt once you start you'll want to complete all the levels. The game features quality visuals from the shadow effects in the environments to the 3D minions. The animations are well done as well with the weapon explosions, and the various minions being squished, torched, or frozen. There is a very catchy soundtrack that plays in the background, and there are various giggles and 'yes sirs' from the minions. The game offers 20 challenging levels that are really well done head scratchers. You will also probably replay some levels to try to figure them out with out taking up too much time, and losing too many minions. The minions customization is funny as well from cowboy costume to a cow costume with businessmen and pirates in between.

The Bad

The game is set up poorly so that you have to beat the preceding level to play the following one. That wouldn't be that big of a deal with most games, but this game is rather challenging, and if you get stuck, you can't advance further in the game. There are no hints for any of the levels so there is no way to advance without playing over and over which is just annoying. If the levels select wasn't frustrating enough the controls are even more frustrating. You tap the point where you want your minion to go, but you also tap to switch which minion you're controlling, and drag to move the camera which can all be recognized as tap to move. There are many times where the wrong minion will move, and end up being killed which counts against your score, and you'll also have to go through certain steps again. Having to tap on the minion or in the top bar to switch minions is bothersome as there is always just an extra tap. Tapping to deploy a weapon is another hassle as you need to press the little thought bubble which is another chance to mistake your tap for movement. For some reason there are little stairs that you have to tap multiple times for the minions to realize they can take the step.

The Verdict

Despicable Me: Minion Mania is a challenging puzzle adventure game that will definitely make you think. The game is nicely designed, and provides plenty of elements and obstacles to deal with as well some personality with the minion theme. The controls and level set up are frustrating though, and that can make the challenge that much harder because you can't direct minions as precisely as you want. Despicable Me: Minion Mania is a solid game that doesn't really stand out, and has too many problems to be fully recommended. For $4.99 it's not worth it because there are many better ways to spend $5 in the App Store.

Mentioned apps

Despicable Me: Minion Mania Lite
Despicable Me: Minion Mania Lite
Namco Networks America Inc.

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