Minion Masters: Forced to duel – Preview
Follow Genre:Action RTS cardgame
Developer: BetaDwarf
Publisher: BetaDwarf
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Minion Masters: Forced to duel – Preview

Good: Based on successful formulas
Bad: Too soon to tell
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7.7
(3 votes)
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Once upon a time there was a master, a master of minions even. Not the yellow ones from the movie, no an entire range of colorful minions in all shapes and sizes. But that master was bored so he decided to duel other masters and as a reward he would get even more minions. So much minions even he had to spend tons of gold on food to feed all those hungry mouths. Not soon after he ran out of gold and was forced to join high stakes tournaments to get more gold. Once he won the biggest tournament around he retired and now he and his minions live happily ever after on a farm. The end- or well, not. 
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Sometimes a title can be confusing or downright deceiving but that’s not the case for Minion Masters: Forced to duel. Those five words describe exactly what you’re going to get as you’re the master who controls his minions in a duel to the death. Since this game is currently in early access, the story is rather underdeveloped however it’s hard to imagine that the final story will have much more depth. The game is heavily focused on multiplayer and short duels which don’t really need a backstory. The only story comes from the character you choose to play with and this is just a tiny coat of paint with a limited effect on the game. Minion Masters takes place in a rather small enclosed arena which is for balance sake mirrored, so both players have the same terrain. Imagine the Coliseum in ancient Rome: the building itself is impressive but has a rather boring, oval shape filled with sand. However the fight, the duel to the death is captivating. And so it goes for Minion Masters, the arena is merely an area for the duel to take place, nothing more. The minions and buildings look good, very fantasy styled, plain swordsman and archers but also dragons and flying spaceships. Visually you can tell the difference between several of the minions. So far sound seems underdeveloped, the background music attempts to be up-tempo and threatening to fit the duel style of gameplay. More unique sounds for all minions, buildings, spells will help more veteran players to not only visually see what is going on but also help them hear what is going on.minionmasters1

Minion Masters is an action RTS card game. It’s closely related to already well-known games like Warcraft3 : Defence of the Ancients, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm. It might actually be the big brother of the mobile game Clash Royale set in the popular Clash of Clans setting. It also has a deck building card game component to it like Hearthstone. Overall the game tries to combine many genres into one, and it succeeds accordingly.

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The setup of a match is simple, the red and blue hero are going to battle it out till one runs out of health. Each hero sits immobile on their pedestal in their respectable base and both bases are connected by three lanes. In the middle of the map is a gap, only two of the lanes have a bridge, that being the top and bottom lane, the middle lane can only be crossed by flying creatures. In the classic line of Dota games you control a single hero and have no influence on the actions the base takes, usually it just spawns minions on all three lanes equally. That is why this game is more Clash Royal, you control the base and can decide which minions spawn and where, so you can charge a single lane with everything you got. But you have no control over the actions of the minions take, just on where they spawn and which ones you summon. Summoning minions comes at a cost; luckily there is a constant flow of resources coming your way. To spend those resources you select from the cards in your hand, which are random cards from your deck. Before you start the game you create the deck you want to play with. The deck building component feels very much like any card game like Hearthstone, thus balance is the key and getting to know all the cards you might encounter will become critical when playing against veteran players. Each card has a cost attached to it, so make sure to spread out the costs and not only take high cost cards.

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Minions come in a large variety of forms, but they can be divided in three large groups, being melee, ranged and siege. In their respective category they can be airborne, earthbound or immobile (buildings). Units can have special abilities as well. For example a shock lancer is not the strongest unit around but he can stun other enemies which is an excellent ability to slow down strong units. He is however an earthbound melee minion and will not have much effect against flying creatures. Finding the best combination will take some practice and since this game is multiplayer orientated many of these cards will receive tweaks to keep balance in check. Some of them might need a buff and others will be hit hard with a nerf bat. The game is in early access and player feedback will be crucial to achieve this perfect state of harmony. You don’t have access to all the minions, spells, building, heroes, etc and they need to be unlocked and this can all be done without spending real money but as with all games that put their profit in micro transactions, spending cash will give you access to stronger cards faster, creating an imbalance between those who spend and those that don’t.

A rather underdeveloped aspect at this time is the hero who is calmly sitting on his or her pedestal. By capturing the bridges your hero gains extra experience points that will unlock up to three abilities. Those abilities can be a passive bonus to your minions or an offensive attack. He/she is the key to victory, just like in chess, no matter how many pieces are in play only the king counts, once cornered it’s often check and mate.

Conclusion

Minion Masters is an early access game with potential; it builds on several formulas that have proven to be very successful. It does also have the inherent pitfalls of an online multiplayer focused game with micro transactions. Balance is crucial, players who can’t/want to spend money on the game should not be at a disadvantage. We’ll be keeping a close eye as development continues.minionmasters5

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Minion Masters: Forced to duel - Preview, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Aliana
Aliana


I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once an I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

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