This is a review about Minion Masters, a fast-paced online deck-building battle game created by BetaDwarf Entertainment. The game was officially released through Steam on 2 December 2016 for PC and later for Xbox One.

Gameplay

In Minion Masters you get to choose one of the 11 unique heroes (more heroes will eventually come with future updates) and build your deck around that hero. Each hero has three different abilities bounded by his level. Understanding those can help you decide which archetype of deck you want to play. Every deck consists of 10 cards, either spells or minions. Cards have different stats, attack range, synergies, abilities and their cost vary from 0 to 10 mana. You can draw up to four cards and every time you play one, a new one will be added to your hand, recycling these 10 cards until the end of the game. The positioning of your minions as well as their spawn points and timing all affect in a great extend the course of the game because, for example, flying minions can’t be hit by ground melee since, for damage to be inflicted, it is required for a minion to reach it’s opponent.

You start the game in an arena with two bridges that separate two territories. The left part is your spawn area where you can summon your minions wherever you want while the right one is the enemy part. In order to play a card you pay the cost from a mana bar that refills slowly all the time but it can’t exceed 10 mana. Heroes start at 0 level and they gain experience when you control a bridge. In order to control the bridge, the last unit that touched it must be a friendly one and there must not be enemy units contesting it. When heroes gain enough experience, they level up allowing you to use their skills. Once they hit level 4 though you enter a Mana Frenzy state, meaning that your mana bar regenerates very quickly for the rest of the game allowing you to spam-play cards. Your goal is to reduce the enemy’s life points to 0, leading to a glorious explosion, assuring your victory.

Online Features

The creation of BetaDwarf Entertainment has three main different modes, Ranked, Draft and Mayhem. In Ranked you can choose the Solo Que, the Random Team Que or the Premade Que. Every one of these options has its own ranking that starts from the Wood Division and continues to Stone, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grand Master. Draft is a classic arena game, letting you choose from three random heroes and then making a deck from random cards. Your goal is to win as many games as possible before losing 3 times with your custom deck. Mayhem is more like a story PVE mode allowing you to unlock multiple rewards if you have the time.

Graphics / Sound

The cartoon-ish graphics look great and the card models are very detailed. After many hours in the Minion Master arena, I couldn’t find any bugs or rendering and the movement of the pieces was extremely smooth. Regarding the sound, none can complain about the amazing voice actor that tackles the announcer’s possition, making the player feel like he is in a crowded stadium. As for the sound effects, they are decent and add in the realism of the battle.

Unique Features

This title is not your classic card game. The player’s cards become pieces in the battleground like a giant chessboard, although they move automatically, so positioning is essential in order to achieve victory. Minion Masters also have a 2vs2 Team Mode Battle system that allows you to either make a premade team with a friend or team up with a random stranger. You don’t see often Team Mode in card games and it adds a new whole perspective for co-op deck-building.

Pros

  • Combines chess elements with deck-building

  • Card Game with 2vs2 Modes

  • Smooth Gameplay

  • Fast small patches improving the cards

Cons

  • Small collection of cards

  • Playing in the same Arena all the time can get boring

Rating (7.8/10)

  • Online: 7/10

  • Gameplay: 8.5/10

  • Graphics: 7.5/10

  • Sound: 7.5/10

  • Uniqueness: 8.5/10

Primary Version Tested: PC

Foivos Karkanis

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