Published on August 6th, 2014 | by JC Richardson7
Mage And Minions Review
There’s a whole bunch of Diablo clones jostling for position in the Play store these days, so let’s look at a new one that’s standing out from the other pretenders – indie developer Making Fun’s Mage And Minions.
You all know Diablo. With its hordes of enemies to cut a swathe through and stacks of loot to collect, it inspired a whole raft of wannabes seeking to replicate the highly addictive click-to-kill mechanism. Some do it well, like Mage and Minions, which keeps the Diablo spirit alive, but tweaks it for the modern mobile market. Yes, that does mean IAPs unfortunately, but M and M’s are about as fair as any I’ve come across. More on that shortly.
M and M has your character take on a single class – part tank and part spellcaster – and you collect minions along the path of the campaign, like Eileen the healer and Marcus the tough guy. They each have varying talents, and once found you can choose a minion to follow you and give close support. Using talents, your own or theirs, has you drawing symbols on-screen to release massive damage spells, attacks, taunts, etc. New talents are unlocked as you level up, but frustratingly you have to pay for new slots with diamonds – these come as rewards for finishing and replaying levels, as a daily bonus and (of course) as an IAP.
Other minions are available too, also paid for with diamonds. Speeding up spell upgrades costs diamonds, opening the posh treasure chests costs diamonds, speeding up crafting costs diamonds… Well, you get the idea. Everything costs diamonds, apart from a few pieces of inferior equipment which you buy with in-game money from the shop.
Despite all this, it’s hard to call M and M unfair or greedy. You can replay any level for increasingly high numbers of diamonds every time, so you can certainly grind your way to success. Start off your upgrades or crafting as you leave a session, and it’s invariably ready for you next time you play, so the IAPs are more for the player with less patience really.
The gameplay itself is more linear than Diablo, but it’s executed brilliantly, with hordes of zombies and merloks to rip through, along with some pretty nasty boss battles. It’s a standard revenge plot, but the dialogue is well written and the whole game has a highly professional shine to it which makes it a cut above the others.
Summary: Mage and Minions may be following a well-trodden path, but it pulls it off with flair and has a solid game at its core. The IAPs will be a sticking point for some, but they're unlikely to ruin anything for the casual player. Recommended.