Minotaur is a 2D hack & Slash side-scroller made by the Indie developer Craig Page of Awesome Enterprises. The game is currently available on the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace for 80 Microsoft points ($1). Minotaur is also available for Windows Phones running OS 7 or 8 for only $0.99 and is expected to release for the PlayStation Vita soon. The game features 18 levels to progress through as you hack and slash your way to the end and even co-op, where you can play with up to 4 players locally and 8 players online.
GAME NAME: Minotaur
DEVELOPER(S): Awesome Enterprises
PUBLISHER(S): Awesome Enterprises
PLATFORM(S): XBLIG, Windows Phone, PlayStation Vita
GENRE(S): Hack and Slash
RELEASE DATE(S): February 18, 2013
We would like to thank Craig Page for the opportunity to review Minotaur.
Minotaur doesn’t feature any formal story, but it is pretty apparent that you are a minotaur who seemingly has some inner hatred of Romans. The game feels and plays kinda similar to a mix of a Golden Axe and Altered Beast, think a very lite version of Castle Crashers. The XBLIG and Windows Phone versions of the game do differ slightly. The XBLIG version features a larger screen of play and area to move within, while the Windows Phone version has a tighter screen with less area to move within. Whichever version you decide to play the experience will be similar as it doesn’t alter the enjoyment. It is currently unclear how the Vita version will release
The game plays like a normal 2D side-scroller, in which left is left, right is right, up is up, and down is down. All pretty obvious, no? The X button makes you jab with your axe, the Y button makes you chop with your axe, A makes you jump, and finally the most important button: Left trigger, which makes you block. Blocking will be a necessity if you plan on beating the game easily. As the game progresses you will unlock 3 attack combos which will come in handy in later levels.
When starting off you will notice that the game is kinda repetitive, but it manages to mix it up a bit by switching to a slingshot challenge every few levels. The slingshot challenge is a nice change of pace from Minotaur and feels like a mini game. It requires you to shoot down the incoming Roman soldiers with skulls as they charge your position.
One noteworthy thing to point out is the Mortal Kombat style blood. Every slash sprays large amounts of blood and some areas will get doused in blood as you progress. The settings menu also has the option to turn off blood which, like Mortal Kombat, turns it green. Everything in the settings menu seemed to work as it should except the vibration switch, regardless of whether the vibration switch was on or off, it caused your controller to vibrate when hit.
Level design in the game isn’t really diverse and feels like the same screen with differently arranged rocks and trees. The levels do however make it appear as though you are progressing through an actual world as you will notice landscapes of deserts, caves and the time of day appears to change per level.
Healing is very strange in Minotaur. It seems that healing happens at random times during the game with out any notice. Which doesn’t really affect gameplay, but there should be an indicator you are about to heal, such as a pick up of some sort, or a logo notifying you.
A nice little touch to the game was the addition of a bonus level. The level is only available if you go here and enter your Gamertag and email. Once confirmed via email, you will receive a code for the bonus level. I’m not sure if this is available for the Windows phone versions of the game, but I don’t believe so.
The audio in the game was actually well done as it suited the era properly and gave you the feeling of a long journey. The noises for slashing and hits were also fairly decent. Occasionally the Minotaur would actually speak, mostly to warn about obstacles. This was a rather welcomed addition as it helped develop your character. One suggestion however, would be to add subtitles since the Minotaur talks slowly, and it was sometimes hard to make out what he was saying.
The graphics were on par and sometimes better than many XBLIG titles. The beginning menu and the ending screen with the Minotaur both looked great. The only noticeable problem was the few times where the animation would glitch or look as though there should have been another position used for the object.
Down to the Nitty Gritty:
Overall, Minotaur is not a bad game for $1 no matter which way you look at it. The game was quite enjoyable, but the hit detection certainly needs improvement as it was rather strange throughout the game. I also had many laughs over the ridiculous double jump which made you go soaring on the screen. One thing to mention is that some of the enemies appear out of thin air and run at you, while others will not move until you pass an invisible line. The falling rocks could use some tweaking as well. If, at times, you stood anywhere in the line of the them, you would receive damage even if it didn’t appear to hit you. Finally, I would recommend trying this game in Co-Op. Whether online or local, it will make the game much more enjoyable.
Thanks for taking the time to view this article. If you enjoyed, please consider sharing it via one of the icons below. Thanks and have a great day!