Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

5.5 Overall Score

Written by on July 19, 2010 in

With the release of the film Despicable Me came the inevitable attachment of the movie tie in game and along with the usual console releases we also get the onslaught of subtitles with the DS’s Despicable Me: The Game: Minion Mayhem.  Is this movie tie in worth the price of admission or should it be left forgotten with the rest of its ilk?

Gameplay

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem’s gameplay basically amounts to a Lemmings clone in the purest sense of the term.  With each level the player is presented with a handful of minions with varying abilities.  Some can take out enemies, some can walk through fire, some can inflate, etc.  In addition to these minions the player is given a head minion tasked solely with collecting whatever item is needed to complete the level and then carry it to the exit.  To accomplish this task the player must tap each minion at the proper time to start them moving and occasionally activate various environmental devices to redirect the minions. While this is a time tested concept (see the aforementioned Lemmings) here the implementation leads to an eradicate difficulty curve with some levels being solved in a matter of seconds and others requiring demanding timing and agonizing levels of trial and error.  For a game primarily aimed at children this fact is detrimental and the game’s complete lack of a hint system or level skip can quickly bring the game to a screeching halt for many players.

Story

As it to be expected in this type of game the story in Minion Mayhem is fairly minimal and basically amounts to the character Gru offering up a quick explanation of what random McGuffin must be collected in the next several levels.  While some attempt is made to emulate the humor and charm of the film character it mostly falls flat with the game’s truncated presentation.

Presentation

The presentation in Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, while nothing spectacular, is fairly acceptable.  The character models and movement animations for the various types of minions are well done and captures well the simple personalities of this gang of flunkies.  The levels, on the other hand, leave a little more to be desired.  Each level mostly consist of a background image overlain with copy/pasted platforms and obstacles.  Still the differing ascetic of each area of the game conveys well enough the idea of the setting and the emphasis on function over style lets the player observe at a glance possible pathways and obstacles for each minion.

Verdict

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a game that seems to have fallen to the typical movie tie-in fault of being rushed out the door far to quickly.  The seeds are here for a fun portable puzzle game but eradicate difficulty and lack of helpful features makes this game more of a test of the player’s patience than a fun and challenging diversion.  Perhaps one day we will be blessed with the miracle of a good movie tie-in game but, sadly, that day is not today.

A copy was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Tylor Long View all posts by

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