- Free to play
- Blizzard-like charm
- Combines the best of MOBAs and deck-building into a unique experience
Impressions based on an Early Access build. Big thanks to BetaDwarf for their support.
Minion Masters is a game that checks so many of my favorite boxes. Its’ a deck builder with plenty of levels of rarity between cards. It’s a MOBA that can be played in 1v1 or 2v2 fashion. And, importantly, matches are fairly short at 2-5 minutes. If I’d stumbled upon it just 12 days ago (December 31st, 2018), it would be in consideration for my game of the year. So look out games of 2019! But if you’re really keeping score, Minion Masters first launch in December of 2016 in early access, where it remains today. Across 10,000+ reviews on Steam, it has a recent and all reviews status of “very positive”. Their Discord server has more than 50,000 members and I’ve observed 25%-30% are online at any given time. That’s fantastic!
Developer BetaDwarf, known by PC gamers for their excellent co-op dungeon crawler, Forced, has built one of the most fun and unique experiences I’ve played in quite some time. Minion Masters manages to combine MOBA gameplay action and strategy with deck building, without feeling like other games. Although, it does have the charm of games like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm – and that’s a pure compliment to both Blizzard and the BetaDwarf art design team. The game is beautiful in it’s own right.
Accessing the game from Steam or Discord is extremely welcoming. Not only is it free to play, but it also occupies just 3.5GB of storage. I’m running it on my Razer Blade 15, which is overpowered for running Minion Masters. I’m able to run it in 1080p at max settings at well over 100 FPS. But it’s not a twitch shooter where you need ultra smooth FPS. It is, however, a true action-strategy game in the sense that you need to plan your deck around resource costs, power, combos (theoretical, not practical), and your hero character. Each hero character defends the home base while providing various skills to your overall deck. The starting hero (called a “Master”), for example, is ranged and offense-oriented. If you’re able to occupy both lanes (a MOBA term that effectively means you’re more active offensively across the primary access between you and your opponent) you’ll more quickly accumulate experience. This experience is used to automatically unlock your chosen Master’s 3 skills. It amazing me that all of this happens in under 5 minutes.
The game is beautiful in it’s own right.
While Minion Masters is free to play, there is a a $19.99 SKU that grants you all of the Masters right off the bat. Otherwise your path is to earn them, buy them with in-game currency, or play the week’s rotation of free Masters.
What Needs Improvement
While this build is not yet version 1.0, I do feel compelled to ask for ultrawide monitor support. Although it won’t provide any advantage to gamers, it would be nice to see stats, world chat, and achievement status on the sides of the play area. More to come as the game reaches version 1.0.
Who is it For?
At this point, Minion Masters is a popular and strategic game with a quick gameplay loop. It’s easy to pop in and out between meetings or perhaps errands at home. It’s also coffee-shop friendly as it doesn’t demand a super low ping like Call of Duty 4 or Battlefield V. So, if you find yourself itching for a strategic game like an RTS or MOBA, but you don’t have time to play them (and let’s be real, nearly all of those games have dried up) then Minion Masters is worth an hour of your time and zero of your dollars to just try out. Do it!