Mechs v Minions is a co-op game set in a cutesie manga world full of locust like minions whom could be dealt with much easier with some nasty 70s proximity disease like moxamatosis
The game is fully co-op so like a Garda who’s uttered a few “ah ha’s” as you’ve tried to explain yourself through the window of the car you just dropped out of warp in, I shall begin reading it it’s rights
Set in the magical land of Whocaresless each player takes a cartoony mech and sets about completing a particular task (possibly while shouting COOPERATION! And high fiving each other) like moving a bomb from one spot to another or kill some dudes or other stuff I haven’t gotten to yet. In the words of Adam West “some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb”
Now I have to qualify this. I’ve only played three games so far so this is my brutally honest early opinion from our Thur night gaming sessions that are not a million miles from xfactor insofar as we have a shed load of unplayed games and we wheel a new one out each week to see if it’s good enough to make the semis. Mechs and Minions didn’t get me anywhere near semi….
The game is beautifully presented. You get a lot of plastic for your buck. It’s beautifully packaged like an €85 box of chocolates and the various trays with dozens of minis all slot together real nice. It’s a surprisingly big box, bigger than Scythe I’d wager. Bigger than War of the Ring. It also has a bubbly personality.
The artwork and models are straight out of World of Warcraft or anything by Blizzard. Big, angular, bright and distinctive. Actually Dota 2 could be it’s twin. I’ll be honest I’ve never been a fan of this art style it’s just too sacerine sweet for my tastes.
Ok let’s get to the crux. The game is a programming game not a million miles from Robo Rally. Each mech has got eight slots on It’s programming board where you can place a program card which will make it move, turn, shoot, defend. Each round players take it in turn to draw an additional card of their choice from a draft of five or six and add it on their board. Once everyone’s done that the programs are executed and the mechs take you literally and perambulate away in roughly the direction you hoped for. The minions then move, spawn like rabbits and if they wind up beside you spank your hams.
Once you’ve been hit you wind up with random damage cards that throw spanners in your programming works. Your very handy move forward two spaces could get replaced with a turn 90 degrees glitch instead. Some of the glitch cards transpose some of your programming slots and go away whilst others hang around on top of a slot denying you the move under it until it’s repaired. Getting glitches is a royal pain in the hoop
Each of the slots can have up to three of the same card type,so a move forward might be powered up to be two or three spaces forward or 90, 180, anyway you like turning. Cards often double up with weapon abilities so you might have a turn and fire or a slide sideways and kill all the adjacent minions. Rolling over a minion will bump them off too.
And that’s it. You move your mech. You cull annoying minions and you attempt to complete a mission. The difficulty of the game is not based so much on your skill as the granularity of the moves open to you. Moving faster means it’s harder to get to specific spots. In robo rally unexpected results were genuinely funny (20 years ago) in Mechs and Minions they just feel frustrating. You don’t feel as in control of the mechs as you did the robots in Robo Rally. They career around the place and it’s often a case of having to wait a few turns before the movement card you need comes up. It’s often a bit too random. Yes yes think smarter, but no movement cards coming out for two turns is again frustrating
Now it’s more than possible I’m missing something and the earlier missions lead to really enjoyable ones but so far I’m nonplused by the whole affair. I’ll play it again. It’s far too Purdy to just abandon but it better start putting out soon or it’s the pit of despair for it and fast. So far so average.
Stay tuned for the next play in a few weeks
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