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Minotaur Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Not even an interesting looking hero can make up for the mindless (and sometimes broken) gameplay and awful level designs. At best, Minotaur doesn't do anything to evolve the genre, while at worse it is a giant step back from even the bad old days of Tuff E Nuff and Rival Turf. Having said that, Scott Page's portfolio of artwork is worth checking out! Rating: 10%
Minotaur
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  • Review Score:

  • D-
Not long ago, I reviewed Capcom's newest old school arcade compilation, Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. Despite the two games being nearly twenty years old, I was surprised how the package managed to evolve the tried and true beat-em-up genre. With countless hidden areas, multiple paths to explore and all sorts of abilities to use against foes, the downloadable collection is a high water mark for this particular sub-genre.

I opine about the days of playing Chronicles of Mystara, because even daydreaming about Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons collection is more fun than playing Minotaur. This is everything that is wrong with the brawler genre, right down to the painfully boring level designs and button mashing. It's not without potential, but the game currently available in the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace is impossible to recommend.

Minotaur (Xbox Live Indie Games)

Minotaur is the first game from Scott and Craig Page, a Canadian duo who decided to come together to create a Golden Axe-style 2D brawler. A quick look at Scott Page's business site suggests that he's an accomplished artist, featuring a treasure trove of cartoons and illustrations. Scott's artwork is the first thing you'll notice when playing Minotaur, and for good reason. Sadly, the artwork is ultimately let down by the programming.

As beat-em-ups go, Minotaur is on the shallow side. There's no story, no set-up; you're simply thrown into a world where you play a Minotaur and soldiers are after you. Towering above the enemies and using a giant battle ax, our hero looks to be unstoppable. But don't get too cocky, because the game is about to throw a lot of soldiers (and cheap hits) your way.

There aren't any special moves to learn or combos to master. You won't earn special abilities the further you get and don't expect to use magic spells to vanquish your foes. This is as barebones as it gets, with you hammering one of two attack buttons (weak and strong) and occasionally blocking. Even by Golden Axe's standards, Minotaur is paper thin.

Minotaur (Xbox Live Indie Games)

The enemy AI is among the worst I've seen, quick to get stuck in the sparse obstacles that stand in the way of Minotaur. Often the enemies will seem completely undaunted by the large beast rolling towards them. Nobody acts realistically, or even like normal computer-controlled soldiers. Poor AI ranges from distracting to outright frustrating, especially when it comes to the various boss battles.

It doesn't help that every single enemy looks the same. With a few exceptions, nearly every bad guy looks the same. Instead of drawing new bad guys, the soldiers simply come in several sizes. Eventually the game tries to switch things up with headless ghost soldiers and floating arms, but even they are clearly using the same basic soldier artwork. To be fair to Scott Page, I did run into a couple original designs as the game progressed. However, for every original enemy, there are a few hundred multi-sized soldiers to fight off.
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