I love roguelites, from my introduction to the genre with The Binding of Isaac back in 2011, to newer takes on the genre like the smash hit Hades and everything in between. I can’t count how many roguelites I have played over the past 10 years. Each one has its own unique feature that has cemented them into my mind, BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTE has frantic gameplay, Going Under has a vibrant art style, and Enter the Gungeon has some crazy weapons. Unfortunately, Millions of Minions fail to stand out in any way.
Millions of Minions: An Underground Adventure is available on Steam for your regional pricing.
Story – An Exiled Child
You play as a hate-filled Sorcerer. Born a cursed child, he was exiled by the people around him and eventually was captured by the king as his power had become too much. In these dungeons, the Sorcerer slowly regains his magical power until one day he can summon an army of minions to escape. The story is delivered in crudely drawn animations similar to the Binding of Isaac.
Apart from Hades, I have never played a roguelite for the story so it’s never important to me. It sets up a plot and gives context as to why you’re in a dungeon so it accomplishes exactly what it should.
Gameplay – An Underwhelming Adventure
The game is set up like any other roguelite, enter randomly generated dungeons, kill enemies, get upgrades, and fight bosses. Each area has four floors, and at the end of every level, you fight a boss. You attack by summoning minions that you can use as projectiles or as a shield. I do like this premise but its execution is poor, to say the least. There is little to no feedback when attacking, and minions sometimes don’t shoot to where I’m aiming or refuse to move at all.
When you enter a room, you have to kill all the enemies before the doors open, pretty standard stuff; however, enemies have only a handful of spawn locations and at any given moment there is a mere 2 enemies on screen. There is basically no urgency in the combat loop and the lack of feedback on hits makes for a boring experience. It would help if enemies spawned at random points and times, rather than the set times seen in the game.
To add to this, each dungeon type has only three enemies. One enemy will die after one hit, another after two, and the other after three. You could enter upwards of 10 rooms per floor with only three different enemies. As you can guess, it got stale extremely fast and it became a chore near the end of a play session. I was hoping the bosses would help switch things up but that wasn’t the case. The majority of bosses are just larger versions of the enemies you just spent the past 15 minutes fighting. They posed little to no challenge except for a boss that is a giant pair of lips. The sheer number of projectiles blocking the boss made it near impossible to get an attack in. Another issue was the game soft locking on a worm boss 3 times for me. The game is generally unpolished; little things like boss projectiles not despawning after death, projectiles following you through rooms. I died a few times from these and they all added up to a generally frustrating experience.
How Millions of Minions handles progression is underwhelming. Killing an enemy drops crystals that you have to pick up individually, you pick up hundreds of them over a single floor and it really kills the pacing. It would benefit from an auto pickup at the end of each room. I was at least hoping there would be good rewards at the end but much to my disappointment, the item economy is basically non-existent. There is no item room to my knowledge and the shop sells basic health and mana upgrades.
The only item that changed your attack is one that makes your minions bounce off walls but I never found it useful. The game would seriously benefit from different enemies to change up the gameplay; something along the lines of larger minions that deal more damage but cost more mana to summon or minions that explode on impact.
The map could be improved significantly. There is no indication as to what room is a boss room or where a shop is. It’s a basic addition that could enhance the game. I have one major gripe with the map: every room has indicators for doors on every wall even if there is no door present, it’s one of the first things I noticed while playing Millions of Minions and it added to the unpolished nature of the game.
Graphics & Audio – Just Okay
The presentation is the best part of Millions of Minions. Some of the enemy models, like the aforementioned lip enemy, are really interesting and stood out; others however are generic mummy enemies or dogs. I can see a certain aesthetic the developers were trying to achieve and it works in some areas, mainly the Sorcerer model, the minions, and the shopkeeper. The rooms could use a small bit more life; a few extra environmental assets could help spruce these up. The audio design doesn’t stick out either way. There was nothing wrong with it but I can’t remember any of the music.
Millions of Minions was reviewed on PC, a review code was provided by Head Tilt Games.