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Pocket Minions

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Recruit, build, repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

Product: Pocket Minions | Publisher: SiuYiu | Format: iPhone | Genre: RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | File size: 75.3MB | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Pocket Minions iPhone, thumbnail 1
Peasants in the Middle Ages did not have a easy lives. From dawn to dusk, their days involved hours of thankless toil for their feudal masters with no hope of career advancement, excitement, or a comfortable retirement.

Pocket Minions allows you to step into this life of drudgery as you micromanage your minions and turn them into a well-oiled machine of tower-building.

While the simple trappings of Pocket Minions are disarmingly cute (the wizards are downright adorable), they lose their novelty quickly when you stare at them for a long time.

And stare at them you will.

For a game that's passive about hawking its in-app purchases, Pocket Minions nevertheless forces you to spend a lot of your playing time waiting for the minions to complete their tasks and for resources to be created.

This conspires to make the pacing of Pocket Minions too slow for focused gameplay and slightly too fast for absentee, set-and-forget mediaeval landlords.

If you want to get anywhere in Pocket Minions, you'll need to wait and watch.

Building from the ground up

The one thing you can't accuse Pocket Minions of is leaving you out of the tower-building process. You have the ability to create whatever rooms you like, recruit whichever minions you choose, and keep them all happy and in line lest they turn rebellious and begin working against you.

Regrettably, this micromanaging is all that you will be doing for a large portion of the game. Eventually a dragon or two may come along to attack your tower, but ultimately your only reward for building a tower is to go and build another tower.

This wouldn't be a problem in a more exciting game with a rich plot or varied soundtrack, but the majority of the gameplay in Pocket Minions is grinding for the sake of grinding.

While your tower eventually goes up a level, there's really no carrot on the end of the stick to encourage you to continue with the process.

Adorable banality

Pocket Minions is nothing if not thorough in its presentation of the tower economy. As you build your tower, you're tasked with making sure that certain required facilities like bathrooms, furnaces, and stairs are available for your minions.

When the toilet clogs or the furnace light goes out, you'll need to build a maid's quarters and recruit maids to attend to those distinctly unpleasant tasks. Lamentably, the maids won't undertake this duty of their own free will (can you blame them?) - you have to manually select them and tell them what to do.

This level of required input is bad enough, but the controls make the process of selecting minions and tasking them with what is in many cases their only job unbearable. The game lags with each tap, and the problem is compounded on floors mobbed with a million marching minions.

And as the game's complexity continues and you have to catch thieves and exorcise ghosts, the detail get more interesting, but the gameplay remains as prosaic as ever.

If the Facebook or social simulation games like FarmVille appeal to you, Pocket Minions will offer a similar gaming experience in an undeniably cute package. Sadly, for those not into the sim social scene, it offers little more than the chance to unclog toilets in a fantasy setting as you wait for dragons to attack you.
Pocket Minions
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 31 July 2012
An exacting simulation and management game that has you controlling most every aspect of your minions' lives
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