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Despicable Me: Minion Rush

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Slow down, little feller

Product: Despicable Me: Minion Rush | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: iPad | Genre: Endless running | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Despicable Me: Minion Rush iPad, thumbnail 1
Despicable Me was a huge box office hit back in 2010, and a large part of the appeal for audiences was the cheeky behaviour of its minions.

It's easy to see why. Pint-sized with a mischievous sense of humour, possessed of a limited but expressive vocabulary, and often in the company of an adorable little totter, they were essentially caricatures of the kids that made up the bulk of the film's audience.

Fittingly enough, Despicable Me: Minion Rush displays many of the characteristics of its titular characters - and not always for the best.

Are we there yet?

This is a hyperactive child of a game. It's loud, brash, impatient, messy, and fun. It's also tiresome to spend too much time with.

Which is an odd analogy to make when you consider that it's yet another Temple Run-aping endless-runner. Your minion runs into the screen, and it's up to you to swipe left, right, up, and down in order to dodge obstacles and collect bananas.

Gameloft attempts to distract you from this numbing familiarity not by innovating, but by throwing as many distractions at you as it can.

The camera is restless, occasionally flipping to a side-on perspective for no other reason than to do something a bit different.

Stuff and nonsense

The controls, too, aren't content to stick with the swiping and frequently switch to a tilt system when your character jumps into a bum-sliding chute or mounts a rocket. Y'know, just because it can.

Levels are packed full of STUFF. Stuff to jump over, stuff to duck under, stuff to leap off or onto. There are fellow minions to bash for bonus points and boss fights to engage in. Just as you're getting bored of starting from the same industrial starting point every time, you'll switch to a bustling town environment.

There are missions, too - simple checklist tasks that need to be completed in order to obtain more tokens and level your minion up. This kind of thing has been seen before in endless-runners, but they do seem to be nicely varied here.

Potential banana skin

As you might expect from a Gameloft-made endless-runner, this is a freemium title, and you'll be prodded to spend at various points.

IAPs explained
You can get plenty of enjoyment out of Despicable Me: Minion Rush without spending a penny, but you will need to spend tokens if you want to continue when you die. And tokens - in meaningful quantity - cost money.

£1.49 / $1.99 starts you off with a 200-strong Stack of Tokens, which will grant you a fair few restarts. Having said that, the amount of tokens required to continue builds with consecutive retries.

Ultimately, the better you are at the game, the less you'll feel the need to pay.
Still, this is one of the easier-going titles when it comes to wringing the pennies out of you. The main thing you need tokens for is to continue when you die, which seems like a bit of a cheat in a game of this kind anyway.

Otherwise, you'll mainly be using the game's banana currency to unlock and upgrade items like the Banana Vacuum - and they're pretty plentiful within the game.

One quirk that we're not so forgiving of is Despicable Me: Minion Rush's performance. A game of this kind - and with this kind of major IP - needs to be buttery smooth, and it just isn't. Not on our iPad 3, anyway. There are occasional but noticeable stutters as the game appears to struggle with all of elements it's throwing at you.

Like that hyperactive child we mentioned at the outset, Despicable Me: Minion Rush frequently over-exerts itself with an abundance of undirected activity and a short attention span. Fun, then, but also a bit of a headache.
Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 17 June 2013
Full of undirected energy and enthusiasm, Despicable Me: Minion Rush is a hyperactive endless-runner that lacks poise and focus
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