Minotaur Rescue iPad Review
Jeff Minter, the creative genius behind Gridrunner, Tempest 2000 and the underrated Xbox Live title, Space Giraffe, has taken his talents to the App Store. His latest effort, Minotaur Rescue, is just as crazy as previous accomplishments, but it's one of those games that, when everything clicks, you won't be able to put it down. The fact that it only costs $0.99 sweetens the deal.
Dripping with 80s nostalgia, this challenging gem tasks you with guiding a ship (equipped with a Mark Super Seven Quantum Drive) through space, where the goal is to grab Minotaurs floating by while at the same time preventing them and large asteroids from traveling into the sun, which transforms into a black hole if it consumes too many objects. Meanwhile, flying saucers appear at random to make the game even crazier.
Thankfully, your ship comes equipped with rapid-fire lasers, which allow you to focus primarily on nabbing Minotaurs and blasting rocks. Achieving these goals, though, are easier said than done, since the game throws a ton of 8-bit style goodness onto the screen, to the point where it's almost impossible tracking the ship; in the Asteroids tradition, flying off the screen causes the ship to appear on the opposite end of the playfield.
It's a lot to digest, especially with asteroids breaking into smaller pieces, gunfire filling the screen and enemies out to transform your ship into scrap metal. On top of that, the controls are a bit unwieldy at first, as the vessel quickly zips into harms way.
Once you get the hang of things (slow swipes work best), Minotaur Rescue is a joy to play. It also packs a good amount of variety in the form of multiplayer (1-4 players on iPad, 1-2 on iPhone), as well as three additional modes: Deep Space Minotaur Madness (removes the sun), Tanks! (inspired by the Atari 2600 game, Combat) and Jets! (again, from Combat fame). You definitely get a lot for the money.
Factor in the retro style graphics and music (bleeps, bloops and humorous grunts), and Minotaur Rescue is without question a must buy. Minter's love of all things old school has paid dividends, with a sweet shooter you need to experience, especially if you grew up during the golden age of Atari.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (3rd generation), iPod Touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: Old school graphics and audio, cute Minotaurs, multiple game modes, challenging gameplay, only costs $0.99.
What's Not: Hard keeping track of the ship.