Overlord Minions DS Review
At first glance, Overlord Minions appears to be a fun spin-off of the console games. Rather than controlling a dark, powerful Overlord that crushes anything he comes across, you guide four of his minions through a series of levels, using their unique abilities to keep moving forward. Several problems, however, keep these creatures from serving a purpose.
Each of the four minions possesses powers you'll need to progress through each stage. Stench (the green one) can withstand poison gas fields, Blaze (the red one) has no trouble walking through fire, Zap (the blue one) walks across ice and water and Giblet (a brown one) collects smaller objects and moves larger ones around. They all stay together in a group, although their dimwitted "follow the leader" logic works against them. They're so stupid that they collide with walls and fall into bottomless pits, even if you manage to avoid both with your head minion.
The entire game is played using the stylus on the DS touch screen, and this is a big mistake on Codemasters' part. These minions barely respond to any of your commands. They hit enemies, but if you want to pick up an item or even move across the room, it takes several taps to get the job done. Considering you'll run into more than one area where survival is essential to get to the next stage, this becomes frustrating.
Furthermore, there are no checkpoints. You could be three quarters of the way through a castle stage, just about ready to reach a boss fight, when your team dies unexpectedly. Instead of restarting right there, the game whisks you to the beginning.
Even worse, Overlord Minions doesn't look that great. The camera perspective is too zoomed in, keeping a primary focus on your minions and not letting you see all the dangers in each stage. Texture problems and glitches also pop up, to the point that enemies jerk around unexpectedly and wood floors resemble mud.
Don't expect amazing things from the audio, either. The soundtrack is all right, but it loops way too often. The sound effects are lackluster, with barely any humorous chatter from the minions.
Despite the interesting concept (it reminds us of the old-school Lost Vikings games), Overlord Minions doesn't get the job done, thanks to unimpressive visuals and broken gameplay. Minions' service, denined.
What's Hot: Interesting team concept similar to the Lost Vikings games, simple combat.
What's Not: Sloppy touch-screen stylus controls, game doesn't have any checkpoints to save your progress, minions aren't bright enough to avoid falling into pits or colliding with walls, muddy visuals with glitches galore.