Developer: Gameloft
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

I’m always weary of games based on movies because often times they are simply promotional tools instead of fun games. Despicable Me: Minion Rush is no such game and would be worthy of a download even if it wasn’t tied into the Despicable Me movie franchise. Universal Studios teamed up with Gameloft, one of the most well-known and respected development studios, to make the game and it definitely does the movie justice.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush is an infinite runner that will remind everyone of a slew of other such games. While the concept isn’t new, the execution is close to perfect. The controls are responsive and make it easy to move side to side, jump, and duck. There are different obstacles that appear in the minion’s path that have to be sidestepped, jumped over, or ducked under. To throw variety into the mix, sometimes the minion will enter a green slide that renders all of the normal controls useless and instead players have to tilt their device. Tilting is also how players control the minion when it gets in a plane and flies above the level.
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While I would classify this game as an infinite runner, it is far more than just that because of all the additional elements it adds. For instance, there are boss fights where players have to avoid enemies and attack at the same time. Also, surprisingly the viewing angle shifts often from over head to the side of the running minion. The change in perspective makes the game more difficult because in addition to it taking a second to get acclimated to the new view, navigating the course and avoiding obstacles is even more difficult from a side view.

The graphics in Despicable Me: Minion Rush are detailed and have the same great look as the movie. All the artwork is 3D and the levels always have intricate backgrounds. Fans of the movie will appreciate that many of the locations are drawn from the movie and give the sense that players are running through part of the world depicted in the movie. Players can also purchase different costumes for the minion, although the prices are a little high.

The only critical thing I can say about Despicable Me: Minion Rush is that the prods to pay for in-app purchases are a bit pushy. When players hit an obstacle they can pay tokens, the in-app currency that players earn, to keep going. Now, it’s completely possible to earn enough tokens by just playing the game to afford continuing multiple times, but for some of the better items and power-ups, it will take most people a while to earn enough tokens. This practice of heavily encouraging players to spend real money is pervasive now for free games, so I’m not surprised this is the way the publishers decided to monetize the game.

Despite the app store being littered with thousands of infinite runners, Despicable Me: Minion Rush has risen to the top of the heap because of it crisp and detailed 3D graphics, flawless execution of traditional infinite runner game mechanics, and the unique twists it throws in. While the pestering to make in-app purchases is higher than I’d like, it’s still a great game.

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