The Minotaur (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 25.10.2015

Review for The Minotaur on PC

Why, in this day and age, would a developer choose to create something as simple in look and concept as The Minotaur? With titles like Pac-Man and Tetris, which remain popular even to this day, despite their overall simplicity and Spartan graphics, however, that question becomes "Well, why not?" Yes, this is extremely simple, and the fact that the version tested was the beta one made things even more so, with nothing but the core mechanics being offered - and, of course, Cubed3 was there to take a small peek into Ratalaika Games' Greek Mythology-inspired creation.

The Minotaur looks dull. The very few available sprites have a pretty bland design, and the only type of level design that is currently available has just three tiles: the wall tile, the brown brick tile, and the blue brick tile. It's not ugly, but it lacks character, and it could certainly benefit from some heavy, retro-inspired aesthetics. At least the music composed by FKK Music is much better, in all its 8-bit-meets-techno-meets-funk glory.

The thing is, although it would definitely be nice if it looked less boring, this was never supposed to be an audio-visual wonder, since it's 100% focused on the gameplay. The unnamed protagonist of this man-versus-beast story must crush his opposition, which comes in the form of a couple of hundred Minotaurs - oh, and take the word 'crush' literally, since that's they only way to beat them; therefore, don't expect to go all Theseus on their bovine behinds.

Screenshot for The Minotaur on PC

The hero, or heroes since this can be experienced cooperatively, have to push some blocks in order to squash the Minotaurs on a wall, or enclose them in a cleverly made "cage" of stone. Those monsters won't sit idly by, and will chase the human around, yet while it's relatively easy to escape their grasp, it can be surprisingly hard to defeat them. Furthermore, some of them are quite tough, with one type of Minotaur impervious to the standard, moveable bricks, and another one that is such a badass, that he even kills his one kind.

For a beta version, this feels like a pretty well-made product. There are a few bugs here and there, but for the most part it's all quite good, and, honestly, way better than many Early Access titles or full releases. The problem? There is nothing more to say about it. Besides the arcade, there is a challenge mode where the levels are way trickier, and a wonderfully easy to use level editor, but the whole thing becomes boring way, way too soon.

The method of attack is not exactly the most exciting one; therefore, what The Minotaur currently needs is lots of content that could spice things up a bit, like a time limit, a couple of traps, some minor enemies, a bunch of power-ups, and so on, because, at its current state, this feels like those simple, pre-smartphone era mobile games. To put it otherwise: imagine Bomberman with just one enemy, and no items. Would it feel the same?

Screenshot for The Minotaur on PC

Final Thoughts

Remember Beast? It's a very old MS-DOS game that is almost identical to The Minotaur. Was it good? Well, like Ratalaika Games' creation, it was surely not bad, and that's the problem here. The title at hand is just… okay - nothing more, nothing less. However - and since this is currently at the beta version phase of development - there is still hope, because, while it will possibly never become the next great indie classic, that doesn't mean that it can't get any better.

Developer

Ratalaika Games

Publisher

Ratalaika Games

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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