Minion Masters is a Real Time Strategy game that uses card battler mechanics to create the pool of units you use in the game. Like most RTS gameplay actions happen simultaneously without the use of turns. Also like most RTS games, the individual characters you use to fight the battles, the minions, are not full characters but more like chess pieces on a board. Minion Masters creates this pool of pieces by requiring you to create a “deck” of cards representing the forces from which you can pull to play the main game. During a game you receive constant resources that you use to pay for the cards you summon to attempt to destroy your opponent’s base called their tower, while defending your tower from their assault. Your character is represented by a master avatar that roosts on top of your tower and different avatars can influence the battlefield in different ways. These abilities also level up as a match progresses.
The focus of Minion Masters is solidly on strategic gameplay in a limited area. Unlike many RTS style games the entire battlefield is visible on one screen. The smaller size of the battlefields also make the games progress much faster. The deck building aspect is less part of the direct gameplay and more the method the creators used to frame resource creation in the game.
The game starts you out with about five training matches versus AI opponents. These matches give you most of the basic information you need, but left me still a little unsure about some of the nuances of the game systems. The game seems targeted to audiences with at least some familiarity with the genre, as some previous knowledge is assumed.
Minion Masters does not have training versus AI options within the game. They do provide some versus AI mission style adventures, but nothing that is designated for continuing practice. Realistically the game focuses on PvP, and once the training levels are done expects that your next step will be playing versus other masters.
The main development within the game is filling out and leveling up the cards within your deck. During a match whatever customizations you start with, will be the only ones available for that match. Even with card and master leveling the actual abilities of most of the elements do not change. They may get a little tougher and nastier, but a low level card pretty much does the same thing as a higher level card in term of effect.
The game is free to play and gives you most everything you need at the start. At this time the game also seems generous with rewards.
In game purchases
The main game affecting purchases you can make with real money are the random boosters of cards. Any cards you can receive through real money transactions can also be obtained by playing the game. Real money just gives you more opportunity to get those cards sooner. This allows paying players to progress into higher echelons of the game quicker, but once playing against opponents with similar resources, paid or not, they will be on equal footing.
The main monetization comes through cosmetic purchases. For one lump sum you can buy all the current master characters and any new masters that come out at a later time. Also you are able to use real world money to purchase different outfits or skins for those characters. These are common monetization practices in many online games.
Competition with the same level players is very balanced. The game requires you to not only know how to put cards together in a deck, but also how those cards synergize with a chosen master and should be played onto the battlefield.
You can pay to speed progression, but nothing for sale in the game will affect you rability to play on an equal footing with your opponents.
The rewards in this game consist mostly of more resources to allow you to customize and create your decks. Beyond the ability to have more options in game, there are really no other game incentives.
The only one-time options are $20 for two kinds of in game currency, five random card packs, six additional deck slots, and two permanent boosts to xp and gold (20% and 50% respectively) and $20 dollars for the all masters upgrade.
Overall my initial take with Minion Masters is that it is quite fun. The gameplay seems balanced and fair. While you can spend money to get cool cosmetics and support the programmers that made the game, it is by no means necessary. All the basic functions and characters are available through playing the game, and if you want to dedicate the time, you can get just about any benefit those who might be paying for the content can get. The balance is good and it doesn’t feel like any of the masters are so over powered that they must be played to be competitive. Overall the game is a delightful little RTS brawler that just about any gamer should be able to pick up and have fun beating on other gamers. I have not been playing the game for long and will finish with another review once I have a little more experience under my belt. Tune back in for my second review and keep an eye out for my youtube video showcasing my intro to this game and some playtime!