I’m not too sure what it is lately with the sudden surge of arena based combat games, but I like it. There was a game that I played earlier in the year called Brawl of Ages. This game involved two sides playing different cards to try to overwhelm the other side and destroy their Master. Minion Masters: Forced to Duel follows this recipe to a damn near tee. There are two sides fighting against one another to destroy the other master. You try to accomplish this goal by playing cards from a pre-constructed deck that you put together before jumping in. There is a lot that makes Minion Masters: Forced to Duel a fun game to play, but how long can it hold up as a clone?
On the outside, MM:FtD does indeed look like a clone of Brawl of Ages, but throws on the style and panache that comes with the Forced game series. For those that don’t already know, BetaDwarf is the Developer and Publisher of this game series and they do an amazing job producing quality content. They have a certain flair that they brought with Forced Showdown that carries highly into Minion Masters. I was lucky enough to be able to review Forced Showdown last year, but that’s not what we’re here for is it? Minion Masters puts you through a tutorial that goes over all the basics. This includes everything from deck building to playing matches, unit types and the different mechanics to the game.
Before a match starts you get to choose from a rotation of free Masters, or, ones you have purchased with the in-game or premium currency.The game itself only will run you about $4.99 with the option to purchase a $19.99 premium upgrade, which gets you awesome perks like double experience points forever (Yes like forever and ever). You can purchase premium currency just like any game like this would offer. The exchange rate isn’t horrible so go ahead and support the developer, they’re awesome. These Masters are what you are going to be attacking and defending. Each master brings something different to the fight. They aren’t just statues that don’t fight back, each master has it’s own way of attacking and three abilities to unlock in game. Experience is earned by controlling the bridges on the map by having your ground units walk over them. Controlling both grants you more experience, which means you level up quicker to gain the advantage over your enemy. This becomes pivotal if you want to win the game.
Doing your bidding for you will be the minions and spells that you build your deck with. Each minion/spell has a certain mana cost. Mana is slowly built up over time, unless you have a card that effects the mana gain speed. The cost of the cards ranges anywhere from zero to ten mana. The higher the cost to play generally means that the card is better, or it’s a bigger monster. For example, there is a 3-cost card that spawns a couple foot soldiers whereas there is a 9-cost card that summons a giant golem to fight for you. Placing your units comes with some strategic thought, certain units are airborne and are untouchable by most ground units. You can build your decks based on what master you are using. I like to use Stormbringer the archer, some of his abilities affect ranged units which can help you get an edge on the opponent’s minions.
Winning each match grants you experience and gold. The experience will help you level up your account which will unlock new features. At level nine I was able to unlock the draft mode, which is similar to Hearthstone’s Arena mode where you draft pick your deck and face off against other humans. The gold can be used to buy the keystones that are basically card packs. These will unlock new cards for you to tweak your decks. There is also a crafting system that uses shards to create new cards and deconstruct ones that you have extras of.
Something I really appreciate is the presence that BetaDwarf has with their community. Without this inclusion, Minion Masters would probably just be another clone of this genre. BetaDwarf has made it so streamers can link their Twitch account up to the game and gain bonuses everytime they stream for you and your viewers. The graphics are nice to look at and match the aesthetic. The announcer from Forced: Showdown is back and funny as ever. Aside from the small differences, there aren’t a lot of things that really set this one apart, although admittedly I did have a whole lot more fun playing in this one than with the other games of this genre. Go check out Minions Masters: Forced to Duel on your closest PC, and I’ll see you guys on the battlefield!
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