Despicable Me tells the story of a typical villain, Gru, who is put in unique situations which tests that identity. It’s an animated kids film, and no matter the storyline, it seems like the cute little yellow minions of Gru are the highlight. Gameloft understands this idea in their latest game, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, which is released ahead of Despicable Me 2. The game isn’t tied to the movie storyline, and instead is a 3D endless runner along the lines of Subway Surfers with a three lane system to swipe between. The endless genre trends more casually, while Gameloft makes more hardcore games, and this one is a cross between those two ideals. It’s effortless to pick up and play with the familiar style, but it’s not just a friendly stroll, but an action packed sprint through all kinds of crazy obstacles.
The game begins in Gru’s lab pitting you in a metallic world to run through with lasers, missiles, and rising tubes to contend with. Once you run a certain distance, you come across a boss battle with the nemesis from the first film, Vector. The boss battle is a nice change of pace, and shifts the camera angle to provide new enemies to dodge, and the ability to go on the offensive. After completing the boss battle, you can then run out in the neighborhood, kind of like switching environments in Temple Run: Oz. The neighborhood amps up the pacing, and number of obstacles to really require some nimble fingers to swipe through it all. Outside, you have to dodge cars, run on bus rooftops, and deal with cars that can drive up to cover two lanes.
There’s a constantly shifting environment as you run including running around curves, shifting into a 2D section, and jumping into tilt based slides. The most noticeable aspect is how much is going on at once, and you end up frantically trying to survive. The best part is your multiplier that you can increase by being despicable, which is to run into other minions on the side of the road. There’s also an objective system tied to the multiplier, and this helps amplify your score, and provides extra incentive to keep running. There are also some nice power-ups, with each one offering a mini-game to take part in. Overall, Gameloft has done a remarkable job of amping up the intensity of the endless runner to make it feel fresh with the extra challenge. It’s not just a movie tie-in, and instead is a new engaging endless runner you can partake in.
Despicable Me: Minion Rush (Free, Universal) is a definite rush that is filled with challenge and personality to make it a worthy addition to your iOS device.