‘Minimum’ Review

Platforms PC
Developer Human Head Studios   Publisher Atari
Genre Multiplayer Third-Person Shooter

Who knew that throwing giant robots into a multiplayer online battle arena-like third-person shooter would work so well? Apparently, publisher Atari and developer Human Head Studios knew. As such, their result comes in the form of Minimum – a minimalistic-stylized multiplayer-only third-person shooter focused on gathering resources and upgrading defences and weapons in real time. It’s not without its faults, but for the game’s price, Minimum is definitely worth a look. Here’s why…

Minimum’s maps are quite limited in number, though they’re still fun to play in. Said arenas of massacre include – for example – a temple-like ruin overgrown by nature, a facility, and an impressive space-station. Here, every time you kill a player, he/she drops two kinds of materials, one of which allows you to craft better amours and turrets. What’s unique – and altogether a great addition – is that these enhancements in defence are only available during your current match. Akin to MOBA games such as League of Legends, disconnecting mid-game forces you to leave everything behind, and when a new match begins, you’ll have to reacquire all said improvements.

Killing other players and collecting the second material also improves your current weapon in real time. These improvements range from turning your run-of-the-mill machine-gun into a badass automatic crossbow, or even allowing you double-wield flaming-katanas, turning you into a master samurai. And yes – in Minimum, bringing a knife to a gun-fight is a smart idea. On the flip-side, I always feel like Minimum’s weapons lack a certain impact; like you’re just pressing one button and after a few seconds, enemies just disintegrate. Additionally, the game’s swords are way too overpowered.

Besides the in-game materials, Minimum also features a few more “on the outside” – obtained by finishing matches – which allow you to purchase new guns, explosive-devices, and turrets. These weapons range from a variety of swords offering you different advantages over your enemies (such as a katana that heals you with every successful blow), to mini-guns, shotguns that allow you to briefly dash towards someone before blasting him/her to pieces (literally), plasma launchers, and more. Said weapons are fairly standard, but their variety makes up for that.

Minimum also includes micro-transactions, these ranging from new armours to weapons. Unfortunately, said defence/offense items cannot be bought with in-game currency; only with real-life cash.

Minimum offers gamers three modes to tackle. There’s the usual Team Deathmatch, a Horde mode which pits four players against enemies like ninjas, dinosaurs, or astronauts, and then there’s the Titan mode. As the name implies, this third mode features two computer-controlled Titans – one for each team. Each side fights for resources in order to power-up their respective giants, who then clash in the centre of the map. Victory is achieved when a team’s giant manages to obliterate the other team’s base. This MOBA-esque mode is easily Minimum’s best offer, highlighting features like killing ‘creeps’ to power-up your titan, or the fact that two walls need to be destroyed before the titan takes a jab one’s base.

Even with the game’s “block-y” art-style, Minimum still surprises me with its smooth animations, generally colourful environments, and catchy soundtrack. On the flip-side, the game is still missing features like upgrades or the ability to salvage materials, so one could easily question the “complete” status of the game, even though it has recently exited its Early Access stature. Additionally, server issues like the usual lag have been noticed a few times.

All in all, Minimum is a nice combination of Minecraft’s “block-y” presentation and a typical MOBA game. Being able to upgrade your armours and weapons in real-time is a great incentive to survive every player-encounter, while the Horde and Titan modes are great additions that encourage cooperation and doing more than just gunning-down your player-controlled enemies. It also helps that the minimalistic presentation is nice to look at. On the other hand, Minimum’s weapons are a bit unbalanced, and the lack of some features holds back the game’s “complete” status. Nevertheless, for its price-tag, I would definitely recommend Minimum to someone looking for something just a bit different.

The Good

  • Upgrading Weapons and Armours in Real-Time
  • Titan Mode
  • Smooth Animations and Colourful Presentation

The Bad

  • Imbalanced Weapons
  • Micro-Transactions
  • Some Missing Features

The Score 7.9