06/05/2020

๐Ÿ”ฆ๐Ÿ‘ป Don’t Die, Minerva! | Preview | XBOX | "A Ton Of Saucy Loot!" ๐Ÿ”ฆ๐Ÿ‘ป #GameDev #IndieGames

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I’ve played a lot of early access games in my time at Games Freezer and I’m used to seeing games that are yet to be fleshed out, heck even ones that are more skeletal than anything!

When I installed Don’t Die, Minerva! I was surprised by how robust it felt and quickly found myself getting stuck into the gameplay.
As the titular Minerva, you find yourself at some strange purgatorial gates, the mansion that inhabits the area, as well as the surrounding grounds, are owned by The Master, an initially unseen figure that holds court over his domain.

Beginning with a lowly flashlight and simple backpack, Minerva must delve deeper into the bowels of this ghostly place and find out what the heck has happened to her…and pick up a ton of saucy loot along the way.
Presented in an isometric perspective, Don’t Die, Minerva! Has a visual style and tone that is reminiscent of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, kooky, weird and wonderful, in other words.
As you make your way through the procedurally-generated rooms, you need to collect crystals, coins and randomly dropped bonuses in the forms of weapons and stuffed friends that grant bonuses that can be the difference between life and death.

You are unable to take an exit from each room until the enemies are cleared and, sometimes, in the larger rooms it does boil down to scouring the edges to find the last cowardly foe tucked away in the corner, I must admit that it would have been handy to have them appear as red dots on your mini-map to remove these slightly tedious moments.

Other than that small gripe though, the combat is really fun. The balancing act between the upgrades to your flashlight, backpack and the familiars that can aid you (the cat was my favourite, awesome little thing!) is quite well done and quite often I found myself eyeing up a super-powered bulb-thrower but not wanting to take the risk because it would take a chunk off my MASSIVE health pool.
Upon death, you start at the beginning of the game but keep all of the permanent upgrades that you purchase in exchange for crystals from the butler of the estate so there is a sense of over-arching progress; it’s a grind…but a fun one. The sense of fun, as well as the gently rolling Danny Elfman-like score, is one that I intend to return to.
There is one thing that does seem to be a chink in the armour of the game, though and that is the fact it’s a purely single-player experience. No matter how well designed the game is, a multiplayer element always raises the fun factor, especially in this particular genre. That said, in single-player mode, I much prefer this game to Diablo 3 already and it’s not even finished, yet!
To summarise, if you are a person who enjoys loot games and is happy for a solid single-player experience in a game where upgrades really do make a difference and don’t feel grindingly incremental, I heartily recommend Don’t Die, Minerva! Even in its current state as it already feels absolutely fine to me.


Right, I’m off to kill some ghosts.
Britt

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