Minotaur Rescue is a trippy tribute to the classics Spacewar, Asteroids and Combat
There’s a good chance you’re going to hate Minotaur Rescue. It’s hard, a bit confusing, and there’s a ton of psychedelic effects and sounds going off at every turn. There are also minotaurs wearing rainbow shirts that you need to rescue with your spaceship. It’s unapologetic, bizarre, and makes you feel like you’re on an acid trip when you boot it up. Yup, there’s a good chance you’re going to hate this game... but we love it.
There are a few different game modes in Minotaur Rescue, but the main game is “Solar Minotaur Rescue Frenzy,” which is really a combination of the classics Spacewar! and Asteroids. You steer your autofiring ship around the screen destroying asteroids while dealing with the collapsing sun in the middle of the screen and the resulting gravity from it.
Everything is getting pulled towards the center of the screen (including your ship and the bullets you fire) and you need to shoot the asteroids before they fall into the sun. This sun, with its pulling gravity, is a big part of what made Spacewar! popular way back in the day.
Some asteroids, when destroyed, release minotaurs that you can pick up for extra points and to upgrade your gun or repower shields.
Your ship is always firing, so the only thing you need to concern yourself with is steering and aiming. Because of the gravity you’re always moving around a bit, so you need to constantly be swiping to turn and engage thrusters. Just like in old school games, when you hit the edge of the screen you’ll pop out the other side. This means there are no walls to run into – just don’t fall into the center of the screen where the sun is.
While all this is going on, text bleeds and warps all over the place, colors separate and shift, and all manner of crazy effects take over the screen. If there’s a downside to the game, it’s that it’s sometimes hard to see what’s going on.
If you’d like to simplify things a bit, there’s a second game mode called “Deep Space Minotaur Rescue” that ditches the sun and gravity, leaving you with only the asteroids to deal with. This certainly makes everything easier, and is definitely the best place to start until you get used to steering the ship (which takes some practice).
In addition to these two game modes, there are also another two that take their cues from the Atari 2600 game Combat. There’s one called Tanks! and one called Jets!, and you can probably figure out what you’ll be controlling in each. They both have you squaring off against either AI or another player, and are loads of fun to play. For the price I can easily say the Tanks! mode easily makes this worth the money, even if you hate the actual standard game mode.
The game plays great on both the iPhone and iPad, and can be played either alone or as a 2 player game on the iPhone or a 4 player game on the iPad. As if the game weren’t confusing and crazy enough, sharing space with 3 other people borders on the absurd.
Jeff Minter and Llamasoft make games that are kinda hard to get into. They’re definitely not the most accessible games out there. Some might even argue they’re just terrible games. But if you ask me, they just require a bit of work on the players part to appreciate them. If that’s not something you’re interested in, you’ll want to pass on Minotaur Rescue. But if you want to try out something truly bizarre and fun, there are minotaurs floating through space that could use your help.
- Classic retrogame gameplay with crazy effects. Great variety of game modes.
- Crazy effects can feel a tad excessive at times, making things confusing with so much going on.