Developed by Bombservice Published by DANGEN Entertainment Reviewed on PC (coming soon to Switch)
The term “metroidvania” has been talked about a lot recently when it comes to depicting a type of game that has been defined by backtracking through environments to progress. Normally a lot of these types of games don’t stand out to me because they stay around too long, try to do too much, and just get old very quickly. However, every now and again a Metroidvania game comes that surprises me. Minoria is one of these hidden surprises that hooked me and that really understands the Metroidvania genre. Currently for PC with a Switch version coming later, Minoria is the spiritual sequel to a previous Bombservice game, Momodora. Minoria is said to be the most ambitious game that Bombserivce has ever created; but how does their ambitions fare in a world populated by other Metroidvania games? Let’s dig into it and find out.
Minoria takes place in the time period know as the fourth witch war. The sacred office has sent Sister Semilla and Fran to put an end to the witches ceremony in Ramezia. The game opens up already midway into the conflict, leaving Sister Semilla and Fran the last remaining missionaries from the church to stop the witch’s evil plot. The player is thrust headfirst into combat and is taught what’s to be expected for the rest of the game. Just like many Metroidvania titles where there are moments that could be considered cut scenes that progress the story, most of the lore and story is told through collectibles that you find within the world.
The lore of this world was so interesting to me that I kept on looking for the notes that would tell me more. Each one I found made me question the mission that I was sent on. This lead to the climactic final battle that I won’t go into many details about but it was pretty good. It honestly caused me to replay the game over again right after I just finished it. Minoria does not overstay its welcome either, clocking in at about 6-8 hours per playthrough. I found myself unable to put the controller down as I wanted to get just a little farther to see how the story progressed.
The gameplay is very solid and fluid. There are multiple weapons to collect that change Sister Semilla attack patterns. There are weapons to use in each situation and that’s key to completing this game. Along with your physical attacks, you collect a lot of spells that greatly aid you in your adventure. I found myself using almost every spell that I collected depending on the situation that I found myself in. Sister Semilla also has a counter/parry that she can do with her weapon that if timed right can deal massive damage to enemies around her. While the gameplay is solid, I have a couple of complaints. Some of the hitboxes do not reflect the animation of the attack that goes with it. Many times I found myself either getting hit or dying by a spell that was cast off-screen and underneath me. It was very annoying, to say the least, and caused me to stop playing for a short while.
There were a lot of times where I was able to cheese enemies because physical attack would go through solid stone floors above me. Another issue of Minoria is that even though Sister Semilla levels up through the game, it never feels like you were getting stronger. It bugged me because enemies from the beginning of the game were still able to do huge chunks of damage to me as if I were still level 1. With that said, the gameplay was still fast to the point where I could overlook it because her parry and dodge roll makes its easy to go through this game without ever taking damage.
Minoria is a great example of an indie game that takes the spirit of a genre and proves that smaller studios can make a game just a great as other titles produced by triple A studios. While Minoria’s gameplay does have some faults, its an experience that I highly recommend to fans of the Metroidvania style. I will be looking out for more of Bombservice’s titles in the future.