Llamasoft's second game in The Minotaur Project - Minotron: 2112 - continues Jeff Minter's foray into iOS gaming. For anyone who remembers playing Llamatron 2112 for the Atari ST/Amiga will be quite at home in this one. In fact, the game looks very, very, very similar to Llamatron. The main differences between the two is that Minotron utilizes an Intellivision theme in its look and feel, and also includes a few enhancements. Oh, and also the Minotaur. We can't forget that.
For those of you who have never played Llamatron...shame on you! Llamatron is an absolute classic, which was inspired very heavily by the old arcade game Robotron 2084, but enhances it with refined gameplay along with extreme silliness. The goal of Llamatron was essentially to survive wave after wave of deviously mischievous hordes of random silly enemies while rescuing as many animals as possible. The goal of Minotron is...to survive wave after wave of deviously mischievous hordes of random silly enemies while rescuing as many animals as possible. As I said before, the two games are virtually one and the same, with Minotron more or less serving as an enhanced version of Llamatron, but featuring some more powerups, enemies, and of course, a minotaur.
For those who read the above paragraph and come away thinking I'm complaining about the similarities in any way...don't. Both games are pure ridiculous awesomeness. If anything, Minotron brings a few enhancements that make it more playable than its predecessor. For one, it includes a nice powerup that turns your minotaur into what is essentially "Minotaur-zilla". Once you have grabbed this powerup, you can stomp around on your enemies, crushing them to your heart's content, or at least until the powerup wears off and you're back to being a regular arse-kicking minotaur firing 180 rounds per minute.
Another nice enhancement is the inclusion of various game modes, allowing you to play with Yak's patented AI Droid. This is a good option for those who are not familiar with the sphincter-clenching gameplay and need their hand held for their first few go-arounds. There's also a survival mode, which is much the same as the standard game mode but only provides you with one life and no extras.
The controls are surprising excellent, especially for a game that requires the use of both hands. Instead of having to use a crappy onscreen joystick, you move around by holding your finger anywhere on the screen and then moving it in the direction you want to go, similar to using an analog thumbpad. You aim by using your other hand to simply swipe in the direction you wish to shoot. Unlike the first Minotaur Project game, the controls can be picked up in a matter of seconds. I wish more developers would make them so easy for touchscreen games.
Minotron: 2112 is an excellent addition to Llamasoft's vast library of games, and is one of the best shooters available for iOS. It's worth far more than the $1.99 it is offered for. If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, go pick it up on the App Store now. You can thank me later.