Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 4 April 2017

Take one out, pass it around, 99 little minions in the box:- Mechs Vs. Minions

GameMechs vs Minions

Publisher: Riot Games

Designer: Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, Nathan Tiras


Mechs Vs. Minions is a 2-4 player cooperative programming game in which you take the role of one of 4 mech pilots fighting their way through a campaign filled with countless hordes of minions, comically large explosives where nothing goes as planned and everything is all the better for it! Each of the missions is about an hour long and they always unlock something new to the game which keeps things fresh. In fact Mechs Vs. Minions is very good and pulling out surprises (at the least up to mission 6 which is the last one we’ve played so far) however I’ll say no more as I want to keep things spoiler free.

The game is pretty simple to play everyone has a programming board with 6 slots, at the start of each turn you take turns claiming four out of 5 cards which you can either add to your board to get a new action, or discard to repair/change your board order. These cards come in 4 colours, if you stack cards of one colour then you can create more powerful actions, each colour has one card that fulfils 3 basic actions, a movement card, a turning card and an attack card. Once you’ve assigned your cards you then enact them, in order from 1 to 6. You can’t skip out cards even if they don’t help you, which adds a lot of chaos to the game. You may have programmed perfectly for last turn, but now you are being forced to turn the wrong way and run away from your next objective! To add to this your mech can get damaged which can take over your slots and send you spinning around in the wrong direction (though if you are clever and lucky you can use this to your advantage!).

Mechs Vs. Minions has a series of double sided game board on which you play, each of these boards has a variety of hazards which may change they way you move around the board. Different missions place these boards in different layouts, so be prepared, the game is a table hog (and a shelf hog, the box is HUGE!). The boards are beautifully designed with great art and some of the terrain given a lovely glossy finish.

The game's Tutorial set up for 2 players, each map tile is a 6x6 grid, on the right is the runic compass which helps you randomise directions as you play.
In fact let’s take a moment to talk about quality, because in this respect Mechs Vs. Minions is the best board game I’ve ever seen. From the moment I opened the box I was taken aback, not only are there 4 charmingly painted player figures, there are one hundred minions (and yes you’ll use at least most of them), a large bomb, several large plastic “crystals”, special D12s, a mystery box that temps you sorely to open it before it’s time, a huge sand timer, full metal coins and markers for the game progress board, and all of it is in a wonderful specially moulded set of inserts. The 100 minions are in 4 moulds, which would cause lots of packing problems, if not for the ingeniously moulded slots which will hold any of the 4 sculpts securely. This is the best storage solution I have ever seen for a game, sure the box is huge, but there is no wasted space. Everything in this game is of the finest quality and that honestly brings a smile to my face every time I open the box.
The 4 player characters and 4 different minion scuplts. The minions have had a dip in black ink, which isn't much, but it's enough to make the figures pop a little and it's greatly appreciated. The Mechs are all large figures which, while not the most detailed I've seen, have a charming art style and come fully painted to a decent standard.
Mechs Vs. Minions seems to be impeccably balanced for 2 players, while we haven’t lost a game yet, we’ve had plenty of times when we were moments away from failure when we won. It’s great fun and once we complete the campaign 2 player we are looking forward to resetting the game (there are a few components that you unlock as you play, but I’ll say no more) and starting up a 4 player campaign. Mechs Vs. Minions is quickly becoming one of my favourite games, it’s already definitely made it’s way into my top 10 and due to the sheer quality it excudes I have to give it the highest score I’ve ever given a game.


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