Amass an army of deamonic undead to fight endless waves of heroes intent to end your boneraising ways! In this gothic-horror auto-battle roguelite, use the bones of slain heroes to raise your minions, collect powerful relics and spells, and unlock meta upgrades, all to survive King Gigald's crusade!
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I've always been a big fan of minion based gameplay, and, as the name suggests, that's the focus here. You'd expect a game about minions to be fairly passive to play, but you're dodging for you life and trying to get off spell casts regularly here, so it ends up being among the more engaging games in the genre. There's also a great variety of classes, spells, minions, relics, maps, tower defense type structures to build on the maps, etc. to keep things fresh for a good long time as well.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the strange mix of faux olde English and juvenile humor strewn throughout every bit of text in the game. For me, it's so dumb that it wraps back around to having its own charm, but I could see some being turned off by it.
- For whatever reason, the black background 8-bit aesthetic with the chosen color palette really hits right for me. Somehow, each of the little minions looks distinct despite being so small. Just lots of impressive pixel art work everywhere in the game
- The soundtrack is also excellent. I like the jukebox feature in the hubworld that lets you choose your music
- The sound effects are great, and I enjoyed the little touches like the slap you hear whenever you dismiss a beggar or a merchant who isn't selling anything you want
Story & Vibes
- There's not much by way of story. You're an evil boneraiser who only wishes to raise bones and give King Gigald a good pounding
- The game is called Boneraiser Minions ffs. Of course the game is filled to the brim with penis jokes. If you find that kind of humor funny, you've come to the right place
Playability & Replayability
- The slick pixel art and enjoyable humor could carry the game a long way by themselves, but Boneraiser Minions is also a notably feature-rich "bullet heaven" with a surprising amount of build variety
- Your first runs will be pretty basic as you unlock items, minion evolutions, characters, levels, and game modes. The basic gameplay loop you'll experience is basically Vampire Survivors, but rather than dealing damage to enemies directly, you necromance yourself up a shambling army of the dead to do your dirty work for you. You power up your minions and raise new ones as you level up, helping you better fend off the waves of enemies filling the screen
- Unlike Vampire Survivors, however, there's always a boss fight to cap off each run. You fight King Gigald and, if you beat him, you can go back to your castle with your winnings or loop back to the beginning of the run with all of your minions in tow
- There's also survival challenges, a level-based adventure mode where you fight Queen Gigald, daily challenges, and a little card game reminiscent of Triple Triad (a la Final Fantasy VIII)
Overall Impressions & Performance
- I really enjoy how focused and "tight" of an experience this game was. Compared to Vampire Survivors, Boneraiser Minions may feel smaller owing to fewer characters and unlockables. But I actually appreciated that. I feel like I got to see most of what the game offers without having to jump through a bunch of convoluted hoops
- This is an excellent Steam Deck game. On top each run only lasting 30 minutes, I've played only a handful of games that were as gentle to the battery. You could probably play all day and finish with 40% charge
- 8.5/10. Definitely worth a shot if you enjoy this specific subgenre. I actually enjoyed it a little more than Vampire Survivors. The visuals and addition of items just give each run a little more variety