The cute and cuddly exterior of Don’t Die, Minerva! belies a troubling interior. Armed with a solitary flashlight, our intrepid gothic heroine ventures into ‘the Master’s’ haunted mansion. Faced with ghosts, ghouls, and grim reapers aplenty, Minerva has but one goal; don’t die!
Of course, when everything is flying at you from all angles, that’s easier said than done! Ghosts, bats, and witches all shoot energy balls at you. And in some stages, even the floor is a hazard! I’m not afraid to admit that I died more than my fair share during my playtime. That being said, this being a rogue-lite RPG, dying is unavoidably part of the game’s appeal.
Don’t Die, Minerva places you in the role of Minerva. Estranged from her parents, Minerva randomly finds herself in the courtyard of a haunted mansion. With nothing else to do, Minerva decides to walk into the mansion. Herein, she meets the friendly (and most assuredly deceased) butler, Mr Butterworth. Obviously lamenting his inability to serve his master, Butterworth tasks Minerva with heading forth into the mansion.
Within the mansion, Minerva comes face-to-face with ghouls and other monsters. Luckily (and inexplicably) each and every monster Minerva faces can be defeated by her trusty flashlight. Each monster has a certain attack pattern to learn – such as the “mirror” ghosts who can’t be attacked from the front. However, after they shoot three energy balls at you, they freeze, giving you an opportunity to attack from behind!
Goth-or It, Mate!
The further into the mansion you manage to get, the more loot you are able to accumulate. You get different jewels to upgrade your equipment, giving things like burn-abilities to your flashlight. You aren’t thrown to the wolves with a mere flashlight, mercifully. Your cuddly teddy bears come to life and act as area-of-effect sentinels. Handy when you feel yourself in over your head with too many enemies. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be any cooldown timer associated with this teddy bear. Which means you can throw them back out once they’re done.
The flashlight can also be upgraded as well. Aside from the aforementioned jewels which you attach to your equipment, you can spend hard-earned coins with the market vendor in the garden. Anything and everything to help you survive just a fraction of a minute longer.
This being a rogue-lite, there’s a massive difficulty spike that the cutesy-cartoony-Addam’s Family vibe disguises. You walk into the dungeons thinking this will be a cake-walk and quickly find yourself lasting under 10 minutes. My first playthrough lasted a mere 4 minutes. However, the plus side to this sort of game is, the more you get into it, the more you get out of it.
Whilst it’s currently in Early-Access/Game Preview, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable bugs that pop up. Well, aside from the ones that try and kill you in-game of course! Don’t Die, Minerva is currently available via Steam Early Access and Xbox One Game Preview.
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