Minoria acts as a spiritual successor to Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. The game is set during the fourth Witch War; a time of fanatical religious fervor. It tells the story of the Sisters Semilla and Fran, missionaries in the Church’s service, as they being their journey to eliminate the witches responsible for conducting a mysterious ceremony that contradicts the rules of the Church.
Minoria is a Metroidvania game where players have to explore available areas in order to find new power-ups that will allow players to progress further by going through previously unreachable areas. You’ll also come across specific save spots allowing you to save, refill your health and Incenses (more on that below). Near save points, you’ll see a spot of light which allows you to travel to a safe space where you can read about the game’s various mechanics if something escapes you or purchase helpful items at the shop.
Semilla is up to the task of going head-to-head with the witches. She can attack and create short combos with her trusty sword. She can do quick combos but also a charge attack which does a bit more damage but leaves you vulnerable to enemy attacks. Semilla also relies heavily on parring/dodging. This allows players to avoid damage or when pressed with the perfect timing when an enemy attack, parring temporarily stuns enemies and leaves them open for a chain of attack.
Along with her sword attacks, Semilla can also user magic known as Incenses. The game features offensive and defensive Incenses. As you progress through the map and explore the various areas, you’ll find additional incenses that you can equip. Instead of relying on a magic meter, each incense has a limited number of usage; which is refilled at save points.
As with most Metroidvania games, the game will give you a vague idea of what to do/where to go next to force players to explore every area of the map. It also won’t leave your reminders of lock doors for when you find a key or if you activate a lever in a random room, it won’t help you figure out where the change happened. As with any Metroidvania games, Minoria requires a lot of memory work as you need to remember any unreachable or locked paths so when the story progresses, you remember where to go.
The game will lure players in with a false of security with the initial boss fight during the introduction sequence of the game, but don’t let it fool you, this game is difficult. Common enemies can kill you with 2 hits (they do more damage than sub-bosses) and the first real boss fight will get you within 2-3 hits. You have to master the art of dodging/parring to survive. Think of it as a 2D Dark Souls lite; while this can turn off some of you already, note that 2D limits enemy attacks and makes it easier to analyze enemy patterns.
Minoria features a gothic style visual which can be reminiscent of Castlevania games. Each level of the map is almost designed uniquely with its own visuals so that despite being a unique, big map, every area feels fresh and new. The game’s soundtrack is a haunting classic score that could easily be straight out of a survival horror game.
Never been a huge fan of the Metroidvania genre, but Minoria (along with Touhou Luna Nights) came out of left field to surprise and sink its teeth in me. The simplistic combat mixed with the various Incenses, gothic setting and its haunting score and the challenging boss battles makes for a great game. It won’t be a cakewalk and does require a bit of mastery of the dodging/parring, but within the first hour, everything feels right and clicks. If you can tolerate backtracking through the map and the deep exploration, Minoria is a must-play.
- Great setting
- Fun and simplistic combat
- Annoying typical Metroidvania backtracking
- Secret passages are hidden too well