I really, really do hate myself. Minutequest is basically a non-game. It’s Progress Quest with rudimentary graphics and a slightly higher degree of interactivity. It’s everything I should avoid after playing World of Warcraft for so long, and yet, on the day I installed it on my phone, I accumulated about 4 hours of activity. I say “accumulated” because you don’t really spend all that time playing the game. The game is running, but it doesn’t really need you to do much.
On the plus side, I didn’t spend as much time with this one as I did with Summoner’s War, but I did manage to get two other people hooked. Overall, I’ve spent about 10 hours on it. That’s 10 hours of my life I’ll never get back.
What the hell is Minutequest
I could try and explain it with words, but honestly, pictures are probably easier.
You start out in a castle.
The king is brief and very literal. Bravely going forth is about all you do in this game.
I’ll talk about equipment soon, but for now, we just go out.
The screen that shows the actual gameplay is the thin strip at the top, but that’s not the core of the game really, it’s just a symbolic display of what’s going on.
Now, you see those ugly semi-transparent rectangles ? They’re the tutorial of Minutequest. Touching one of the two green areas moves your character in that direction (left or right). If you move into an enemy, you attack automatically. If you tap quickly while doing it, you attack at a higher rate.
The bigger blue rectangle is where any sort of interaction buttons appear, such as the one for entering the castle building.
If you tap an enemy, you get his stats in the bottom right green area, where normally your own stats are.
That treasure chest? Just moving across it will open it and automatically collect the item inside. Monsters sometimes drop these and the only thing I’ve ever seen them contain is whichever monster dropped it, but as a pet. That’s right? Any monster you kill in this game can be acquired as a pet and that’s one of Minutequest’s core aspects.
This treasure chest specifically is special, though. It appears once per day right outside the castle and it usually contains some sort of healing item.
The menu in the smaller blue rectangle is the last thing that remains to tap, so let’s tap it.
You can LVL UP in this game, or you can AUTO LV. Minutequest is a build-based RPG, meaning you can build your character incorrectly and there are only a few viable builds. Due to that, the auto-leveling option actually makes sense. On each level you get 5 stat points you can distribute however you please and auto-leveling allows you to do it automatically in the ratio you prefer. The option allows you to play the game less, which is something I’ll keep mentioning from now on. The maximum level is extremely high, possibly unlimited and you gain levels quickly. I’ts all about the grind.
ITEM is where you go to look at and use your consumable items. You rarely go there because you don’t get a lot of them.
HELP is where you get information about the game. Early on, you might actually visit this place often.
TWEET allows you to tweet various aspects of your progress. I guess there’s a social component to Minutequest. I know I haven’t used it.
INFO gives you your profile statistics, such as how far you got, how long you’ve played, deaths, kills, you name it.
OPTION takes you to some basic game options. You can turn screen flashing on or off, change your hero’s name and turn the damage numbers on or off.
SYSTEM is where you set your sound levels, so it’s actually just another options screen.
TITLE is actually the most important options screen. This is where you can select and manage your save slots. The game offers you 5 of these, but there’s sadly no online sync that I can find. Because of that, I lost my primary save when I was switching phones. On the plus side, it’s also what set me free from Minutequest’s clutches, so I guess that’s a positive.
And that’s about it with the game’s screens. I promised I’d talk about equipment, so next, I’ll do just that.
What’s it actually about
In Minutequest, you hold your finger on the right side of the phone’s screen and progress 100 meters at a time. On each new game screen, new and stronger enemies appear.
The above screenshot is an early part of the game. In the top strip of the image, you can see my character’s health, the current actual time of day, my character and a bunch of enemies. I just started playing here, so that crocodile has a pretty good chance of killing me. Yes, it’s a crocodile.
You also see I broke the record of advancing to 0.2 km or 200 meters. Some advanced math will help you figure out this means I’ve gotten past the first screen, which is right outside the castle, where you get the treasure and the tutorial.
If I want to do my best, I’m gonna have to quickly tap on the right side to kill as many enemies as I can before dying. The alternative is to just hold my finger on the phone, which works and is less effort, but I also deal damage far more slowly.
Eventually, though, I definitely will die.
You wake up at the castle again, and the king tells you all you need to know about what’s next.
You get to keep walking to the right, except you keep everything you’ve earned. The levels grow, the stats grow and the money grows.
So really Minutequest is a huge grind and that’s about it. Except there’s a bit more.
Every few hundreds of meters, you can run into a building. One is just a place where you play to get healed, another is a place that gives you advice on how to setup your equipment, but the remaining two are an armor and a weapon shop.
You enter it as you would any other building. Each store has a different inventory of five items and as you advance further (in terms of distance or levels, not sure) older shops start selling upgraded versions of their items.
And this is where the core of the game mechanics is actually hidden.
Most of the time, armors, weapons or even pets arent’ huge upgrades. However, depending on which combination of armor, weapon and pet you decide on, you will get one or more extra abilities. The basic ones are just straight stat increases – more damage, better avoidance, etc.. The cool ones provide something new altogether.
For instance, the Zomble (not a typo) pet will provide the Deathmarch ability with most weapon and armor combinations. This ability makes your character walk automatically, without you holding a button. Combine it with Mach Punch or Super Mach punch, which makes the auto-attack your character does when you aren’t tapping the screen yourself much faster, and you get to grind on auto-pilot, with your input needed only when your character dies.
And that’s about it. Minutequest’s gameplay is about the grind and Minutequest’s mechanics are about trying out different combinations of equipment for some cool effects. It’s a game that rewards you for getting ahead by allowing you to play it less.
And for some reason, that kept me hooked for a week, where I’ve played the game for about two dozen hours. Then my smartphone died, so I got another one and the saves didn’t transfer. I played from the beginning for about another hour and that was it. I still have it installed at the time of writing this, but it will probably go away as soon as I post the article. Just to give you a perspective about how huge the grind is, on my old phone, after about 10 hours, I was over level 700.
How to not play the game and get far
I’m not an expert at Minutequest, so I won’t be writing any in depth strategy guides.
Instead, I’ll just write down some stuff other people told me and post a few helpful links.
First of all, I love DEATHMARCH and I love MACH HIT and SUPERMACH. Those things allow me to quickly beef up my character with experience and gold and focus on purchasing equipment and getting further distance wise, which is what the game is about for me. However, I keep seeing other people telling me those skills aren’t needed.
Apparently, placing a coin on your phone’s screen works just as well as DEATHMARCH does. My phone doesn’t work that way, but I’ve seen people swear that a coin or a spoon works for them.
Secondly, tapping quickly can deal more damage than MACH HIT and about just as much as SUPERMACH, so a lot of people say neither of those is needed either.
Outside of that, the best build is one with twice as much speed than power and with most points going into those two. My character that got furthest ahead had enough vitality to get to about 1000 HP, some luck and everything else in speed and power and I believe it did quite well.
Other builds can do well enough, but none of them compare to that one.
For some really useful information, I recommend going to the google spreadsheet maintained by the SomethingAwful forum community. It lists absolutely everything. Combinations for all 3 item types, for pairs of item types, where to get each item or pet, what each ability does, I’m talking everything.
Seriously, get there, now.
But before I’m done, here’s some information I’ll blatantly steal from the SomethingAwful forums.
- You attack as fast as you tap. MACHHIT and SUPERMACH only speed up the auto-attack from holding your finger down.
- FURY weapons scale off the level of the weapon and not the power. So a ★9 weapon with FURY 9 will do more damage than a ★2 weapon with FURY 24.
- Pets drop randomly from mobs, so to get a specific pet grind out that mob!
- ZOMBLE (with an L) is a pet that grants DEATHMARCH to most combos, which moves you automatically without having to tap. ZOMBLES start appearing at above 9km, I belive.
- Outside the starting castle, sometimes a treasure chest will appear with a Full Heal or a Revive. I personally thing it’s once per day.
- Check back at the starting castle from time to time. An option “Treasure” will be a levelled dungeon with a guaranteed chest at the end. The chest can contain a consumable or a piece of equipment, I think.
How viable is a Int build?
Int damage scales with the level of the weapon, not its power. So your stuck with fire rod being the highest damage you can do all game. And it caps a 1.9*int damage. A str build is doing the same damage with a 9 power weapon. So it is not really viable.
How viable is a luck build?
Chance damage does anywhere from 1 damage to your max luck damage. That means it averages out to luck/2. That is worse than an Int build.
How viable is a vit build?
It is possible. Vit raises your hp and defense so with enough you can survive anything. However there are problems with this build. Vit does not raise accuracy like speed does so you will still need a lot of speed to be able to hit things. Vit also doesn’t protect from magic damage, so you will need a lot of Int. Int does raise accuracy by int/2 so that does help the build. Overall it just quicker and easier to pump speed and dodge most hits, never miss, and have some vit to survive a hit or two.
How viable is a speed build?
Speed is king in this game. Very quickly bosses will be able to one shot you quite easily. Around the 15km+ mark you will start finding enemies with a skull next to their name. These enemies deal 2k+ damage a hit. Being able to dodge hits becomes the best way to survive. Speed also raises accuracy with a 1:1 ratio. You will need more than 10,000 accuracy to be able to hit the last boss. Put some stats into power to be able to kill quickly and luck to get treasure, but speed should be your primary stat.
How does auto leveling work?
- 0 points allocated: Stat points are saved until you manually allocate them
- 1-4 points allocated: The number of points allocated are applied when you level up, the rest are saved for manual allocation
- 5 points allocated: All 5 points are allocated every time you level up
- 6+ points allocated: When you level up, if you have at least this many total points they are allocated, otherwise they are saved until you have that many
Some recommended combos
I won’t list to many of these, only the reportedly awesome ones. For all others, go to the spreadsheet above. The combinations here are already listed by minimum distance required to get all the components. If it’s an especially good combination, there will be a comment in the last column.
For good early combinations, look for SPDUP for avoidance, MACH HIT for some easier grinding and that’s about it.
Scissors / vampcape / berserker combo.
No guard plus bide is crazy good for normal enemies. With 1.5k pow I’m one shot anything with 30k hp or less. I got training floor 384 with the build, which is where I finally couldn’t one shot enemies.
The first one is a great boss killer, while the second one is a straight upgrade. Paralysis and Poison work great with bosses.
Scorpion (14.7) / Zombie (14.1) / Fallen (7.8)
For Mach Hit, No Guard and Deathmarch. This one is ridiculous. You can switch out Fallen for Zomble (9.0) for Demondash instead of No Guard but with high speed there’s no real point. I did ~2k base damage at lvl ~700 with my lvl 9 longsword but this one does 6,2k a hit un-upgraded.
So that’s Minutequest for you.