Despicable Me: The Game - Minion Mayhem

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Despicable Me: The Game - Minion Mayhem Game Poster Image
Fun puzzler may be too challenging for younger fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Gru may be a supervillain who wants to take over the world, but in this game, the main message is that of teamwork. The minions need to work together and cooperate in order to succeed on their missions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The minions are basically just mindless servants that do whatever you want, but as mentioned above, they do know how to work together and are great examples of cooperation.

Ease of Play

These puzzle-like levels can be incredibly challenging. The first four or five are nice and simple to get you used to the strategies involved, but the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly after that.


The little yellow minions can be hit by various booby traps (fire, spikes, etc.) or by strange looking enemy monsters. If they make contact with an enemy or obstacle, they yelp and get sent back to the beginning of the level.


The game is tied in to the Despicable Me movie. The back cover of the instruction booklet advertises Despicable Me books (not the movie).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The only thing that gets drunk here is a shrinking potion.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Despicable Me: The Game -- Minion Mayhem is a completely different experience than the Despicable Me game that is available for Wii, PSP, and PS2. This DS version is a strategy-based game. And while there's very little in the way of violence (or anything else that could be deemed objectionable), the challenge level of these puzzle-like levels is quite high, which is why we put the game's target age at 10. Younger fans of the film may just get frustrated by playing this game.

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What's it about?

The plot of DESPICABLE ME: THE GAME -- MINION MAYHEM is loosely based on that of the film it is named after, but focuses on supervillain Gru's adorable minion henchmen. Gru is in competition with Vector, another evil genius, and wants to outdo him by creating one monstrous device after another. To create these evil machines, he calls his minions into service. In the game, you will control the minions. Well, sort of -- Minions basically go where they want, but you have to manipulate the environment to make sure they're not hurt or misdirected in the process.

Is it any good?

Despicable Me: The Game -- Minion Mayhem is a novel and entertaining approach to adapting a film into a video game. Putting the focus on the scene-stealing minions, rather than the movie's protagonist, Gru, was a bold, but ultimately successful idea. The game plays out like the evolutionary descendent of games like Lemmings. Once you set a minion loose, it will move along on its own -- you have to hit buttons, slide levers, move elevators, and more in order to get the minions where you want them to go and keep them safe from obstacles. The pace can be quite frantic, especially when you've got four or more minions milling about at once. And figuring out how to get them where you want them can be very challenging. But the game is incredibly entertaining even while it's making you shriek (in a good way).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way the minions work together. Each must use his own special skills to the benefit of the group. What life lessons can we take from their example?

  • If you've seen the film, you can also discuss how this particular version of the game relates to the movie. Is a puzzle-type strategy game a good way to translate Despicable Me into an interactive format?

Game details

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