Sup! Tad here — future member of the Vicious 6! Well ... hopfully! That's only if I can prove myself on Universal Orlando Resort's new attraction, Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast. That's right! Villain-Con has returned to Orlando and the most elite group of super-villains on the planet is looking for their sixth member. Think you have what it takes? Then download the official Universal Orlando app and tap on the purple Connected Gameplay block. This is where you get to customize your ammo, keep track of your stats, go on missions, win trophies and so much more! Not sure where to start? No worries! I'm breaking down everything you need to know about this brand-new addition to Universal Play.
How to Play Villain-Con Minion Blast
Before I even begin to delve into all the cool features Universal Play has to offer, I should probably share how to go about competing for that coveted spot in the Vicious 6. Villain-Con Minion Blast is a slow, moving-walkway-based, interactive shooter ride. A team member will assign you to a singular spot on the motion-based pathway and that's where you'll stand for the duration of the attraction as you move through different rooms themed to the various members of the Vicious 6.
Anywhere you see a screen, aim your E-Liminator X blaster and fire. You never know what kind of chaos you'll cause! More specifically, you're going to want to aim for V6 coins and other loot (which I'll get to in a bit), bots, records, drones, bubbles, the villain in each room (who will eventually drop their unique blaster for you to pick up if you shoot them enough times) and even the minions themselves (those guys are nearly indestructible). Be sure to look behind you in each room and even up toward the ceiling and down toward the floor. There are chances to score everywhere!
Use the first room to locate your blaster reticle. Move the blaster around and see which icon on the screen matches those movements. If you can't distinguish your icon in the first room, aim for the portraits on the left when you enter the second room. That's a smaller space, so it should be easier to differentiate your reticle! If you lose track of your icon at any point during the rest of the ride, aim your blaster toward the bottom corner of the screen to find it again.
As for the blaster itself, there are two triggers. The back trigger is what you're going to be using the most. It shoots an unlimited amount of ammo blasts, so keep firing! Your front trigger, on the other hand, shoots high-chaos launcher devices. While those help you rack up more points, there's also only a limited amount — so shoot wisely.
Creating Your Player Profile on Universal Play
Now we can move onto the app itself! Download the Universal Orlando app and scroll down to "Illumination's Minion Land." Swipe left and you'll see a purple "Connected Gameplay" box. Click that box and scroll down to where you see "Play." Tap that and Universal Play will load.
The first thing you're going to do is click "Options" in the bottom right-hand corner. Then click "Current Player Settings." It's here where you'll choose a player name (you might need to try a few different variations before it accepts one), a player icon and a background color. The only time you'll see any of these during the ride is on the bottom of the screen in the final room where you'll see your player name alongside the amount of points you scored ... and on the scoreboard in Evil Stuff if you make it into the day's Top 30!
The icon is solely for the app. It is NOT your blaster icon! The first time you'll see that is right before you enter the first room of the attraction on your E-Liminator X display screen.
Also under "Options," you can "Follow Other Players" (if you're feeling competitive), "Add a New Player" (if you're building a Villain Squad) and find other "Tips & FAQ" (in case I left anything off in here).
Collecting Loot on Universal Play
One of the many cool features Universal Play offers is the ability to collect loot — each of which is worth a certain amount of points that get added to your overall score! These contemptible collectibles can be collected outside the attraction by tapping your phone on various V6 medallions in Minion Land or inside the attraction by blasting them with your E-Liminator X. Collecting loot can assist you in completing missions, unlocking launchers and more!
Outside loot can be anything from a Villain Network Channel mug to Gru's wig. You can find where each tap point is by clicking on each outside collectible.
Inside loot can be anything from a bronze V6 coin to the Sword of Excalibur. When you click on each inside collectible, you'll get a cryptic hint as to where you'll find them. (Scarlet Overkill's Lunchbox? It's artfully hidden ... )
Accepting Missions and Winning Trophies on Universal Play
Want to challenge yourself? Click on "Missions" at the bottom of the home screen. Here you'll find a list of different missions from your villainous f(r)iends. They all differ greatly from each other, so be sure to click around to see which one you think is the most attainable for you at any given time. Successfully completing these missions unlocks ultimate blasters, launchers and even new missions! At any point before you step onto the moving walkway, click on a mission to accept it. You can only accept one mission at a time. You can even replay missions you've successfully completed. Best of luck!
While missions are specific challenges, trophies are awarded for completing a whole other set of certain tasks. Click on the "Trophies" tab at the bottom of your screen to see the long list of achievements that the Vicious 6 rewards. Unless specifically noted, you can complete these tasks over multiple visits, so no pressure! These tasks range from simply entering Villain-Con to completing every mission.
Syncing and Customizing Your Blaster on Universal Play
Once you've grabbed your E-Liminator X, the first thing you want to do is sync it to the app. On the home screen, click "Sync Blaster." Hold the top of your phone toward the area right in front of the blaster display screen. This may take a while or several tries. If you have any questions or need help, ask a team member. They're stationed in the queue and hoppy to help! If you've done it correctly, your display screen will show your player name and say "Sync Successful."
Before you sync your blaster, you're going to want to customize it! On the Home Screen, click "The Lab" at the bottom. Here you'll be able to choose from different Elemental Blasts and Ultimate Blasters (shot from your back trigger), Standard Launchers (shot from your front trigger) and Perks.
Elemental blasts are your unlimited primary ammo. Choose from destructive Force Blasts, hot Fire Balls, icy Freeze Rays and shocking Lightning Bolts.
Ultimate blasters are mega-powerful blasts that you can only fire one time per charge. You unlock these by completing missions and recharge your ultimate by gaining points, earning achievements or blasting ultimate power-ups. Keep your eye on your blaster display screen to see your charge level.
Standard launchers are special projectiles. You also unlock these by completing missions. You only have a limited number of these until you pick up more. The best part? You can unlock special skins by visiting Villain-Con each month! Special seasonal skins can be applied to your launchers in The Lab. Once unlocked, the skin is yours. (I don't know about you, but I'm so frogcited to fire some piñata-fied ricocheting steel balls come May!)
Perks help you blast through the challenges by supercharging your elemental blasts, ultimate blasters and standard launchers. New perks can be unlocked by increasing your player level. (Every time you play, you gain points to reach the next level.) Also, as you increase your level, you increase the amount of perks you can activate at a single time!
Keeping Track of Your Score on Universal Play
Whether or not you've made it into the Vicious 6, it's still fun to see how you rank against your fellow villainous hopfuls. Click on "Rank" at the bottom of the screen to check out the Leaderboard. Here you can see the Top 100 of the day, the month and all-time, where you rank on any of those lists and where you rank amongst your friends.
Back on the home screen, click on the crown in the top left corner to see your score from when you last played, your overall score and today's best score. Click on the number to the right of your player icon and you can see your current player level, the amount of points you need to get to the next level, your lifetime total points and what cool bonuses the next level unlocks.
Tips and Tricks for Villain-Con Minion Blast
If it wasn't obvious by now, syncing your E-Liminator X with Universal Play greatly improves your score! However, that's not the only tip I have for you:
- The attraction simulates real-world physics — which means it will take a few moments for your blast/ultimate/launcher to reach its target. Because of this, aim for where your target will be when your blast makes contact. (This is especially important for conveyor belt items!)
- Shoot at paintings and pictures to boost your score. Wait for them to respawn and shoot again!
- Opt for anything fire-related in The Lab. They seem to do the most damage and improve your score!
- Gather special ammo to wreak the most havoc and cause quicker destruction. Intentionally aim your blaster at targets to get a higher score.
- Once you collect a villain's unique blaster, shoot them with it to score maximum points.
- Visit Villain-Con Minion Blast in the early afternoon immediately before Despicable Me Minion Mayhem or the last 90 minutes the park is open for shorter wait times.
Do you have any tips and tricks for utilizing Universal Play on Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast? Do you have any questions I didn't answer? Let me know in the comments below!