Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
Buy On
  1. 90
    Simultaneously a beautifully holistic encapsulation of the entire history of Zelda and a worthy new chapter to the series in its own right, Minish Cap is quite simply one of the most engrossing portable games ever made -- and it ranks pretty high among Zelda titles, too.
  2. AceGamez
    Nintendo has once again shown us why The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest gaming legends of all time.
  3. While not the best RPG to hit the GBA, and not the best Zelda game in the series, it remains a strong game on both fronts in my mind.
  4. GBA owners and Zelda fans won't be disappointed.
  5. It's sad that the game isn't longer or at least a bit more challenging, but regardless of those nagging sore spots The Minish Cap is a superb original installment that would be as well worth the money had it been released on the GameCube as it is on the GBA.
  6. Fans of the series and of great action-RPGs in general should quickly don The Minish Cap. While it's not the longest or most challenging Zelda ever, it's more than worth a purchase.
  7. Minish Cap is a miracle. It constantly thrills and surprises you and the difficulty is perfectly judged. There's an absolute mountain of bonuses to discover thanks to the Kinstone system and you can get lost for hours just doing that. There certainly hasn't been a better GBA game released all year.
  8. With great graphics, good sound and a relatively long quest, players will definitely feel as though they have been rewarded once again for purchasing a Nintendo published game.
  9. 90
    For all of the items in Minish Cap's "Pro" column, there is but one item in the "Con" column: it's just too darn easy. The dungeons, though fantastically designed, are fairly small and light on monsters.
  10. All of the quests, big and small, add up to an quest that belies the tiny cartridge's size. This "Zelda" game packs in the fun.
  11. Edge Magazine
    It would be easy to take The Minish Cap for granted, left as it is with little to do but shuffle and tinker with its immaculate heritage. That, however, would be a grave mistake... Maybe you can't go wrong with the Zelda template, but they haven't always gone this right. [Christmas 2004, p.91]
  12. A beautifully designed, quirky game. If you like Zelda, you'll love it. If adventure games and bus rides are your thing, pick it up.
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    With superb dungeons, exciting combat, and one of the coolest gameplay gimmicks ever (shrinking down to Minish size), this is definitely one Zelda you don't want to miss. [Feb 2005, p.116]
  14. If you can accept that it won't last you as long as you might like, then your quest is clear: leave no stone unturned in your search for this game, and then leave none of its stones unturned either.
  15. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is pretty amazing. I have an Xbox 360 and I just got a shiny new PC. I'm on the cutting edge of technology. But when I think of all the games I've played over the past six months, The Minish Cap-a Gameboy Advance game-rises right to the top of my list. It's just that good.
  16. 100
    The Minish Cap does virtually nothing wrong. It's an excellent and faithful Zelda game, and one of the best Game Boy Advance games to date.
  17. Game Informer
    Simultaneously embraces links to the past while offering numerous innovations that keep gameplay fresh, exciting, and a true joy to play. [Feb 2005, p.124]
  18. 96
    The shrinking adds a new breath of air to the gameplay, and new characters seem to fit into the Hyrule world almost like they have always been there, especially the Picori.
  19. The overworld map -- while bearing minor resemblance to the layout of previous games -- is much larger than you'd think and the dungeons are as big, fiendish and ingenious as ever with a perfect learning curve.
  20. 80
    Going backwards instead of forwards in the timeline was a masterstroke - it's totally satisfying for fans and does nothing but stoke the fires for the forward-looking, new GameCube tale coming in 2005.
  21. Compared to past 2D Zelda titles, Minish Cap is bursting with personality and detail. Little touches, such as the expression on Link's face and accompanying scream as he rides a mine cart, his disheveled hair, the smart-talking Ezlo, the creative new gadgets and detailed environments help to give the game a certain charm.
  22. A masterpiece of adventure gaming.
  23. In creating the Minish Cap, Capcom has managed to bring back feelings we haven't experienced since the first time we went adventuring with Link; considering those are the feelings that made us love Zelda in the first place, that can only be a good thing.
  24. For a real visual treat, pop it into a Nintendo DS and enjoy the game with true backlighting.
  25. The game easily lives up to its predecessors, with enough questing and variety to keep you entertained for the duration of its storyline and beyond.
  26. 100
    What better way to make good use of your new DS system (with its lacking library) than by popping this game in? It looks absolutely stunning on the DS's screen.
  27. Aside from an overfamiliarity that threatens to sterilise the series, our only real criticism is the lack of difficulty for much of the game. It is certainly long enough, with so much to see and do, but it doesn't require near as much skill as we'd have liked - only perseverance.
  28. The music does a great job of setting the atmosphere of the different dungeons and areas in the game. The only minor issue was a slight distortion on some of the voice samples in the game, such as Link's yell.
  29. The music in The Minish Cap is simply wonderful. Around 70 percent of the music is composed of previous Zelda music, but redone to fit the new game.
  30. Gaming Target
    For a game about shrinking, it grows on you quickly.
  31. The game may be short by the franchise's standards, but every minute of it is breathtaking.
  32. GMR Magazine
    Outside of a slightly boring midgame stretch in which you're tracking down overdue library books (no, really) and an overly tough final boss, this is a flawless portable adventure. [Feb 2005, p.91]
  33. 90
    It's a Zelda adventure done right, and fits like a glove within the long line of successful titles in the series across all of Nintendo's gaming platforms.
  34. Although the game is a bit short with six main dungeons and should take only about 30 hours to beat the first time, the gameplay additions and unique style definitely makes up for it.
  35. The game far surpassed my expectations. Even if you're not a huge Zelda fan, TMC is easy to pick up and has a way of enthralling you right from the get-go.
  36. The graphics, especially when zoomed in, are breath taking and the new remixed classic Zelda tunes fit the game perfectly. Unfortunately, the quest seems to end a little short.
  37. Nintendo Power
    A million small details add up to a wonderfully real world, and Link's hat bud Ezlo is one of the best characters in ages, thanks to some very funny writing. [March 2005, p.106]
  38. The postman often getting in my way in running around Hyrule Town was a minor annoyance.
  39. With a wonderful mix of Four Swords style gameplay and a Wind Waker feel, the game takes a little something from everything and still manages to improve on it.
  40. Like trying out a broken roller-coaster ride - one that is highly enjoyable while it lasts, but is over too quickly and gets stuck often, so the excitement quickly gets replaced by frustration. However, when it does move, it gives you a thrilling, almost magical, experience that makes you want to remain seated all the way through to the end.
  41. 90
    Thankfully, longevity hasn't been sacrificed for the sake of beauty: the main quest alone will take the average gamer a minimum of fifteen hours and that's without spending a single moment delving into the fabulous subquests, which will double, even triple that time...A stunning and wondrous game.
  42. 90
    A game that you must play at all costs.
  43. Pelit (Finland)
    Link returns once again, this time equipped with a nosy cap on his head. The game is a bit on the short and easy side, but in every other respect it is an excellent action-adventure. [Jan. 05]
  44. Play Magazine
    Simply incredible. [March 2005, p.66]
  45. Pocket Games
    Lots of fresh and tasty new gameplay added to the Zelda mix. [Spring 2005, p.73]
  46. 95
    Two dimensional adventuring in the land of Hyrule has truly never been better. TMC takes all of the elements that I know and love about my Zelda games, improves on and adds more to them, then moves them to a portable medium and provides a true must-buy title for the GBA.
  47. Everything that you would expect and want in a Zelda title... It really sucks you into the game's world. [JPN Import]
  48. Some puzzles struck me as unfair, and if you die the game often revives you at a place where you will have to replay too large a chunk. The worst part is a final big battle that seems 10 times more difficult than anything preceding it.
  49. Engaging sub-quests extend the game's lifespan and chatting to the beguiling locals while humming the tunes is a joy.
  50. 83
    Minish Cap is a Zelda game that could have been right on par with Link to the Past if only it had more of the staple content for the series, such as dungeon puzzle solving and less senseless collecting.
  51. Weekly Famitsu
    9 / 8 / 9 / 10 - 36 platinum [Oct 2004]
  52. Top notch for the handheld market. The audio sports a lot of remixing of previous Zelda tunes, combined with all the new original scoring. It's standard Zelda fair -- which is pretty much the equivalent of saying it's great stuff.
  53. 100
    Arguably the best GBA game ever released. It's addictive, ingenious, and makes no mistakes.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2005
#2 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 264
  1. Jun 18, 2011
    One thing I love about the Zelda series that never ceases to impress me, is the fact that each game introduces an entirely new world, even ifOne thing I love about the Zelda series that never ceases to impress me, is the fact that each game introduces an entirely new world, even if the world is one we should be familiar with. Despite being shorter than most Zelda games, I loved the style and lore introduced in this one, as I do with it in most other Zelda games. Sure it was lighter in one sense, but the villain is great and the level design is probably the best I've seen out of all the 2D Zelda games. The story kind of reminds me of a Miyazaki movie and the amount you can do around the world, like in any Zelda game, is vast - and in order to unlock everything due to a certain timescale centered around the completion of dungeons, there's a pretty good replay value to it. Also, at first I was iffy with the fact that your hat talks and acts as your "fairy" character, but in the long run it was very enjoyable factor and also the ability to change size from normal to small and back again was awesome. It's a really good game! Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2011
    Some people find that this Zelda game is short but it is actually quite long for a Game Boy Advance game, and fun for that matter. The puzzlesSome people find that this Zelda game is short but it is actually quite long for a Game Boy Advance game, and fun for that matter. The puzzles and the world feel so new and the gameplay has rarely been better for a 2D Zelda. The bosses are the most difficult in the history of Zelda. Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2014
    I didn't enjoy this game one bit. The story is very forgettable which makes the game as a whole rather forgettable. The dungeons and overworldI didn't enjoy this game one bit. The story is very forgettable which makes the game as a whole rather forgettable. The dungeons and overworld feel very constricted, and the sidequests were pretty terrible as well. This is such a disappointment for the Legend of Zelda franchise. Full Review »