The greatest programmed movement games are nearly always the ones that go all-in on their own eccentricities, mitigating the frustration of planning out everything in advance by casting themselves as exercises in silliness. In Space Alert, that means your star-charting astronauts are afflicted by the space-bends or mere panic; if they should stumble down the wrong corridor or slam the incorrect button when the klaxons are blaring in their ears, who’s going to blame them? In The Dragon & Flagon, your adventurers are blind drunk after a tough dungeon run, so a swing’n’miss is the expected order of things. And the train-robbery-gone-wrong of Colt Express is at its best when the train thunders into a tunnel and your banditos resort to slugging blindly at whomever happens to be standing nearby.
The point is, these games work best when things are going south. Since roughly half of a player’s time in a programmed movement game will be spent screwing up, why not make screwing up the best part? This is gaming as a gag reel. It must be about spinning in circles, wrestling for control, failing to get anything done. Success must be a revelation, as grounded in chance as in anything else. And above all else, your game must be funny.
Fortunately, Mechs vs. Minions understands this principle down in the marrow of its bones.