In this monochrome adventure game, you’re playing as a tiny person, who looks like Tamagotchi, living a simple life with a house and a cute dog. You’re frolicking outside your house until you find a strange sword implanted on the ground. Due to intense curiosity, you pull the sword out of the earth, hoping it will grant you magical powers. Instead, the sword reduces your lifespan to 1 minute.
It seems scary, doesn’t it? But the game has a surprising learning curve, as there’s a lot you can do in a minute, apparently, once you’ve figured out what to do in the allocated time.
The game also keeps you on your feet because there’s no possible way you can avoid the time limit. You cannot cheat the inevitable unless you return the cursed sword to its rightful place.
But that’s what makes the game counts. It’s like you’re trapped in a time loop and every second brings the value in your gameplay.
It can be frustrating at first when you’re in the middle of removing obstructions to clear your way out and when it reaches to 60 seconds, you die, then respawn back at your home.
Thankfully, you won’t lose everything when your time is up. Your major story achievements and the items are retained in your possession. Only the environments like the trees and grasses that you’ve cut down reset back when you come alive.
Minit is true indie at its best. In fact, there is another Devolver Digital’s video game that has similarly striking visuals called Downwell. Minit’s 8-bit black and white animation alongside the nostalgic plinky plonky music of the era will surely take you through a trip down memory lane like playing good old Gameboy.
The game has no visible maps on screen so you have to memorise the game’s world by heart. Whenever you feel lost, you can rely on friendly NPCs and listen to their advice for a while if you’re willing to spend your precious time. There’s one frail old sea captain who enjoys taking his sweet time to speak… *sigh* So frustrating.
Some of the NPCs will actually give you useful items like coffee to give you the strength to push boxes, and gardening gloves to protect your hands from cutting down trees that will certainly help you along your journey.
There are also plenty of side quests scattered in the game which will give you wonderful goodies like extra health, extra pair of shoes that makes you run faster and more.
Speaking of the items, the cursed sword assists you a lot in combat even though combat in Minit is just a miniscule part of the game. In its entirety, the game is focused more on its puzzle-solving and explorations.
The puzzles can be quite difficult if you don’t have the necessary item to solve it but it doesn’t overwhelm you too much, thanks to the 60 seconds death cycle. From what I have experienced, I can always learn from my mistakes from previous session and use the shortest way to get to the desired destination since I already seared every place I went to in my brain.
This game truly embraces the concept of trial and error where there’s no right or wrong way to complete this game. During my first gameplay, it took me around 2 hours to explore everything the game has to offer. Because of the time constraints, it gets you a bit pumped up to do better on the next round which took me 33 minutes to finish my normal second run.
However, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, there’s always a New Game+ where your life is cut short for 40 seconds and you’re down with only one life. Good luck if you’re trying that one out.
By taking on the twist of a short lifespan like what Half-Minute Hero has done before, I think Minit has executed this concept very well. It’s a short and balanced indie video game where you can enjoy the tiny guy’s worthwhile moments of solving puzzles under a minute.
Minit is also a nice homage for retro adventure video games like The Legend of Zelda series and Pokemon series where graphics is not the focal point but the story is the heart of the wholesome fun game.
Minit is now available for PC (via Steam), PS4 and Xbox One.