Game Review - Minit

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  • Game: Minit
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: JW, Kitty, Jukio, and Dom
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Completed Date: 24 Aug 2018
  • Time to Complete: 58 minutes 2.53 seconds (51% completion)

Society is filled with unoriginal ideas right now. Hollywood is filled with remakes, TV is filled with crappy reality shows, and game developers love beating established IPs into the ground with sequel after sequel. Even one of the best games of all time is the 18th game in a series that spans over 30 years1.

Somehow, in an era where graphics and mechanics rule, Minit succeeds as a refreshingly unique game, while managing to be an ultra simple concept.

Time is a concept that I think more video games could utilize to take ordinary concepts and make them something greater. We’ve had time limits in games since the beginning. We have characters like Tracer in Overwatch or Leblanc in League of Legends that can teleport to where they were moments ago. Speed runners have even added time to games that don’t utilize it, competing with one another to beat games in the quickest times possible.

The Legend of Zelda series has managed to incorporate time elements into a lot of their games, which I have no doubt has contributed to their decades-long success. Ocarina of Time had you going back and forth through time to complete various stages, which was a twist on Link to the Past’s realm travel. Majora’s Mask takes the basic concept of time limits and augments it, giving you 3 days to complete as much as you can, and then resets you back to the beginning. Some progress, like collectibles, will stay with you. Some things, like defeated monsters, will be reset.

Minit’s entire premise is a spin on that Majora’s Mask style of gameplay. You have 60 seconds to run around, collect items, complete objectives, and progress the story. At the end, you “die” and respawn in your house, ready to start again.

alt text Simple graphics, simple controls, cranky salesmen.

The missions you have to complete aren’t difficult, but discovering and figuring out what to do next can take you a couple of lives. The game encourages casual exploration, experimentation, and curiosity. I apparently completed a quest about 10-15 minutes before I should have, simply because I was exploring the map and figured out what to do.

2018 is full of games with gorgeous graphics, and Minit admittedly is not one of those. The cute & simple 2-tone pixel graphics harken back to pre-Atari days, with some of the characters reminding me of my old Tamagotchi that I used to carry around. And yet, these simple graphics are part of what make the game so enticing. It’s different. It’s unique. It lets you focus on the story and the time limits, instead of distracting you with a bunch of pretty backdrops. It’s exactly what a game like this calls for.

It’s hard for me to fully encapsulate how refreshing this little 1 hour game was. I died 79 times2 while playing, many of those due to the 60 second time constraint, but I never felt exasperated. The challenge forced me to rethink my progress from point A to point B, ensuring I was making optimal use of my time. It’s about as close to speed running as one can get without actively trying to be on a leaderboard.

Minit is a quirky and fun challenge, unique and without a true likeness in this era of gaming. For $10, it’s a really fun challenge that I undoubtedly will revisit many times. The developers were able to craft a masterful game within this tiny package, and they should be applauded for their efforts.

Did you enjoy this review? Did I skip anything important? Do you want to tell me how wrong I am? Use the hashtag #MinitReview when you message me on Twitter and let’s chat!

  1. The Legend of Zelda was released February 21, 1986. 

  2. The controls are simple; A to interact, B to die & reset. At least a dozen of my deaths were either purely accidental fat-fingers, or me saying “wait that can’t really be all the controls, can it?” and pushing every button. 

Written on August 24, 2018. Posted under Review, Switch.