From Zero to Hero in 60 Seconds … and then 60 more
Mash Mash Game Score:
|Price at Purchase:||AU$14|
|Released:||3 Apr 2018|
Minit is a quirky little game from Dutch indie studio Vlambeer who brought us such delights as crazy sepia dog-fighter Luftrousers (aka LoveTrousers) and Nuclear Throne and who’s collective imprint touches most notably Big Serious games like Horizon Zero Dawn.
The premise of Minit is simple: explore the world around you with a 60 second life span – perish and respawn with knowledge and items intact – and repeat. As the game progresses you’ll find new items and new spawn points and the map becomes bigger easier to traverse.
There is a gently revolutionary theme running through the core of the game with a wicked factory owner playing the role of the ultimate baddie who must be overthrown to save the oppressed workers.
There are also side quests and sub-quests that must be completed to allow story progression – each seem satisfactorily timed and placed to encourage further exploration or the use or acquisition of a new usable item that might in turn open up new areas or abilities.
The game mechanics are where Minit stands or falls – if you find the tiny life spans frustrating then you’ll hate this game – I didn’t so I loved it.
At no point does the die-and-repeat loop feel annoying or, perhaps surprisingly, repetitive and in few places does it feel restrictive – which is testament to how well this game is designed. It’s not like dying is ever really a punishment. This is more Groundhog Day than Rogue Legacy – you are reappearing as your same self rather than anything approximating your offspring.
The mayfly lifespan element brought about some great moments, like where you’re talking to an old person near the lighthouse who’s basically a manifestation of the DMV Sloth from Zootopia – small spoiler: you get a trophy if you hear them out before you perish.
The graphics are simple 8-bit monochrome but with those simple restrictions Vlambeer have created a lovely and varied coastal game world of forests, islands, underwater and dungeon locations, plus an excellent cast of distinct and amusing characters. Although the character voices being comprised of bleeps and bloops and Peanut’s Teacher “whaaa-ba-bwaaaa’s” there’s still a vocal cast list in the credits like 8 people long.
The controls are simple with just 8 directions, an attack button, an interact button and another to instantly respawn.
If forced to name a gripe I suppose not all the puzzles or progression makes immediate obvious sense, but “occasionally difficult” is hardly a criticism.
In terms of market competition, when a game can be done in less than 2 hours it’s not really competing with the Big Boys for the Big Cash.
After the main story is completed there is an option to do New Game Plus and another secret mode can also be unlocked – but neither feature was enticing enough to make me want to jump back in immediately. Part of the charm of this game is its brevity – in all aspects.
I’m not sure one could convincingly argue that Minit has deep or profound things to say about death, time and reincarnation, but what it does do is help you relax a bit about the idea of dying in the game and that’s a pretty novel idea. Unlike other games like Hotline Miami where dying and immediately starting again is pacy but annoying, the process here feels gentler and altogether less traumatic.
It’s a rare moment while playing this game that I wasn’t smiling broadly from ear to ear so Minit presents a very tightly cohesive game world and all fits together in a most satisfying way.
Game Score Breakdown:
- Gameplay 95% 95%
- Story 80% 80%
- Content 90% 90%
- Graphics 85% 85%
- Sound 75% 75%
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