First Impression: Minit

Minit is a very simple concept. It’s a top-down adventure title where the player controls a nameless sprite that has been cursed by a sword which forces them to die and respawn every sixty seconds. With that limit in mind, the player must set out on an adventure around the Minit world uncovering various mysteries, obtaining items to help in their quest, and trying to find a way to break the curse. This little indie gem from Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio & Dominik Johann, and published by Devolver Digital forces the player to take on a world in bite sized pieces.

The depth of story and the scale of the world has been slimmed down to its utmost minimum. There is very little dialogue with other characters; just about all of them don’t even grace the player with a name or backstory. Even the player character itself has never been officially named inside of the game itself. However, this is for the best given that there literally is no time to deal with such matters due to the ever-impending clock of death that ticks down from a minute every “run” of the game. Given just how little time is allotted to actually do anything per run, the game is noticeably short and even the least creative of adventurers will find them beating it within 3-4 hours.

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Because of that, the gameplay is also simplified to a reasonable degree that gets the player back on track every time they die. Minit has simple up, down, left, right controls mixed with a button to attack and a button to kill themselves prematurely if the player doesn’t feel like waiting out the clock to respawn. There are also houses that serve as new spawn points so that there is less time backtracking and more time making progress. As well as that, the player will find items along the way to help their journey such as gloves to help them chop down trees or the ability to throw their sword.

The artistic direction of Minit is equally charming, but somewhat uninspired. As would be expected, the art is 2-D pixelated with minimal animations. The twist is that everything is drawn in grayscale. This can make the world sometimes a bit more difficult to distinguish between the environment and what is actually interactable. As well, every frame tile the world is made up of is drawn in a 4:3 constraint so anyone with an ultrawide monitor may feel claustrophobic while playing. The soundtrack is a great blend of chip tunes that set the feeling of each environment the player finds themselves in. The music also does a good job of correctly defining each part of the world to ensure that the player feels like they’re making progress.

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PROS

  • The soundtrack is absolutely charming and sets the tone well
  • The gameplay is simple while allowing the player their own freedom
  • The “60 second death” mechanic is clever.

CONS

  • The game is noticeably short
  • The grayscale 2-D pixel art makes the game world difficult to distinguish sometimes

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, Minit is not my cup of tea. While I loved games that have done this in the past like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, I like to explore the world around me when I play. Minit’s 60 second death mechanic makes it difficult for players like me to really sink my teeth into this title’s environment though the game does execute what it set out to do very well. Where I think they failed to me is the philosophy of putting a time limit on an adventure. Most of the time, I felt like I was playing more of a puzzle game than anything else. Despite that, I still would recommend anyone try the game out.

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