Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Sometimes you’re aware of a game, but don’t actually get around to playing it until much later. Such was the case for me with Minit, a game distributed by Devolver Digital, until I read the premise, which reminded me of the lesser-known Half-Minute Hero, which I loved back when I played it. While not the same experience as Half-Minute Hero, and likely under the developer’s radar, Minit still captured the core essence of that game and took it in its own uniquely enjoyable, creative and hilarious direction.

After the player picks up a sword lying on the ground, they are cursed to die every sixty seconds and must find a way to undo it. This constant time limit effectively pushes the player to make as much progress as they can as quickly as they can and plan out what they want to tackle during their next life. Though the world and enemy spawns reset between lives, the player gets to carry over the items they’ve collected and the game remembers what side quests you’ve already completed. Side quests aren’t necessary for completing the game, but they can help you obtain useful items and open up helpful shortcuts, including teleport pads. You can also find additional heart containers to increase your maximum health and obtain hidden coins that can help you buy useful items if you know where to find the right NPCs. The only real complaint, however, is that some of the side content can feel a little cryptic to locate, like the hidden collectables, so a guide might come in handy if you’re truly stuck.

Much like the timer, the story acts as a good motivator for the player’s actions and exploring the world beyond the plot-critical path can lead to some great humor, even from events clearly designed to eat up as much of the player’s time as possible. For example, there’s a turtle by a lighthouse that will tell you the directions to locate a hidden treasure, but he rambles and speaks so slowly that by the time you hear the directions, you’re almost dead. Fortunately, the player can also die on the spot at any time with the press of a button to avoid wasting too much of their remaining time on nothing.

An admittedly clever way to waste the player's time.

Minit also shows off the creativity of the development team within the minimal, but very appealing and expressive art style, leading to interesting scenarios and combat encounters. This includes a surprisingly amazing final boss fight built around a funny concept that fits in well with the rest of the game.

If you’re not going for 110% completion on your first run, you can easily beat the game in about an hour to an hour-and-a-half. However, the game does encourage multiple replays, so you can choose to focus only on the main story the first time and then try all of the side content later (or vice-versa). When you do beat the game, you also unlock Second Run, which acts as a New Game+ mode that also ups the difficulty, shortening the length of time during a life from sixty to forty seconds. Interestingly, the game also encourages speedruns, since versions of the game that feature achievement/trophy support include one for beating the game in under 25 lives.

There isn’t really much in the way of voice acting, but the well-done and expressive vocalizations are charming and fit in with the visual style. The game also nails its sound design and features great music courtesy of composer Jukio Kallio.

While a bit on the short side, Minit capitalizes on its concept well and has a lot of charm that will help keep players invested in their journey. It’s great fun for those looking for a unique adventure game or for fans of Half-Minute Hero looking for something similar. However, if $10 seems a little high for the length, I wouldn’t blame you for getting it during a sale.

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