“...doomed to relive that same moment over and over again.”
April 3, 2018 2:33 PM   Subscribe

'Minit' Is a Speedy Triumph, Where The Goal Is Simple: Live, Die, Repeat [Waypoint] “You wake up in your little house. There’s a little dog. And a timer, counting down sixty seconds. Shit! Time to get going. You stumble out into a sprawling, monochrome map. North? West? One way is blocked. Thirty seconds. You find a lighthouse. You climb up, as the timer ticks down. As the seconds slip away, you find an important quest item. Ding! Sixty seconds done. You wake up in your little house. There’s a dog… and oh yeah, you have that quest item now. So you use this run to explore a new area or use your new ability.” [YouTube][Gameplay Trailer]

• Wait A Minit [Kotaku]
“I describe Minit as “The rawest essence of Zelda, sung with enthusiasm.” I’m sure if you asked 10 game designers what “the rawest essence of Zelda” is, you’d get 10 different answers. For me, that raw essence of Zelda is the “when” statement—those moments where you say to yourself, half-aloud, “I’ve gotta come back here when I can swim.” You don’t present this to yourself as an “if” statement. You see a body of water and you know there is no other way forward than to swim. You know that you can’t currently swim. Now you decide that, at some point, you will become able to swim. Minit gradually builds into a stampeding avalanche of such “when” statements. It comes together as a beautiful holistic work of game design. It’s also adorably cute, and aggressively in black and white.”
• Minit is a 60-second adventure you’ll want to play for hours [Polygon]
“In Minit, a curse has befallen your little town, where a single day repeats on a 60-second loop. At the end of each minute, your character dies, and you wake up in bed, doomed to relive that same moment over and over again. The fleeting nature of your character’s life isn’t without meaning. Any progress you make in your minute of life carries over into the next loop. Additional checkpoints you discover become your new starting point, allowing you to dive deeper into the game. All this repetition begins to serve a purpose, whether that’s pushing yourself farther than last time or tackling a new, specific task. Each 60-second reset is an opportunity to meet a bizarre new character, find a new item or accomplish a goal. Over time, the main storyline even begins to reveal itself, turning Minit into a true hero’s journey.”
• Minit is a monochromatic adventure that eats up hours 60 seconds at a time [Tech Crunch]
“Also fun is the art style, which is determinedly monochromatic; not even a shade of grey to be found, only the kind of patterning and hatching I remember from my Mac Classic days. But the developers, a motley crew assembled from a variety of teams, use the simplicity to create a wealth of personality. The limited writing is also fun, with characters barking everything from subtle hints to total non sequiturs. The simplicity of the graphics and controls (there are just the directions, a button to use your item and a button to die early so as not to have to wait) don’t mean pushover gameplay, though. You’ll have to be very observant and explore every nook and cranny to be sure you have what you need to proceed. I was stuck near the end of the game because I didn’t explore literally every corner of one particularly dark area. It isn’t boring pixel-peeping — I’m just saying you need to keep your eyes peeled, because everything is where it is for good reason.”
• Time flies [Destructoid]
“There's a lot to do and a lot to explore. That seems at direct odds with the minute-long time limit. Minit's solution is to carry over nearly everything that's accomplished in past lives. Any progress made is a permanent step toward the conclusion to this grand journey. Still, finishing Minit doesn't feel like Minit's ultimate reward. It's finding a familiarity with every inch of its world that's most satisfying. It's knowing how to get across the entirety of the map in under a minute (with plenty of time to spare, honestly). It's this learned mastery of all of Minit's systems and being at peace with the 60-second timer. And then it's using all of that to figure how to wring out the last few elusive secrets. I feel like there's more stuff I should water. By contrasting a relatively-large adventure against a relatively-brief time frame, developers JW, Kitty, Jukio, and Dom found a unique piece of game design that's incredibly effective.”
posted by Fizz (23 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I describe Minit as “The rawest essence of Zelda, sung with enthusiasm.

Not just any Zelda, but Majora's Mask, the best Zelda.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm also a huge fan of the game's Undertale-esque aesthetics. I need this to become available on the Switch, because it'd be perfect as a portable.
posted by Fizz at 2:44 PM on April 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ooh, perfect timing - I'm in the market for a new game, and this sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.
posted by wilberforce at 3:07 PM on April 3, 2018

Also, slight derail, but go play Undertale if you haven't. Because awesome.
posted by Fizz at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was hesitant about Undertale because of all the weird stuff about the community being "bad". But of course that's silly - I'm very unlikely to actually interact with the Undertale community in any way, and most of the reviews of the game I've seen have been stellar. So I'll check it out, thanks!
posted by wilberforce at 3:29 PM on April 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you like this type of old-school b&w aesthetic, Downwell is also worth checking out. And yeah I haven't had any interaction with the toxic Undertale community. If you limit yourself to the game then you should be in good shape.
posted by Fizz at 3:41 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I feel conflicted because I this and speed runs will inevitably hurt my brain.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:05 PM on April 3, 2018

speed runs will inevitably hurt my brain.

I figured out a long time ago that I am not a speed run type of person. I do appreciate watching someone else perform a good speed run, but it's not something I really care about, so I don't feel the need to really rush through a game in order to achieve a certain time.

I am intrigued by the way in which this 60 second reset will screw with the way I traditionally approach/play video games.
posted by Fizz at 4:20 PM on April 3, 2018

It's fascinating to me that reviews and publicity go out almost entirely without linking the developer's site - you know, the place you can buy it ! (They have links there to Steam, Itch and GoG). I suppose on consoles, people use the platform's game store - so the lockin requires publishers to get buzz and name recognition since you have to switch platforms (from your browser) to buy. But I'm sad that even for digital items like this, content sites would still prefer to be dead ends and avoid you jumping away even to buy something they're ostensibly promoting.
posted by radagast at 4:31 PM on April 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

Except you can totally buy from the Playstation store from your computer (and the PS Store is linked from the developer's site), so it's still sort of weird.
posted by Kyol at 4:53 PM on April 3, 2018

Ooooh thanks, my daughter is a huge Undertale fan so I'll show this to her. (I had no idea about the Undertale community being toxic, it's really popular among the 5th graders here, a bunch of them dressed up as Undertale characters for halloween even, that makes me sad!).
posted by Hazelsmrf at 6:06 PM on April 3, 2018

Devolver just keeps delivering. Props to them. Anyone here play downwell? That is one polished arcade roguelike.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 6:44 PM on April 3, 2018

I got reeeaaally into Undertale when I played it and followed the main fan reddit for a while. In my experience, it's not toxic in the stereotypical abusive hypermasculine way a lot of online gaming communities are. Instead, it's… well, the scene is centered around Tumblr, with all the good and the excess you would expect to come along with that. It's an extremely creative community, with some of the best fan stuff I've seen. (If you've played the game, I especially love the True Lab Origins and Dogs of Future Past comics.) But some of those creators get a little too wound up in their own fan interpretations of characters, or even whole alternate universes inspired by Undertale, to the point that it can be difficult to have a broader conversation about the game.
posted by brett at 6:51 PM on April 3, 2018

I think a major part of my love of this style/aesthetic is a combination of nostalgia and a love of minimalist design that allows the core gameplay to be focused on without a lot of distraction. These games are also quick to jump in and out of.
posted by Fizz at 7:38 PM on April 3, 2018

Another game based around a similar time-loop mechanic is Outer Wilds, which was the subject of an FPP three years ago and looks like it might finally get released this year.
posted by teraflop at 7:43 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

And then there's doomed to die a different infinity each time...
posted by lazycomputerkids at 8:01 PM on April 3, 2018

I can't remember where I found this one, but it has a similar mechanic only it's a text adventure playable in browser. The Lurkening
posted by Sparx at 9:13 PM on April 3, 2018

I don't see a link to it anywhere, so: Minit.
posted by WCityMike at 8:46 AM on April 4, 2018

Rock Paper Shotgun liked it. I confess I'm turned off by the lo-fi graphics, I've got too many of those in my life right now.
posted by Nelson at 10:17 AM on April 4, 2018

I beat it in about ~100 minutes (minits?), but also only hit 66% of the content. I think I can imagine where a few of my missing pieces are. It's very fun! Well worth 10 bucks, even if the mainline game is relatively short. I think I'll probably come back to it over the weekend and try to nudge my completion percentage closer to 100%.

The world and the characters are excellent, given the extremely limited graphics and characters that the developers are working with. Using the sub-Gameboy color palette (ala` Downwell, although it's worth noting that Devolver is the publisher, and that the game is from two entirely different dev teams) is a nice touch. It lets them get away with abstraction that might be distracting in a more detailed game. In terms of world design, it kind of reminds me of Night in the Woods, where a suburban landscape is transformed with fantasy elements.

As per the Waypoint article, it's very cool to see the Zelda open-world puzzle formula constrained by the timer mechanic. I think that's a good way to do 'level design' without exactly having levels. If you're starting from the first house then there are ~8ish activities that you can reasonably do, but your mind registers and remembers likely leads that then click when you get a certain upgrade or item (like, 'oh yeah! there was a box next to that path a few screens over!'). Also much like Zelda, it gives you a great feeling of exploration through play. I'd also compare it favorably to other top-notch Metroidvanias, where the feeling of progression comes from changing how your avatar interacts with the world. And, probably inevitably, it reminds me of Dark Souls, in the way that player death is an expected and designed aspect of the game-world. I think it still manages to be its own thing despite those references, or as the FPP article puts it, "This is part of what I mean when I say it carries a tiny bit of speedrunning mystique—it’s not just the pace, but the playfulness with form. The fact that the barriers between biomes seem constructed of duct tape and glue feels a little like how top speedrunners skip sections of games and twist the whole world to their will." I agree - it takes a few very simple building blocks that digital games tend to use, and then plays with them, which is often a recipe for success in a well design game, I think.
posted by codacorolla at 11:39 AM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wrote the techcrunch review! Happy to see it on the blue. I liked the game a lot. It's clever, cute, well made, and you should play it.

If you're looking for a more meaty metroidvania I think I have to recommend Hollow Knight over any other right now. Insanely good.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:00 PM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another Metroid-vania recommendation from me would be Steam World Dig 2. There are a ton of unique upgrades that dramatically change your playstyle, and exploring the world is the primary fun of the game.
posted by codacorolla at 3:51 PM on April 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I picked this up this afternoon and it’s delightful. It’s one of those rare games with a gimmick where the designers have clearly thought through all of the implications of said gimmick.

For example, early on there is an NPC who has a clue to give, but he talks v e r y s l o w l y and only gives the clue at the end of a pointless ramble, so if you don’t rush over to him directly from the starting house, you’ll die before you hear the end.

also, getting coffee makes you strong so 10/10 GOTY
posted by murphy slaw at 8:32 PM on April 4, 2018

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