What can you accomplish in a ‘Minit’?
Everyday a bunch of indie games are released and it’s hard to pay attention to all of them, given the fact that AAA titles are also coming out. Creating a list, even mentally, of the games you wanna play, helps, but finding time to go back is the real problem. Whenever you find yourself willing to start a game from your backlog, do it, because there’s a lot of gems out there.
The game Minit was on the top of my ‘need to play it sometime’ list. Since it came out in April 2018 it had my attention, given it’s pixel art style, the black and white aesthetic and the clear throwback to old Zelda games. In this 2D adventure game you also need to find a sword before really beginning your journey, but here’s where the game spin the genre and challenges the player.
Instead of being a simple game following the 2D Zelda footsteps, Minit puts forth a different and new take. When you grab the sword a timer appears in the corner of the screen… it’s a cursed sword, you only have a minute to live. The clock is ticking and you need to uncover how to proceed, you can talk to NPCs or explore the map, the only thing you’ll keep when you die are the items acquired and the knowledge gathered that run.
Given the fact that you only have 60 seconds to achieve something per life, the game is not afraid to mess with the feeling of urgency, for example, early on there’s an NPC that reassemble an old turtle and it talks really slow, you’ll probably die listening to it but you’ll be rewarded, eventually. The point is, the game makes you change the way you’re used to playing similar titles and keeps presenting new things that reassure the gameplay choices.
In a genre that has been done multiple times, Minit found a way to make it feel fresh. Despite the crazy amount of games out there, it’s reassuring to know that there are still ways to innovate and surprise players, or that some developers are willing to try new things. Indie development looks like a lab where crazy experiments are encouraged and sometimes, like with Minit, it’s the innovation that the industry needs to move forward.