Minit is a beautifully crafted love letter to classic games and the art of death

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The two most important concepts in most videogames are learning and dying. Only by learning can you avoid death, and only through death can you learn. It is a cycle that has existed since the first days of the medium. By leaning and playing with that fundamental relationship, the independent game Minit achieves something that feels referential and nostalgic and yet unique and stimulating at the same time.
The game, released this week on Steam and PS4 and Xbox, was created by developers Jan Willem Nijman, the indie studio game design of two people Vlambeer, and Kitty Calis, a former member of Horizon Zero Dawn Guerilla Games. Like the classic clear inspirations, which range from Zelda to Metroid and Dark Souls, Minit helps players rethink how they think about progress, education and death in video games by restricting themselves to a 60-second timer. Each time a minute goes by in the game, your character perishes. You start again at the beginning of the game, having extracted everything you could from that 60-second play, ready to start again. Some actions, environmental changes and articles retain their permanence, and others do not. Only through trial and error can you make sense of the world of Minit.
At & # 39; Minit & # 39 ;, your character perishes every 60 seconds from start to finish
Minit is composed mainly of intelligent and extravagant search missions, of the kind that you can find in the old school RPGs and in the first Internet flash games, and in the solving of riddles, all composed of the time limit tax. (There are also some light matches.) You start finding a sword on the beach, an obvious kick for the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The sword, however, is cursed, resulting in your perpetual death. From there, the game expands wildly creatively, eventually becoming the journey of an unlikely hero to free the victims of corporate oppression. Along the way, progress is made in bite-sized economic portions, as they are forced to make astute decisions about who to talk to, where to go and what elements can be useful to solve certain riddles.
You will get a helping hand here and there: new homes allow you to move your starting point, while certain actions and elements will open shortcuts. There is also a charming haunted house full of useful ghosts offering tips. But the difficulty of the game, which is low, is not about pulling the walls in front of the player that require technical skills or insensitive repetition. On the contrary, Minit guides you in a stable and accessible way, rewarding players for reading in a subtle line of dialogue and approach obtuse obstacles with unique perspectives. For example, trying to fish the final guest of a hotel, to obtain the pair of fins next to the rooftop pool, involves listening to the clue of the hotel owner and thinking a lot about how it could be applied according to the rule and time of the hotel. game. oriented logic.

Image: Return Digital

Nijman and Calis told me last year, during a demonstration of the game held at the E3 fair, that Minit was born from an Adventure Time adventure game. The duo, who built the game especially while traveling the world, initially took care of creating a unique and fun restriction to develop underneath. The idea of ​​the time limit then shot up towards a more complete work of art, with Nijman and Calis finally turning to the independent publisher Devolver Digital for funding and support. The game also uses an incredible and minimalist artistic pixel, courtesy of artist Dominik Johann, and has a fantastic retro soundtrack by composer Jukio Kallio.
The complete package, for $ 9.99, is the kind of independent game that attracts you every second, literally in the case of Minit. By the time I finished my first game race, which took exactly 106 minutes according to my death counter, I had only dug up 37 percent of their secrets. Minit rewards multiple plays with more items to find, places to visit and riddles to solve that are not essential to the main story. It also has a new game mode plus that adds an interesting twist, and has become a surprising speed bump, with players competing to see who can achieve the fastest completion time. For those addicted to classic games, there are a lot of funny little references and they are also breaking into the fourth, which gives you even more reasons to travel every inch of your world.
Minit is a game that, since I saw the credits arrive early this morning, I can not wait to go back to submerge. You should, too, if you can spend a minute of your time … or 106.

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