“Minit,” published by Devolver Digital, is a tiny $10 indie title you probably haven’t heard of unless you actively follow Devolver Digital’s games lineup. Indeed I found this game through Steam curators Double Fine Productions and the Jim Sterling Collection, and had it not been for them “Minit” would likely have slipped under my radar as well, despite the fact that I try my best to keep up with Devolver Digital’s releases. Devolver Digital is one of the most prolific indie publishers out there, with notable titles including the likes of “Hotline: Miami” and “Enter the Gungeon.”
“Minit” focuses on the adventure of a little big-lipped head with legs who goes out of his house one day and finds a cursed sword, which he promptly picks up. From then on, he only has 60 seconds before he “resets” and wakes up in his bed again. Thus brings us to the central mechanic of the game, that you can only play it in 60 second intervals before you respawn. It's a neat mechanic that both helps and hurts the game, but if nothing else helps it stand out as unique. As you progress through the game, you find new beds to use as respawn points, thus expanding the available space you have to explore in your 60 second interval, and eventually you can teleport between them, meaning the entire map is very accessible very quickly. Because the game is Metroidvania, this works to the games benefit to minimize the amount of backtracking necessary; and the 60 second timer alongside the respawn button means that if you need to you can instantly respawn back at whichever bed you are using. However, the beds are only placed so close to some of the more difficult tasks to complete under the time limit, so constant retracing of steps is unavoidable.
Despite the sword being central to the games plot, the game is much more a puzzle game than anything else. While not immediately apparent, it becomes more clear as you progress that the main thing impeding your progress is the various environmental roadblocks the game puts before you. Its puzzles are also rather unique in that they are mostly based on getting you to figure out where you need to apply each of the abilities the items you collect give you. Most Metroidvania games utilize this, but “Minit” puts particular emphasis on the puzzle solving aspects of these applications to great effect. The puzzles are all cleverly woven in with the environment and are paired with more difficult optional puzzles that grant additional reward. The game also does a stellar job of getting you to figure out what it wants you too without directly telling you so. The combat, as sparse as it is, isn't all that great. You press a button to thrust your sword, which come out in whichever direction you last moved in. On paper it seems fine, but in the more confined spaces the game places you in it can be annoying having to move before being able to slash in a given direction.
The game also retains that rather quirky charm one would expect from a black and white isometric game starring a walking head with extended lips. The game does a good job of giving off personality and comedic moments without it feeling forced or overbearing. Overall the game is cheap, short, and enjoyable. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and provides enough unique personality for a quirky little indie game to be worth your time. You will probably finish it in an afternoon, at least if you are able to figure out the puzzles or are shameless enough to look them up, but it doesn’t need to be any longer. It’s a perfectly enjoyable little game that has unfortunately passed by the heads of many.
Final Score: 6/10, a lovely little $10 indie title to fill up a long afternoon, and an experience much like a bag of chips; great while it lasts but forgotten quickly once consumed.