PS4, Xbox One, PC
It is generally ill-advised to pick up swords you find parted from their masters. Whether they be embedded in stone or seemingly left out for anyone to take, there’s usually a good reason for their placement. In this case, it’s a 60-second death curse; no matter what you do, as long as they’re bound to that cursed sword, your adorable tamagotchi-esque protagonist will keel over every time a minute ticks down. you’re going to need to get a move on if you want to change your fate.
With only items and key events persisting through every minute run, Minit’s retro, roguelike influences are obvious. Its scope and length pales in comparison to modern behemoths of the genre, such as Spelunky or Rogue Legacy, but though small it is perfectly formed. It’s not one to out-stay its welcome, achieving only what it set out to do and then getting the heck out of there, much like you will be doing throughout your own playthrough.
the humour of the briefest lines of dialogue is pure-hearted, coming from a cast of cute characters that presents a world well worth getting to know. the ever-ticking timer encourages you to explore efficiently and there are few areas or puzzles that set out to purposefully waste your precious seconds. Anti-frustration design ensures none of your deaths feel wasted or cheap, however, and instead creates a ‘popcorn effect’ until, after a chain of deaths, you find yourself staring down the endgame asking, “Where did the time go?”
As you explore, you’re able to discover new ‘homes’ to respawn into after your untimely demise, enabling you to cover more ground in your next life. due to the game’s simple visual aesthetic, each screen is distinct in a way that minimises the likelihood of you losing your bearings as the sand in the hourglass runs out. Because of a stubborn adherence to a two-toned palette, against the current wave of vibrant retrostyled titles, Minit presents something new by going even further back.
the timer can complicate troubleshooting for certain conundrums, though thankfully solutions can either be discovered close to home or within what time you have left. time-wasting design only presents itself when you begin hunting for secrets and the frustration of these treasure hunts can be easily counteracted by other hidden goodies if you’re willing to dig for them. your first run is rewarding as it is, however a second playthrough still has plenty to uncover.
Between the pitch-perfect length, a cast of cheeky characters you just want to pinch and a distinct visual style you’ll be left with a lasting fond impression. short, sweet and filled to the brim with charm, you won’t want to drop this one in a hot minute.
8/10 VERDICT a short but sweet rogue-lite adventure.
It’s not all bad in Minit. Sure you’re under a very bad, no-good death curse and the world is rendered in only two tones, but at least the characters you encounter have a sense of humour.
the swords of Ditto