Minit Review: The Speedrunner’s Dream
Minit is a pretty oddball little game, but since it’s coming from Devolver Digital, that’s pretty much status quo (and also not a bad thing). It’s a game that takes a lot of the best parts from early NES adventure games and fuses it with a cutesy black-and-white pixel art style. It reminds me a lot of the original Digimon handheld games or Tamagotchi, and it lends itself well to the game. It’s memorable, and the music is mostly ambient, calm music, so it’s got a pleasant aesthetic, even just from watching the trailer I was enthralled.
Oh yeah, and every 60 seconds, you die and get sent back to the last place that you rested at. Either that, or you die when your extremely fragile nameless character gets hit by enemies and get sent back then as well. That’s not a nitpick, though, because there aren’t a ton of enemies in this game, I think I died from being hit once in the whole time I was playing this game.
Essentially what this means is that there is a lot of exploring that you do in this game, trying to piece together exactly what the next puzzle is that you need to solve. They’re not all explicitly puzzles in the literal sense, sometimes you just have to find something for somebody/ defeat enemies for somebody. The controls are nothing crazy, all you do is move and swing your sword or whatever item you’re holding at the time. Sometimes you get slightly cryptic hints as to where to go next, somewhat similar to Zelda II, which I highly appreciated. The game took me a little over an hour to complete the first time I played, and I didn’t even get half of what was in the game.
The main thing that will keep you coming back to the game is trying to collect everything in the game and doing it as fast as possible. There are a whole lot of cool items and character interactions outside of the bare basics needed to finish the game. Hell, there are whole areas you don’t even have to go to in order to complete the game, and it’s fun to find them on your second or third play-through. I still haven’t completed the game 100%, but once I find a proper guide from someone a bit more eagle-eyed than me, I’ll be on that shit like a rash. Now, after the main game, you unlock a New Game+ mode, which sounded like a pretty cool idea for speed-running. I thought that it would be a new game where you still have everything from the last time you played, making this play-through that much faster.
It is not that.
New Game+ in this game is essentially “Fuck you” mode, and I’ll explain why. Normally, in the main game, you start with two hearts (two hits) and you can find a handful of hearts through the game to upgrade your health. In New Game+ you start with only one heart, and not only that, but you can find extra hearts… that shatter when you pick them up. As if it wasn’t already dickish enough that you only get one hit, they have to tease you in the worst way possible. It could have just been me, but it seemed like you didn’t do as much damage as well, and you definitely don’t have the same range. The days are also shortened to 40 seconds instead of 60, which makes some parts so hard, and to top it off, some bits of the game are completely changed around. The one thing that I can compare it to is Master Quest for Legend of Zelda: OoT, it feels pretty similar to that.
Minit is a pretty good game, and although it’s fairly short, it’s inherently designed to be played quickly. If it was just a short game that had no replayability, I would think it was just a slap-dash cute pixel-art game. That, and the New Game+ really puts a different twist on the game and challenges you to not just rely on what you remember from your first playthrough. The visuals and music are easy on the eyes and ears, and it’s the perfect afternoon snack type of game for all ages. NPCs and even enemies are weird and intriguing, and the climax of the short story is engaging, to say the least.
I mean the whole game is kinda weird, but in a really lovable way, this game will definitely garner a cult following. I can’t wait to see what kind of cool posters and fan-art gets made based on it. If the game is $14.99 or less, I think that would be a pretty fair asking point for it. Devolver Digital rarely disappoints, in fact I can’t remember the last time they did, and Minit is just another lovely little feather in their cap. Check out this game, even if you only play it once, it’ll leave an impression on you, without a doubt (a good impression, I promise).
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*The writer of this review was provided with a code for the Xbox One version of the game.