Zelda in 60 Seconds – Minit Hands-On

Just a minute of your time. And then another. And another...

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Think about a minute. Sixty seconds. Not a lot of time, right? Someone asks you to wait a minute, you stand around impatiently because what can you do during that time? Not much. Now, what if someone put you in front of a game and said you have a minute to learn it? “I can’t get anything done in a minute” turns into “How much can I complete in a minute?” When I walked into the Devolver Digital booth this morning, I had to do just that.

Minit is an adventure game in the vein of the original Legend of Zelda. Only instead of taking your time exploring dungeons and searching for secrets, you’re rushing through the world with only sixty seconds to accomplish your goals. Once the timer hits zero, you die and respawn at the last spawn house you went into. Any equipped weapons, half solved puzzles, or damaged enemies are reset. This limited timeframe requires you to learn the map as quickly as you can and pick and choose which objectives to focus on rather than doing multiple at once.

I spent 30 seconds walking to a dungeon. Once there, it was too dark to see. The timer then ran out. I died. My next life is dedicated to finding a flashlight. A minor setback, but once found I continue on my journey. A majority of your time will be spent figuring out a problem in one life and searching for the solution the next. Some are quite clever. My favorite “puzzle” was this old man I found. He starts talking incredibly slowly. He ends up taking 40 seconds of my time, but his completed text box revealed the location of a hidden collectible. It’s those little touches of charm that help Minit stand out. All the NPCs have quirky phrases, and you’ll find a reference or two to the games that inspired Minit.

Puzzles range from the glaringly obvious – fighting a tough looking enemy for a pickup – to a bit more subtle – the aforementioned old man. There are tons of secrets seek out. I don’t want to spoil them, but know that finding them all will require some focused trial and error. The minute mechanic may not sound like it changes much, but having the clock there forces me to cut through the bullshit and get stuff done. In fact, the entire game is designed around keeping you moving forward. Even the retro graphics and black and white art style are as minimalistic and non-distracting as can be. They do have a certain charm to them, I’m reminded a bit of Undertale, but they certainly work how they’re intended.

The overall experience will last two to three hours, but a new game plus mode will extend that. Minit is also designed with speed runners in mind, so the game’s longevity will depend on what you intend on getting out of it. Regardless, it’s a unique title that is definitely worth a look, even if it’s a short one.

Minit is coming to Steam later this year.

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Max Moeller Editor
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