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

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 comes out this week on Steam and also on PS4 and Xbox, was created by the developers Jan Willem Nijman, the game design, half of the indie studio of two people Vlambeer, and Kitty Calis, formerly of Horizon Zero Dawn manufacturer of Guerilla Games. Like the classic clear inspirations, which include Zelda to Metroid to Dark Souls, Minit helps players rethink how they think about progress, the education and death in video games by restricting it 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 the world of Minit be understood.

Minit is composed mainly of intelligent and extravagant search missions, the kind you can find in the games of role of the old school and in the first Internet flash games and solving riddles, all composed by the imposed time limit. (There are also some light combats.) You start finding a sword on the beach, an obvious tip for classic Game Boy 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 economic portions the size of a bite, 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.

Get a heads-up here and there: new houses 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. Rather, Minit guides it in a stable and accessible way, rewarding players for reading in a subtle line of dialogue and approaching 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. -Logic oriented.

Image: Return Digital

Nijman and Calis told me last year, during a game demonstration session held at the E3 exhibition, that Minit was born from a Adventure Time ] game jam. 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 ​​time limit then shot up into 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 amazing and minimalist pixel art 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 of – quite literally in the case of Minit . By the time I finished my first game race, which took exactly 106 minutes according to my death meter, I had only dug up 37 percent of their secrets. Minit reward multiple plays with more items to find, locations 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 classic game addicts, there are lots of fun little references and they're also breaking into the fourth one, which gives you even more reason to walk every inch of your world.

Minit is a game that, since I saw the credits arrive early this morning, I can not wait to dip again. You should also do it, if you can devote a minute of your time … or 106.

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