Based on gameplay almost identical to the original The Legend of Zelda, the new Digital Devolver adds an interesting death mechanic capable of posing funny puzzles. We tell you how Minit seemed to us in this analysis.
Immediately after clicking on the “start game” button, we found our small and simple digital avatar in the middle of his house, with his dog. There is little to do, so we go outside and see that our home is in the middle of … somewhere. We can go to the plot of the north, south, east or west, and choose the one we choose, we probably do not understand very well what is cooked there. Defeat a crab, without a weapon? A bush that prevents us from passing? Cross a river, without a bridge? While trying to understand our limitations, the last seconds of a clock in a corner of the screen rumble with increasing force, as if they were the steps of a giant that are directed towards you. The counter reaches zero, and our character falls down to the ground as if it had given him a heart attack. We have died. But we already know what we will find on that plot next time. This is Minit.
We may not realize it at first, but we have really lived through an adventure in a minute, in which we left home to explore the unknown and decipher a mystery. What we have left is the memory of that adventure. Put in such a way, it may seem like very little, but that’s how this game works. It’s simple, it’s direct, it knows what it’s looking for and it’s capable of surprising you with a particular mechanical timed death. He is not the first to do this, but I think it is legitimate to think that, at the very least, he is the one who best applies it to the genre of adventures.
Rediscovering 8-bit adventures
Minit’s progression follows a strict rule of trial and error : we advance in the adventure exploring and dying, slowly drawing a mental map of the area, and we do not unlock a new fragment to explore until we are able to map each track we have and how to apply it Do you remember the bush we were talking about before? As soon as you find the sword in another quadrant, it will no longer be a problem. And it is precisely the key to advance, often, is to discover an object, weapon or technique that allows us to solve a certain dungeon or puzzle. Along the way, we may also find clues, coins or extra hearts that make our lives easier in the future.
Maybe you’ve already noticed, but almost everything we’ve said so far can also be applied to one of the most influential games in history: the original Legend of Zelda. At a very basic level, Minit is the same. It has a map divided into squares or plots, which we walk from an overhead view. Some squares have challenges for which we are not yet ready, and we are building a real progression as we understand what surrounds us and we decipher its mysteries. If Minit did not have that mechanical characteristic of death, it would be an acceptable adventure game. What makes it special is the freshness with which it splashes the revered work of Miyamoto.
The game knows how to exploit its mechanics to give rise to original situations
Let’s give an example, yes? After a few minutes of play, we reached a lighthouse. At the foot of it, an old man gives us a clue about the whereabouts of a treasure. Because of how fast you must act in this game, the text bubble of most characters fills up very quickly. But this older gentleman goes slowly as if talking awkwardly. And in addition, it loses the thread of conservation. What in any other game would be nothing more than a nice joke, here is a puzzle? You do not have time to finish the dialogue. You die before the old man finishes talking. But you know where it is, so in the next life, you go running, anticipating the hedges that interrupt your path, gaining ground; until you finally reach the old man and have enough time to read all his dialogue … just before he dies.
I think it’s a very good example to illustrate where Minit’s charm and sympathy are , but there really are many more: a haunted house where you must check the same object repeatedly to find the exit on time, a huge queue to talk to the customer service of a factory or a labyrinth designed to “scratch” until the last second of your time are other nice ways to reinterpret the classic zeldera formula, and the truth is that it works very well. The game knows how to exploit its mechanics to give rise to original situations of its own harvest, and keeps the bar high from start to finish.
It would not be fair, on the other hand, to limit ourselves to talking about the good without pointing out that not all of its sections are up to the task, and at this point, we can notice that the game controls leave us with some frustrating situations. For example, the animation of hitting with the sword leaves our character fully exposed for a second, and can only be hit vertically and horizontally; attacking ends up being a tactical decision and often, inadvisable. The mere fact of walking can leave us with some missteps in the parts where we have to push certain objects with precision or go through a narrow place, although luckily they are small details that do not seriously affect the result.
Minit knows how to cover itself with charm and propose funny situations.
Where it does present something more problematic is in the subject of ‘backtracking’, and that is that we can not complete all the puzzles of the game as soon as we discover them. Sometimes, it’s time to return to our own steps later, when we have unlocked a certain object. And even with the shortcuts, we can open, remembering a route you had visited long ago just to get a coin or heart can be tedious. Perhaps it would have been better given the option of teleporting between the different homes we arrived at, which served as checkpoints.
All in all, our overall rating for Minit is quite positive because it knows how to cover itself with charm and propose fun situations. It also helps an artistic section as simplistic, with a nice 8-bit pixel art style; and a surprisingly catchy soundtrack on some occasions. Perhaps we could have asked for the recreation of more ambitious scenarios – the desert plots literally present a few pixels apart from our protagonist – but there is nothing to object about in terms of playability. The game has localization to Spanish and will occupy an insignificant space on our hard drives.
Minit is a nice and original reformulation of the first The Legend of Zelda, which adds a timed death mechanic capable of leaving us with comical situations and ingenious puzzles. We would have liked to see a slightly more polished action and somewhat more inspired scenarios, but there is no doubt that it is a refreshing experience for lovers of classic adventures.
- Its death mechanics are kept fresh and original
- Enter and stake out mechanical and puzzle constantly
- His particular and minimalist sense of humor
- Sometimes, going back to visit familiar places can become annoying
- Has slight roughness in the control