Minit is a miniature, minimalist adventure game where every life lasts for only 60 seconds. It takes heavy inspiration from classic Zelda, with a timed structure that almost harkens back to Majora’s Mask. The game is short and sweet, but in some ways, its timed-based mechanic works more against the game than for it.

Time is spent traveling across the quaint over-world solving puzzles and slaying foes. The visuals are abstract, sprite-based and in black and white, giving the title a very clean, easy-to-look-at appearance. Music rarely accompanies you on your travels, but the sound design manages to stand out regardless. Whether you be chopping down trees, flipping switches, or activating machinery – interacting with the world will create noise more akin to the chords of an instrument than something sounding more natural. The game manages to have a lot of whimsy to its sound in spite of having little music at all.

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With all that being said, while the game’s graphical style is very clean and easy to parse, its conveyance at times struggles to communicate what it is exactly you’re supposed to interact with. Many objects in the game’s overworld flash, jitter and move when they’re hit. However, the majority of them don’t actually do anything, often making it difficult to figure out what you’re supposed to interact with. This, in turn, wastes your time, which soon becomes the most irritating thing that can happen to you in Minit.

When your time is up, you respawn to your last checkpoint, (represented as a home of some sort.) The game flow sees you solving a puzzle, dying, and then going either in a different direction or further into the direction you were just in. Maybe you’ve opened up a shortcut, maybe an NPC is now going to appear somewhere else, or perhaps you have a new upgrade that’ll let you go somewhere you couldn’t before. As clever as many of Minit’s riddles are, you may find yourself returning to the same rooms trying to exhaust all your options in the later portion of the game. You’ll often find yourself running out of time and having to retread the same ground. Repeatedly. Needless to say, this back-and-forth gets monotonous.

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Luckily, the game is over before this issue really gets bad. Minit doesn’t overstay its welcome, considering I was able to finish it in less than an hour and a half.  What’s more is that there was still a good chunk of the game left for me to explore afterword. And if you do get 100 percent completion, you can still challenge the game’s harder difficulty. In this mode items have been rearranged, you’re given only 40 seconds a life and you only have one heart keeping you alive.

Minit is a bite-sized Zelda perfect for brief moments of play. While the time management mechanic forces a lot of backtracking and can make solving the game’s puzzle’s frustrating, there’s a deceptive amount of content. If timed challenges are your forte, you’re gonna get a lot out of your $10.  

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