E3 2017: Minit – The RPG Where You Die Every Minute

Thinking about RPGs tends to bring to mind ideas about long, expansive experiences that offer hundreds of hours of gameplay. This is great and all, but can prove too much of a commitment for gamers with already busy schedules to contend with. That’s where a game like Minit comes in. Instead of bringing you into a zillion hour sprawling fantasy, you play as a cute Tamagotchi-like creature who for some reason can only exist for a minute at a time. After those sixty seconds wind down, they simply collapse and die.

Initially it might sound a bit like Half-Minute Hero, but that’s actually not the case at all. Half-Minute Hero games focus more on incredibly quick-paced repetition via grinding and leveling up for a sped-up JRPG. Minit takes the approach of The Legend of Zelda, wherein you’re going to be spending the majority of your time exploring and figuring out ways to get into new areas. At the very start, all that can be done is explore ever so slightly beyond the initial screen. On other screens there are things like crabs on a beach, an old man who talks super slowly by a lighthouse, and a lot of blocked off paths.

As you proceed to explore and talk to locals (almost certainly over multiple death sessions), things slowly start to reveal themselves. For example, talking to a barkeep unveils a simple mission to kill crabs. After which, he rewards you with something to aid in another small portion of the game. As each new object is revealed, you can then start going further. Of course, there’s only so far this little protagonist can walk with their twig legs in sixty seconds. That’s why there are also new homes to unlock. A home is your starting point and getting to the next one expands your reach of the realm. By starting at a new home you get a whole new section to explore, and so on and so forth.

Minit is extremely easy to pick up and just start playing. Deaths are quick and painless and the reset occurs quickly. That doesn’t mean there is no stress involved. Things get hairy as your timer ticks down in the middle of an important task. For example, you may need to maneuver through a maze-like underground tunnel filled with enemies. Running short on time makes you want to move faster – but that might mean you run straight into a bad guy and lose one of your two precious hearts. There’s a definite push and pull between wanting to play well and needing to play fast.

Some of the most hardcore players out there might feel that Minit’s minute time frame is simply too long. In that case, they should check out the speedrun mode. This version provides players with only one heart and forty seconds per life. While still feasible, shaving twenty seconds off the clock by default means that players must move with extreme precision and know exactly what to do each step of the way. It sounds like quite the challenge!

Anyone looking for a new RPG without the need of a heavy time commitment should look into Minit. With each life being so darn quick, it’s easy enough to simply play a few rounds and then turn the game off for later. On the other hand, folks who wish to marathon through can also do so as they wish. Finally, speedrunners are being given a special mode to truly test their skills. Keep an eye out for Minit when it arrives on PC later this year.