There are many things that I love about The Legend of Zelda franchise. One of those is certainly the general structure and progression found in the games. Given that new Zelda experiences don’t come around that often, I always welcome any titles that can scratch a similar itch. One such game is the indie-developed Minit which recalls Link’s older top-down adventures with just a dash of Majora’s Mask thrown in for good measure.
In Minit, you play as… ummm… well… that duck-billed-looking character seen in the images featured in this post. Upon picking up a cursed sword, you will be doomed to die every sixty seconds, reawakening in your house each time. So your goal is to lift the curse, but how do you go about achieving that in only a minute? Well, not everything resets each time you fall. Much of your progress made in the world remains. New abilities and items carry over to each new life giving you access to areas and ways to progress that were previously unavailable. For instance, gathering up enough change to buy a pair of sneakers will make you faster on your feet allowing you to cover more ground than possible on previous lives. And other items will need to be found to get the money for those shiny new sneaks. You will also come across different homes. These will act as another respawn point for you upon death. All these items, abilities and new housing options will allow you to venture further and further out into the world. As you do, you’ll find yourself trying to help the strange folk that inhabit the world, besting dangerous enemies and solving clever puzzles in hopes of being rid of your short-life affliction.
I was never really a fan of the time constraint in Majora’s Mask. Even though eventually you could lengthen the time between resets to make it not much more than a minor hindrance, I just never liked the feeling of the clock hanging over my head. I love the freedom to explore at my own pace in Zelda and the timer just bugged me. Despite the vastly smaller window of time to work in Minit, it never bothered me here. Perhaps specifically because of the how quickly it resets. I was always less than a minute away from getting back to wherever I was before I died. Some lives I discovered absolutely nothing, but there was always hope that in the next minute I’d find something to help me inch towards being curse-free once again. Sometimes I’d find a puzzle too late and have no hope of finishing it before my brief time was up, but you can always down yourself early with the quick hit of a button and get started on a potentially successful run right away. This isn’t to say Minit is a better game than Majora’s Mask. It definitely isn’t. But as someone who was weary going in of Minit’s game-defining time limit, I was impressed how incredibly well it worked.
The nature of Minit means it’s not a particularly long game. You will likely finish your first playthrough in a couple of hours or less. There is a second quest to tackle with a 40 second timer, but this game is not going to satisfy anybody who needs “x” hours of gameplay per dollar. And despite the very clear Zelda vibes, Minit can’t really build Zelda-caliber dungeons and bosses due to the restrictions inherent in its very premise. Still Minit remains an intelligently designed title with a charming world and good sense of humor that I enjoyed throughout its oh-so-brief runtime. Those looking for a unique spin on the Zelda formula while they wait for the Link’s Awakening remake or the inevitable follow-up to Breath of the Wild would do well to give Minit a look.