Stop. Wait a Minit
Imagine you are tethered to the entrance door of your house. A very long elastic cord is looped around your waist, and the other end is tied to the doorknob.
Imagine you are tethered to the entrance door of your house. A very long elastic cord is looped around your waist, and the other end is tied to the doorknob. The length of the cord is not measured in terms of distance, but the amount of time you can stay outside the house. The cord doesn’t care if you’re doing something very important at the moment—it pulls you back home when the timer hits zero. I would love for this to be real. It would be nice to excuse myself out of a boring conversation because I am out of cord length. It would also save me the trouble of finding transport back home. Maybe this is why I love the game Minit so much. The idea is similar.
In Minit, you play the game one minute at a time. You start at your house and enter the great outdoors. Discerning the black-and-white expanse of land in the game, you move across in some general direction. A sword is picked up. Some crabs and bushes are slashed. Someone is talking to you. You stop to read the dialogue box. Suddenly, the clock counts down to one and the screen turns black. You start at your house and enter the great outdoors. Not much has changed. But you are now snappier. No time for dialogue boxes and random crabs.
The game simultaneously feels very urgent and peaceful. You only have a minute! But it is only a minute. The best part of Minit is that it uses this mildly interesting mechanic of a time limit in the simplest way possible—through solving tiny puzzles. There are no complex combat mechanics. There are no strategic choices, no inventory management. In just a few minutes, you would figure out the directions in which you could traverse, pick up essential quests and environmental hints that help you finish the whole Minit.
It really takes only a little over two hours to complete the entire game—or 120 ‘minit’ runs. But it feels consistently exciting throughout, given that all these simple tasks are still bounded by an all-consuming time limit. I would love for there to be an elaborate version of this game; two hours doesn’t seem enough. The game is available for the PC, Android, and iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation. It is been a few years since it released, but thought this game was worth a revisit—the bungee cord at my waist told me it was time to go to 2018 for a Minit.
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)