App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Minit has finally come to mobile. The minimalist hybrid of The Legend of Zelda and Groundhog Day always looked like it was destined to hit small screens, and now here we are. I just... wish I was more excited playing it? I’m not sure this is the fault of Minit’s mobile port (which is fine, mostly) as much as it is the novelty of the game’s paper-thin premise wearing out since its initial release in 2018. In either case, Minit certainly has its charms, but they only go so far.
Gone in sixty seconds
Something strange is happening in the world of Minit. There’s a cursed sword factory, people are unhappy, and you’re doomed to living out a 60 second death loop for all eternity. Throughout your looping lives, you can make small changes, and—added together—they can make all the difference.
You play as a nameless hero who moves about this world in the same manner as Link does from A Link to the Past and other top-down Zelda games. You move between single-screen scenes, finding items that then let you then reach new places and solve new puzzles. The catch here is that you only have one minute to get anything done. As you play Minit, there’s a constant countdown timer, and when it hits zero, you die and have to start over.
Tick away at it
Just because you have sixty seconds of gameplay doesn’t mean you have to be some kind of speed runner to complete Minit. Whenever you find a new item or complete a puzzle, those things stick so you don’t have to do them again. Minit also features various “houses” throughout its world that you can use to set a new place for you to spawn when you die.
It’s little tricks like these that make Minit so charming. Things are more expansive than you'd expect, and puzzles cleverly take advantage of your sixty second timer. Just around every corner in the game is something new that is usually surprising and delightful. It’s a good thing, too, because wandering through the same areas for sixty seconds repeately would otherwise get pretty boring pretty quickly.
This mobile version of Minit is mostly fine, though using virtual controls is not an ideal experience. Considering some quests in Minit hinge on how quickly you can get somewhere and do something, it can be annoying to accidentally snag on a tree or swing your sword in the wrong direction because of the inherent clunkiness that comes with a virtual joystick.
Even if the touch controls were fine though, Minit didn’t exactly blow me away. It’s got some clever tricks, but nothing about it made me want to stay in it any longer than I had to. Once I finished the main quest (yes, there are side things you can explore), I was done. I had no desire to wander around, sixty seconds at a time, trying to figure out anything else. I got the idea after the first minute, and it aged poorly from then on out.
The bottom line
Minit has some neat tricks up its sleeves, but I lost interest in looking for them before I finished it. The looping mechanic is one that makes for a great pitch and first impression, but it gets old very quickly. This isn’t to say there aren’t things to enjoy about Minit, but they were probably far more enjoyable a year ago when the game was fresh and you were playing it with a controller.