A near perfectly designed mobile RPG
Size: 101 MB
Developer: Devolver Digital
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Having already made waves across console gaming, particularly on the Nintendo Switch, Minit has arrived on iPhone and iPad. It’s a black and white RPG full of nostalgia, from its similarities to the original Zelda games to its simplistic pixel graphics.
But its arrival on iOS is particularly apt because so much of this game feels built for mobile. The ‘Minit’ refers to the 60 seconds you have on each turn to progress. This means its pick up and play ability is stronger than your average RPG, allowing players to incrementally progress.
It does a great job, too, of not overwhelming the player, instead revealing bits and pieces of the vast world map over time. This helps familiarize players with the area over the minutes before it opens up.
You start by awakening in your home – your early-game base – and then steadily make your way around a mysterious world. As you find items and help strange characters, you learn new skills, like the ability to cut down trees or use your sword to clear the environment. In turn, these skills open up new areas to explore.
MINIT’S tone is interesting too – it’s fun, and though quite bizarre, feels light. We also made our way through a pretty significant chunk of the game before realizing that we had yet pick up much of a narrative. The pace and puzzle-solving distracts you from the fact that you just know you need to explore, but little else.
Despite the simplicity of the graphics, there’s plenty of surprises that steadily reveal themselves and show MINIT up as a highly polished game. The music is also upbeat and frenetic, while the various characters you meet range from the witty to the downright weird.
At first, the one-minute limit to each turn can feel a bit frustrating, but as the world opens up and you find more buildings to choose as your base, you suddenly find yourself far from home and in ever more intricate landscapes. One minute you’ll find yourself meandering a featureless desert, wondering whether the game has run out of ideas, before the next minute suddenly finds you taking a submarine to an underwater power circuit. There’s loads to find here.
The only real qualm we came across was the fiddly nature of the controls. The tiny little joystick in the left corner was usable, but we often found we’d slip off and activate the app switcher instead. The larger screen of an iPad or Max-sized iPhone certainly helps here.
However, elsewhere, it acknowledges the fiddly nature of mobile devices. Whereas many RPGs will see you collect items in your inventory, and then have to continually enter a menu and switch them to use them, MINIT instead automatically activates items and skills contextually as they become relevant to your surroundings.
All in all, MINIT is a solid port which will provide a good few hours of fun. Spreading out the play sessions over minute-chunks is a great way to dip in and out and really get your money’s worth.