The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Published by Devolver Digital, Minit ($4.99) is the colaborative effort of developers Jan Willem Nijman, Kitty Calis, Jukio Kallio, and Dominik Johann, and made quite a splash when it originally launched on desktop and consoles just over a year ago. And not just because a bunch of indie powerhouses were involved in its creation, but because Minit was built around an incredibly unique concept, and it’s one that I think actually translates best to the mobile platform now that a port has arrived on iOS this week. Why is that? Well, mobile gaming lends itself to filling in those tiny gaps of free time you may have throughout the day, and Minit is by definition a game that you play one minute at a time.
That might sound pretty mundane as there’s no shortage of mobile games that are designed to be played in one minute chunks, but they’re typically arcade or high-scoring games, and Minit here is a full-blown action RPG in the vein of the original The Legend of Zelda (with a dash of Majora’s Mask thrown in for good measure). The game starts with you picking up a cursed sword which causes you to die every 60 seconds. As those seconds tick down in the corner of the screen, you rush to explore your environment and talk to the various characters in the world completing tasks and learning more about how to lift this awful curse. Once the time is up you instantly die right where you’re standing at that time, and resurrect at your most recent home base.
The reason this works is because you’ll get to keep any items you come across in your minute-long adventures, and the game is very cleverly structured like a Metroidvania or perhaps like an old-school point-and-click adventure game, and each new item you find will allow you to gain entry to a new area and make just a bit more progress than the last time. It’s also really surprising just how darn long a minute can feel sometimes. You can get a lot done in just sixty seconds! And sometimes you’ll get what you need to do done before the time has run out, in which case there’s an instant kill type of button that lets you end it all early and immediately start on your next life. I’ve died literally hundreds if not thousands of times in Minit, but I still get a tiny panic attack as the final seconds of each minute tick out, and I also get a twinge of guilt every time I instantly kill my little hero just because I’m too impatient to wait out a few extra seconds. There’s a lesson here, I think.
We actually reviewed Minit earlier this week, and aside from some sort of half-baked MFi controller support and some occasionally awkward moments using the virtual controls, we loved every bit of it. Even those issues feel like extreme nitpicking in the face of such a brilliant little experience. The entire game probably won’t take you more than a few hours to complete, even with the many instances of trial and error and many MANY unnecessary deaths as you figure things out, but it’s an experience that will stick with you for a long time. And as I said in the beginning, its bite-sized nature makes it a literal perfect fit for the mobile platform. At five bucks with no IAP, Minit is yet another great premium port of a beloved console and desktop hit.