It'll only take a to turn your life around; MINIT PS4, XBOX ONE, PC.
Byline: GAME ON With Cheryl Mullin
F ALL the resources available to us in this life, time is the most precious.
OIt may not feel like it when you're sitting behind your desk at work willing the clock to read 5pm, but time passes in the blink of an eye.
And for the hero of new platformer Minit, time is indeed of the essence.
Developers JW, Kitty, Jukio, and Dom have created a bite-sized indie marvel, one in which you have just 60 seconds to progress through a level before the player expires.
It's the age old story. Stumbling over a cursed sword on a beach, the anonymous champion is plunged into an infinite loop of minute-long cycles that always end in your death.
There's nothing you can do to avoid it, no health packs, no boosters, you can beg all you want - when that second hand hits 60, you're toes up.
The amount of headway you make in the short bursts of time you have depends on how quickly you learn. When the timer resets, you are respawned at your home base, with the progress you made - unlocking story-progression, discovering certain items - retained for your immediate use in your next run.
It works quite like the bonfires in Dark Souls, when the inevitable happens you at least know you've made some meaningful progress.
While you always restart from your base, there are other bases out there. Once uncovered you can start your next run from any one of them, revealing fresh challenges in every direction.
Don't let the basic graphics fool you, the maps can be exceedingly tricky and you'll soon find that creating shortcuts is the key to survival.
There is no in-game map, so it's essential to commit routes to memory, or you'll be stuck in a hellish monochrome Groundhog Day.
Most of the action in Minit is made up of delightfully quirky fetch quests, very much in the vein of old-school RPGs, and puzzlesolving.
The puzzles themselves are not very taxing, doing just enough to keep you on your toes without pushing you to the point of irritation.
With the timer constantly ticking, gameplay is fast and dirty and maps are littered with hidden entrances, clandestine corridors and myriad secrets for you to stumble over.
While finding some items will add them to your inventory for future use, others will return to the place you found them to be picked up again on your next run through.
There's even the chance to earn little upgrades through tiny sidequests offered by some of the sprites you encounter.
The odd extra coin or heart may not sound like much, but seven coins will buy you a shiny new pair of fast shoes which save precious seconds on the map.
Looks wise, Minit is a retro delight. Played out in black and white, the 8-bit graphics tug at the nostalgic heartstrings, while the chiptunes are plinky earworms you'll find yourself humming for hours after.
Refreshing, bursting with character and utterly charming, Minit is well worth a bit of your precious time.
HHHH H | BUY IT: PS7.99 at store.playstation.com, microsoft.com and PS6.99 at store.steampowered.com