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This tiny man in Minit is my fave character of 2018 so far

minitlighthouse

Minit gives you sixty seconds to achieve great things. As soon as you wake, in whichever place you’re currently calling home, a timer begins to countdown and when a minute has expired, you die and restart. In that time, you might find a useful item, which will be close at hand in the next life, or you might discover a new area and start to formulate a plan for exploration and infiltration a few lives down the line.

It was during my second life that I found the lighthouse. By the lighthouse, an old man stands, crooked of spine. He tells you everything you need to know about Minit’s wit and central conceit, and he does that with nothing more than a text box and a very clever monologue.

The gag is that he talks….very…….very…….slowly………..and……takes…………..a…..long………time………to…….get…to………….the……..point.

In a game so focused on timing, it’s great to see early confirmation that the comic variety of timing is one of the things the game handles so well. By the time you reach the lighthouse, you’ll have lost around seconds of your life, maybe a little more or less. Activate the monologue and the words start to drip out, one letter at a time, and there is, at first, nothing of importance. A greeting, some pleasantries. This old geezer just wants to talk about himself.

And then he mentions treasure. He says it in a way that suggests he knew that’s why you’d come to him in the first place: “Anyway, for the treasure.”

As the text continues to drip out at an agonising pace, there are actual clues and instructions. He’s giving you a roadmap to treasure. You love treasure! But if you can focus on the words without casting anxious glances at your life-timer, you’re made of sterner stuff than me. I suspect this whole scenario was playtested over and over to ensure the text and the timer are perfectly and excruciatingly in sync. Arrive early enough and you’ll get what you need, arrive too late and you might not even realise there’s any useful information beyond the rambling.

It’s a joke that works to educate you, while also showing precisely how some of the game’s tensions play out. I haven’t finished Minit but this brilliant codger makes me want to see what other gags and tricks it has up its tiny sleeves. John’s [Minit review] suggests I’m in for a treat.

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Adam Smith

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