“Just one more minute.”
That phrase has a whole new meaning with Minutes, the latest indie hit to grace PSN. I first encountered Minutes with a two screen demo (one PS4, one Vita) at Eurogamer 2014 (read my write up of the event here). I came away impressed and vowed to buy it when it came out. I did. I don’t regret it.
It’s really simple. You control a circle. You can increase or decrease in size. You have to absorb the coloured lines and avoid the black ones. Easy. Only it isn’t quite – you see, speeds and shapes vary, sometimes they change colour too. So navigating some and hitting others becomes more tricky. Throw in pulsing beams and more complex patterns later in the game and it really gets your mind working.
What’s genius about Minutes is that it’s incredibly addictive and makes you want to keep playing. You see, this is a score attack game. Each ‘map’ lasts one minute (hence the name) and the bigger your circle – the bigger the multiplier. Of course, the easier it is to get hit by the black lines, so there is your challenge. Within minutes (no pun intended) you are shrinking, skipping around black sections, growing and crashing into orange lines before back to being small. A mid size compromise can help eke out those elusive points although it comes down to how risky/skilful you can be.
It feels unfair to say that this is ‘all there is’ to Minutes. There’s some added complexity in terms of power ups available (reducing the black damage you have so you’re further from a fail state, or a temporary shield for example) but you can only use one a game and honestly I feel like this detracts from the ‘core’ experience just a tad but it does add a further tactical element to it.
You also need to look out for the ‘Minute Man’. A faint floating face on the background while you’re concentrating, and you need to tap the touch screen (or touch pad) when you see him.
Minutes works well on both the PS4 and Vita – my preference is Vita but you can’t argue with either version really and you have the choice since it’s cross-buy.
So, addictive game, well presented, fun and challenging, low price tag. Can’t really ask for more can you?
Reviewed on PS4/Vita