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Whiling Away The Time With Minimalistic PlayStation Exclusive Minutes

Time just ticks on by.

It’s incredibly rare in this industry for a game not to go through months, if not years, of advertising from announcement to release day. Rare, but not impossible. When walking around EGX, a stand for a PlayStation exclusive title called Minutes caught my eye. Considering that I write for a PlayStation oriented site, and like to think I know most games releasing soon, seeing a new exclusive just show up surprised me. I sat down and began playing this mysterious title, and what I found was a challenging puzzler that went back to the basics.

The core concept of Minutes is that you need to score as high as possible in each level. This is done through your circular representative on screen which floats about trying to collect shapes and lines to add to the score. It is a simple enough concept but there is also a risk vs reward element to the game. You see you can change the size of the circle from a little thing to a giant wheel that takes up a lot of screen space. This ties in with the score, as the bigger the circle the higher the multiplier.

Obviously the risk here is that as the circle grows it becomes a bigger target. Minutes becomes all about making snap judgements, where you decide to stay small and take longer to gain points, or size up during a quieter period with less enemies on screen to increase your score. During the levels you will gain access to different abilities, like a shield or the ability to recover health, but powers can only be used once in a stage, which will bring another tactical aspect to the game. In each level you are given a rank of one to three stars based on your performance, and it will take some pracitce to perfect every level.

Minutes is a game that focuses on the basic elements of gameplay, such as collecting, getting a good score, and facing a challenge. While speaking to Richard Ogden, Minutes’ creator, he mentioned that the game was like an antidote to AAA. You don’t run from one side of a map to another for missions, or collectibles, but instead here you just experience the core of the game. Interestingly he brought up the point that when you are walking or driving from location A to B in a game are you playing, or just doing a task to get to the next bit of gameplay. An interesting point of view that may be worth thinking about.

Each level is one minute long, and there are 60 levels in total to playthrough. While not indicative of the final length, Richard told me that in his last playthrough it took him 18 hours to get through all the stages with perfects and to unlock all trophies. Of course, it won’t take quite as long if you just want to get through each level. Even then once those levels are done the game isn’t finished as Minutes will feature daily challenges too, which will add a randomly generated level to try and beat everyday. There will also be cross save functionality between the PS4 and Vita versions of Minutes.

Minutes feels like the kind of game where you can lose yourself in its simplicity. That simple design of the game doesn’t mean it will be something easy to beat. It’s described as bullet-hell title where you don’t have weapons, so you have to move fast. The challenge is one that allows for immediate engagement, while the minute long levels mean you can just pick up and play for a quick go, or spend a lot of time trying to get all the perfects. Minutes has a tentative release date of October 22nd.

  1. xIONx
    Since: Jun 2009

    Looks interesting. I have a penchant for arty farty games. October is a good month.

    Comment posted on 06/10/2014 at 14:13.
    • bunimomike
      Since: Jul 2009

      Hopefully you also like games that’ll “do your head in” as they see in South Wales. :-)

      Comment posted on 06/10/2014 at 14:45.
      • xIONx
        Since: Jun 2009

        Sconebuster! :) Delightful.

        Comment posted on 06/10/2014 at 15:10.
  2. Amphlett
    Since: Jul 2009

    It looks like simple good fun, but very frustrating. I’ll give it a miss.

    Comment posted on 06/10/2014 at 15:54.

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