What would you do if you had one minute left to live?
Probably panic. Maybe try and call a loved one, though good luck getting through to them and explaining the situation within 60 seconds. You probably wouldn't get much done at all, you're certainly unlikely to finish a Zelda style adventure.
Fortunately for the star of Minit, while they die after 60 seconds, they do get to try again and again and again which gives you a chance to do a lot more than sob incomprehensibly down the phone to someone.
The adventure, and the countdown, start when you pick up a cursed sword from a beach. You can chop your way through some bushes and find some people to chat to but once the timer hits zero you die and then start again from your house with 60 new seconds ticking away.
As you explore you'll find new items which will stick with you beyond death and give you scope to explore further. Find a key, gloves to push boxes, pretty standard fare for Zelda aficionados. You get other items which swap places with your sword and then spawn by your house when you come back to life, giving you an option to run around with a watering can for example.
Progress further into the world and you'll find other beds, walking in those rooms will pick them as your next spawn point. This means Minit never has to sacrifice its central conceit to have a larger game world. If you could only travel 60 seconds from your starting house it'd be a pretty small game, but by giving you these stepping stones you travel a larger area in your bite-sized life span.
Minit takes every opportunity to play with the ever ticking clock, a character taking a long time to explain where to go will keep you eyeing up the seconds as they pass, a winding network of paths through a dark room will have you keen to avoid a wrong turn if you want to get through it in the time limit.
You might think to suck a meagre amount of time would deter exploration, with precious few seconds is it worth heading down that path? But Minit makes restarts a swift experience with little penalty, it even gives you the option to bump yourself off with the B button. This instils a sense of freedom in your mayfly-like lifespan. Why not wander through that desert? You'll be back where you started in under a minute regardless of what you do so you may as well throw caution to the wind.
Minit is a pretty short game but offers a more challenging New Game+ after for those who feel 60 seconds was too generous. Its monochromatic style is full of character, with the simple, clear designs aiding in swift decision making when you're up against the clock. Charming and inventive, Minit is well worth your time.