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Review

Devolver Digital releases a minimalistic fun racer as a spin-off to the indie secret Minit.  A side-scrolling endless racer set in the lovely black-and-white universe of Minit. Where Minit boiled down the Zelda principle to manageable minute bites, where you could explore a bit more of the cute 2D world with each attempt, Minit Fun Racer is...

Minit Fun Racer

  • Samanta Blumberg
  • Jun 19, 2021

Devolver Digital releases a minimalistic fun racer as a spin-off to the indie secret Minit. 

A side-scrolling endless racer set in the lovely black-and-white universe of Minit. Where Minit boiled down the Zelda principle to manageable minute bites, where you could explore a bit more of the cute 2D world with each attempt, Minit Fun Racer is dedicated to - surprise - racing.

On a scooter and with only ten meager seconds on the clock, the goal is to chug as far as possible from left to right through the roughly pixelated land. The obstacle course, which is generated anew each time and is full of junk vehicles and broken-down trucks, has to be traversed with pixel precision - smaller objects only cost speed, a crash with one of the metal corpses puts an abrupt end to the current attempt. During each run you collect coins by driving over them - soon your virtual wallet is so well filled that a visit to the store is worthwhile. There are lots of nice things: a helmet lets pixel pilots survive a head-on collision, a turbo increases speed, a coin magnet makes future runs even more worthwhile, a steering upgrade lets you avoid deadly obstacles even more elegantly. But the best and most important are two upgrades: one turns the previously annoying trash cans into boosts, the other ensures that every coin I pick up increases my time account a bit - so you can jet longer and thus further through the monochrome land.

There is a fixed finish point, and on top of that, the possibility to then even start a second or third round. While the very simple controls leave nothing to be desired, the perspective makes it hard to judge whether you can still pass just above an obstacle - this makes for some abrupt endings, but hardly diminishes the general fun factor. Unfortunately, you have already played out all the upgrades after about 60 minutes of gameplay - and from then on you only try to fulfill the achievements. A few additional vehicles, further upgrades, other tracks, or graphic filters could have dramatically increased the long-term fun without diluting the simple and fun basic principle.

Conclusion

A cute little game that you just have to like. The graphics are minimalistic and even pretty in their way, the controls are great, and the upgrade system motivates well. But then? Then the air was out. There would have been much more in it for the long-term motivation: Why not a few, also only two-color filters for the graphics, as other indie titles have done? Or half a dozen other vehicles (bike, superbike, unicycle, donkey?) that bring minimal advantages or disadvantages. That way, the coins that continue to be earned would have had a purpose, and a harmless one-hour retro morsel could have been turned into a three-hour pixel menu with a bit more meat on its ribs.

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