I’m pleased to announce that Minutes will be available on PlayStation Store today. It’s a unique, abstract action game with retro DNA, a pure arcade heart, a super-clean visual style and music to get you in the zone!
Inspired by a need to rebel against AAA titles, I’ve designed a minimalist game. Minutes is all about gameplay purity. There are no cutscenes or dialogue trees here. It’s stripped down to the fundamentals — move, collect, avoid, gauge risk vs. reward, think and react. The challenge unfolds across 60 one-minute levels, chasing the score targets and other goals with different “energy shapes” to test you and various power-ups to unlock and assist you.
The mechanics at the game’s core are simple: the player controls a circle and moves it around the screen to collect light energy shapes (for points) and avoid dark (which damage the player). On top of this, the size of the circle can be changed (using the L and R shoulder buttons). Go small to stay safe and dodge through the dark energy. Go large to collect more light and, critically, boost your score multiplier. This is the magic risk-reward ingredient in the design.
Each level is about chasing target scores, whether to progress or to post up onto PSN leaderboards. Mastering the game means beating other goals: 100% collected, no damage taken and the tough Perfect. Effective use of power-ups (which are unlocked as the game progresses) is an important tool but only one can be used per level. Beginning players might use Fortify to clear damage; or some levels will need Quell to slow down time enough to allow everything to be collected. Figuring out which power-up to use is part of the late-game puzzle solving.
The game begins with energy shapes that are straight lines. But these are soon joined by Pulsers, Beams and Spinners. These provide for an infinite range of patterns and configurations that encourage the player to adapt and react. As the game matures for the player it becomes more familiar and shifts from a twitch-based, reactive experience to a more puzzling and strategic one. Each level of the main game mode remains the same every time so they can be learned, figured out, and beaten. However, as an alternative, the Daily Challenge mode allows you to try a completely new, randomly generated level every day.
Minutes is cross buy supported and, if you’re playing on PS4 and Vita, you can use the cross save sync to transfer your data and continue playing without worrying about overwriting. This option merges your progress and scores from both platforms. I’m hoping that more games will take this approach in the future.
If you want a quick break from crashing cars, running through forests and shooting people in the face, then perhaps it’s time for a few minutes of gameplay purity.
Thanks for reading. Throw me some questions and comments below and I’ll answer as much as I can.