THE MINIMS

 

Genre:     Puzzle adventure

Developer & Publisher:  beyondthosehills              

Released:    April 1, 2016            

Requirements (recommended):

    Recommended:
     
    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader model 3.0 capabilities
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 390 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any

Additional screenshots

 

 

By flotsam

 

The Minims

Beyondthosehills

My first look indicated it was quirky, serene and a delightful pleasure. I have to say it stayed like that all the way through.

Mii is a Minum, who awakes from a dream to find his pond in need of a clean. The fish is an issue that must be dealt with, and then how to clean? Some to-ing and fro-ing and its mission accomplished, and then its time to wake Mo.

Except Mo is missing.

What follows is a search for Mo, and for Miiís inner being. Itís a deeper piece than its surface suggests, and while there are some literal leaps of faith, it isnít overdone, and never becomes overwhelming. While there is more to it, I was still looking for Mo, and I found her.

The look of the game is appealing, simple and colourful, with Mii at the centre. It never ceases to amaze me how expressive two eyes on a blob can be. Especially one that only talks in speech bubbles. I liked Mii, and his quiet determination to get things done.

Like many adventure games, puzzling involves exploring to find and use items in the correct way. There are a very few straight out puzzles, but by and large you will be gathering things to use in generally straightforward ways. The red cloth threw me, but I chuckled when I got the hint that told me what to do.

Unlike many adventure games, you donít move Mii around the various environments in the usual way. Sometimes Mii will move somewhere else, but he is just as likely to stay where he is, and shift his perspective so that you are looking at (and therefore able to interactive with) a different part of the scene. Its kind of like zooming in, and you can often see Mii standing where you left him.

An important part of this aspect is ďdraggingĒ the environment around you to be able to look at different things. By holding shift and dragging the mouse, you effectively have 360 degree panning from the perspective you are currently viewing. On more than one occasion Mii didnít move from where he was, but I searched an entire landscape through multiple shifts of perspective, some only accessible from other shifts.

If it sounds complicated, in operation it really isnít. And Mii does bounce around from place to place, as well as ride the occasional vehicle, so he remains a key part of the exploration, even if you arenít moving him everywhere you go.

As indicated above, there is no spoken word. But Mii is a rather chatty fellow, and has plenty of conversations. A rather excellent score accompanies much of his meandering, and keeps things on that serene keel.

It is a gentle, even kind game, in more ways than one. I had to calm a character on one occasion by soothing him with music, and find a way to tempt a scared hamster out of his hiding place. Mii clearly has a good heart, and a genuine belief in others.

The game saves when you exit, and picks up where you left off. You can get hints from the menu screen, which are really answers, so use them sparingly. I never did find a way to scroll through my inventory, so resorted to using items until the one I actually wanted rolled into view. It is probably my only quibble.

It took around five hours, and I enjoyed every one of them.

 

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March 2016

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