Review: Thoughtful puzzle platformer Minutes of Islands Surprise released on Sunday


You have heard this story before. The details may differ, but the thrust of the story is the same. Only one person can save us when the world falls into shit. The chosen person, with his pure choice, must embark on a tragic journey to stop the horrific things that threaten the world.

The Legend of Zelda, Hello Master Chief, God of War’s Kratos Link. These types of heroes also appear in smaller stories in a more intimate world. Cozy gloves, Permanently undertake the needs of everyone else. But being a hero can be isolated and even traumatic.

Image: Studio Fizbin / Mixtvision Games

Island minutesSunday’s surprise release from German developer Studio Fizbin is about that aspect of being chosen. The hero of the game is Mo, a young mechanic who acted as a knight to save her world by helping four giants living under the crust of the planet. The game deliberately uses metaphors, framing it as if it were the story you are telling, and when the keyboard clicks, the story shifts like the buzz of a book page.

The story begins with a series of small islands that have long been abandoned. Except for a few stragglers destined to overlook land poisoned by toxic fungi that kill and consume living things. One of these stragglers is Mo. Mo is a childlike mechanic who is tasked with watching over giant, grotesque, human-like creatures that live beneath deep, mechanical mazes. These creatures once lived on earth and thrived among humans, but were obliged to be forced underground to power systems that purify the air so that humans could breathe. However, these rapidly aging systems often break. According to the story, Mo is the only person who can use a tool called OmniSwitch to modify these creatures and protect the land of fate. And in doing so, she also saves her family stuck around the place so as not to throw away Mo.

Mo in front of the beautiful Kusabira Shrine

Image: Studio Fizbin / Mixtvision Games

Island minutes“The hero’s journey serves a clear purpose. Studio Fizzbin does not necessarily overturn the metaphor, but rethinks what it means to be a hero and to whom. The islands are familiar to Moe. A place, a place where she grew up and spent her youth. A childhood home, an abandoned theme park for her uncle, and a once bustling lighthouse. Mo is a light, studded with simple movement puzzles. Explore these locations through a 2D platform. Place objects to obscure paths and turn wheels to unlock gates. During her journey, Moh, before the fungus conquered the world, Gather memories of these places. She passes by bloody seagulls and breaking whales, rusty metal, and rotten trees on a journey to repair a giant-powered air purification system. Climb between the fungus-infested top and the fizzly bottom, resetting the system one by one, in a world where giants live, exposing you to toxic fungi.

Through the narration of the game, players can get a glimpse of Mo’s internal dialogue. As the game progresses, you’ll see the impact of her “fate”, the only person who can save the island. Mo pushes her family (people who are obviously worried about her) and succumbs to the pressure of becoming the chosen person. Mo makes a rift with his uncle, sister, friends, and grandmother, so the descent is slow, but it’s painful to join. Throughout, Mo still performs a few rituals to calm himself, but the arc of the story is clear. The mission to protect these lands is to destroy Mo and her family.

Darkness Island minutes Suspended by its light and airy art style. It’s a colorful cartoon world, and when viewed from a distance, it looks like the place I want to live. Platforms and puzzles are simple and satisfying. But closer examination reveals a darker truth from bloody birds and violent yet beautiful fungi.Visual design makes the game lighter even when Mo is present She The darkest, narrated voice in her head is bitter and mean.

Mo grandma sitting on the bench with an air filter mask

Image: Studio Fizbin / Mixtvision Games

Still, Mo always has her happy memories. Finding objects and spaces that provoke Mo’s memory (the button literally suggests that the player “remembers”) creates a small but impactful moment. You can complete the game without collecting these, but it’s essential to shed light on Mo’s darkness, and it takes about six hours to complete the game, eventually becoming her lifeline. Is these memories. When Mo recalls the time he spent praising the island’s air before the disaster, it justifies her as important. She is constantly rushing to save the island, taking in the surroundings with her grandmother and spending only one minute on this day.

It is Mo’s grandmother who encourages Mo to go where she was always afraid. After all, this place is not as unpleasant as the complex muscular tissue of underground caves and the harsh reality of an island killed by fungi. Instead, it’s beautiful.Full range of Island minutes‘The colors are fully visible and complex and wonderful mushrooms are growing from what was once flesh and spores. But this is also where Mo can only enter without the comfort of an omni switch. Her fears seem to be related to vulnerabilities, not horrific ones.

Sometimes it is easier to shut yourself down, protected by a sense of dangerous strength and resilience, than to be emotionally defenseless.This is the aspect of the hero’s journey Island minutes Push back. Is this really what Mo is destined to do? Is she really the only person who can save this world, and does she need to? What if she asks for help?

For the island Released on June 13th on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows PC. (The Xbox version will be released “soon”.) The game was reviewed using the Windows PC download code provided by publisher Mixtvision Games. Vox Media has an affiliate partnership. These do not affect your edited content, but Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links.Can be found Click here for additional information on polygon ethics..