hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Indie Nation #2: MINUBEAT

6:44 PM on 01.18.2008 // Anthony Burch

Last week, I kicked off Indie Nation with one of the best, most high-profile indie games on the market. Aquaria is long, beautiful, immersive, award-winning, and actually costs money to play.

This week, I'd like to go in the exact opposite direction and point you to MINUBEAT -- a free, downloadable rhythm/shmup (yes, they exist) which can be completed in exactly sixty seconds and is, in its own way, a testament to pure gaming minimalism.

MINUBEAT, made by Cactus (an indie developer you'll be hearing a lot more from) won't change anyone's life, win many spectacular awards, or create obsessive fans, but it's a quaint, damned fun little game which shows us a wholly different side of indie gaming than Aquaria did.

Hit the jump to understand why you should download it.  

MINUBEAT, as stated before the jump, is a rhythm-based shmup. You control a small, octagonal ship with three powers. You can shoot a rapid-fire machine gun with the Z key, homing smart bombs with the X key, and you can vaporize all enemy projectiles with a press of the C key.

The catch, of course, is that each of the three powers will only work if pressed in time with the game's musical beat. The entirety of MINUBEAT is scored to a singular pumping beat which the player must adhere to in order to be successful. Don't kid yourself into thinking this is a music game, however: the beat is just that, a beat, and serves to provide the rhythm-fire mechanic rather than giving the player something to dance to.

The machine gun can be quickly fired like a metronome in time with the beats, but the homing bombs and projectile vaporizer buttons must be hit at precisely the right time, or they won't activate at all.

werwe

Given this mechanic, MINUBEAT accomplishes the unusual task of not only forcing the player to adapt his play style to what the game has in mind, but in actually building the entire game around this forced acclimation. Everything else about the game -- the graphics, the sound effects, even the beat itself -- is minimalist and secondary, existing only as a means to draw more attention to the rhythm shooting mechanic. 

Additionally, the game is only a minute long -- and that's if you play it correctly. Screw up, and it'll be even shorter. Measured by the clockwise-rotating circle on the edge of the player's ship, this time limit, while initially frustrating (I can't tell you how many times I made it to the final boss only to suddenly explode for what seemed like no good reason at all), again forces the player to master the rhythm firing. At first, the player thinks it utterly impossible to complete the entire game in 60 seconds; this, of course, makes it all the more satisfying when the player actually does. Granted, you'll angrily get to the final boss battle about a half-dozen times before you get down a realiable strategy for attacking him (personally, I like to focus on just projectile destruction when he fires, then hit him with nothing but smart bombs as he moves from side to side), but I've gotten just as much satisfaction from completing MINUBEAT's sole, one-minute-long level than I have with many 6-8 hour long mainstream titles.

Speaking of time limits, you might find it interesting to know that Cactus created the entire game -- the entire goddamned game -- in twelve hours.

Twelve.

Goddamned.

Hours.

werew

On the one hand, this should inform you as to the game's length and aesthetic quality; on the other hand, Jesus Christ. In half a day, Cactus managed to create a clever, unusual, genre-bending little shooter in less time than it took me to get up from bed and actually write about the damned thing. I cannot even begin to comprehend the sort of mind that can awake, start programming, and come up with something as fun and original as MINUBEAT before retiring for the night. "Jealousy" doesn't even begin to cover it.

You can download the game here, but be warned: as much as I like the game, it is not going to change your life or anything. Do not expect a synthesis of music and gameplay of the sorts you experienced with Audiosurf, or the mind-blowing bullet hell scenarios you'd find in other shmups like Ikaruga. MINUBEAT is what it is, and no more; it's short, minimalist, clever, and reasonably challenging. It is also, to my mind, pretty fun.




 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/6Cu2Asg.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/qMFDAw3.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/RPUraY8.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV Pro Tip: Turn your brightness down to 0. It actually makes the view distance for the guards correct, and doesn't make nighttime the best option for you every single time. When guards shoot flares in the sky, the lighting looks like Dragon's Dogma.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So I can plug any headphones I want into my PS4 controller. If said headphones have a mic, will it work in chat?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -