Minute of Islands | Nintendo Switch Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Minute of Islands is a wonderfully presented little gem of an indie game developed by Studio Fizbin and published by Mixtvision Games. Currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox and Nintendo Switch, it is a platform-puzzler, hand-drawn in 2D, and was released in June 2021. For the purposes of this review, I was playing Minute of Islands on the Nintendo Switch, and thanks once again to Mixtvision for supplying us with the review key.
You play the game as Mo, a little girl and engineer, who is chosen by four brothers, who also just happen to be giants, to save the world. It's not our world, but a wonderful and colourful island-based world. The brothers have, for as long as anyone can remember, been keeping the world ticking along, as each of them power a generator by hand which keeps the air pure and the islands safe to live on. When the generators fail though, poisonous spores start to fill the air and they soon spread across all of the islands. This is where Mo, our hero for this story and game comes into it. So off you set with a special tool crafted just for the quest by one of the brothers. The tool, called the Omni Switch, is required at various stages of the quest to realign antennas as well as to power up underground engines. The Omni Switch can also act as a guide for you throughout the game so that you can see what direction your objective is.
The visuals in the game are cartoon-like and in 2D, and they really bring Minute of Islands to life. You are also treated to the story being narrated to you as you progress, and the game will pause every now and then as more of the story is told. You can also find a lot of memory moments in the game, where again the gameplay will pause while the memory is told by the narrator, before you can move on again with the game. The story in Minute of Islands plays out almost fairytale-like, and it does get quite dark and grim at times. Music in the game did complement the gameplay, and added to the atmosphere, along with the beautiful visuals.
Controls in the game are thumbstick or D-pad for movement, the Y-button to run, B-button to jump, A-button to interact or inspect, and the trigger buttons to draw or plug in the Omni Switch. Options in the main menu are for language, gamma, as well as volume controls for the in-game music, the SFX, and for the voice narration of the story during the game itself. There is also a 'Collection' screen, where you can keep track of the memory moments that you have discovered for Mo during the game, and what areas you discovered them in. You can also see a map on this screen which shows all of the islands within the gameplay area.
There are easily 6 hours of gameplay in Minute of Islands and I did enjoy every minute of my playthrough. Time is spent both on the surface of the islands as well as underneath, down in the darkest corners, below the surface. There are also areas, mostly between islands, where you have musical puzzles to solve before you can proceed. The puzzles you encounter back on the islands themselves are mostly easy to solve, with nothing too difficult to overcome. I would say for the most part, they were solved by either going from a to b, or by moving a few objects from one point to another. You will soon pick up the style of the puzzles though.
If you are looking for an enchanting little hand-drawn, cartoon-style, 2D platform-puzzler with a thoroughly captivating fairytale-like story that gets narrated as you play along, Minute of Islands certainly ticks all of those boxes. I found it to be one of those games that once you start playing it, you really just do not want to put it down until you have finished it, and you could easily play through Minute of Islands in a single sitting. It is a game that I would very highly recommend, and I did find it very easy to play on the Nintendo Switch for my review. g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Many thanks to Mixtvision Games for supplying the review code.