Minute of Islands - Mo and Miri together
Games,  Review

Minute of Islands review

Life as Mo knew it changed when the blight came. Deadly fungus spores taking over the islands where she lives and poisoning her friends and family. The four giants that roam the islands take on the enormous responsibility of keeping the islands safe, and they go deep underground to power the transmitters to keep the spores at bay. Theirs is a thankless, endless task, but what other choice do they have?

Mo is scared of the surface, so she goes underground with them, and the giants deem her worthy of being the holder of the powerful Omni Switch. Mo’s life is filled with the comforting churning of the brother’s work until one day they stop. The power is gone, from all of them! Mo must risk the blight and venture to the surface to get the transmitters working again.

Gameplay

Minute of Islands is split between exploring the islands above and the cavernous depths below. It includes basic platforming and simple puzzles to make it to each transmitter. Along the way, Mo will run into her worried family, who stayed to support Mo but wish she’d leave the islands with them. Mo must keep the islands safe though, she is the chosen wielder of the Omni Switch and must get the transmitters working again.

Mo with the Omni Switch
Mo with the Omni Switch

There are also memories to find throughout the islands. While they’re just bonus hidden items, they’re not too difficult to find and give some insight into what the world was like before the blight.

Though platforming and puzzles are usually quite simple, sometimes it is difficult to identify what platforms you can interact with. Sometimes, in the beginning, I’d find myself getting stuck because I would forget the game is a platformer, and jumping was usually the solution.

Art style and sound design

Minute of Islands is a beautiful, atmospheric game. The depths below are claustrophobic and eery; the surface bright and detailed. It can make you forget that the surface is the more deadly option of the two. Even though everything is crumbling into decay, it’s beautiful in its own way. Especially where the fungus has been allowed to thrive. Less beautiful are the rotting animal carcasses and animals in various stages of dying. It can be confronting to see them all as you journey through the islands.

The deadly, but beautiful fungus taking over in Minute of Islands
The deadly but beautiful fungus taking over in Minute of Islands

The narration by Megan Gay is incredible. She makes it seem like a beautiful, immersive book. Full of emotion, she was able to change the tone of the story with a word. The soundtrack is also excellent, especially in the depths below. I felt my heart racing and fear creeping in from the music alone. The art, narration and music combined did an excellent job at telling the story of Mo, her family, the giants and the islands.

Final thoughts

Minute of Islands was a beautiful experience, and probably one of my combat-free games of the year! I enjoyed platforming and puzzles that moved the story ahead rather than hindering it. The narration was excellent and built to the fantastic atmosphere the game has. I found myself wondering what I would do in this situation and whether I’d want the power and responsibility Mo has. I enjoyed the journey the story takes us on, and my only regret is not finding all the memories!

Want to know more?

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Platforms: PC (Steam, Gog & Humble), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
Genre: Adventure, 2D platformer, puzzle platformer, puzzle, story-rich

** Find The Strawberry received a free key for Minute of Islands from Mixtvision. All opinions are my own **

3 Comments

      • Brooke

        You were right! Definitely heavy. Really loved the game. My partner was sobbing by the end even though she only watched half of the playthrough.

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