“Kitty originally had the idea to make a little something for charity,” Nijman told Polygon. “We decided to see if the Minit team was around and get them all together. We just wanted to make a little racing game where you try to get to the beach just in time for the sunset, with all proceeds going to charity.”
Calis continued: “It’s really a passion project that’s been a few months in the making.”
Minit was originally released in 2018 on Windows PC and console, with versions now available on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Minit, as you may have guessed, is played in 60-second bursts, though progress and acquisitions in each round do carry over. It’s a charming little adventure game that was praised for its unique approach to its story and gameplay. Minit Fun Racer is an iteration of that original premise — a stylized, 1-bit game played over a short period of time.
Minit Fun Racer starts with 10-second rounds, though the time limit can be increased with certain upgrades. While racing and dodging obstacles, players collect coins to be used in the upgrade shop. These upgrades get increasingly wacky, and some are essential for getting to the end of the game; there’s stuff like helmets and flame logos to make the bike faster, but also a horn, a reverse button, and a way to add more time to the clock by collecting coins.
Adding time to the clock means players can progress through more of the race course in each round. There are upgrades in the shop, too, that speed up the bike — meaning you can reach further destinations. But progress doesn’t always mean living through a level. Failure is also essential in getting further. That includes crashing your bike into things like trash cans, which players are eventually encouraged to hit rather than avoid.
“There are so many secrets hidden in there,” Nijman said. “You can get into cop chases, you can deliver pizzas.”
“And if you play at midnight, there are even ghosts,” Calis added. “[There are also] accessibility options and achievements. We wanted this to be a full game and all the fun that comes with it.”
Minit Fun Racer is available now, for $2.99 on Steam and itch.io. Full proceeds will always go to charity; the first charity chosen by the team is Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). The Minit Fun Racer team will eventually rotate in another charity, with plans to donate to a variety of organizations.
“I think in these times, if you have the energy to, it’s very important to look after one another, helping out where you can,” Calis said.