Minit is getting an official Commodore 64 port, and it looks brilliant

Minit, the 2D time-looping adventure, is getting an official Commodore 64 port. C64 specialist Thalamus Digital is handling the port with the blessing of publisher Devolver Digital, and plans to finish it later this year—you can watch an impressive proof-of-concept demo running in the VICE C64 Emulator above.

Minit's black-and-white visuals look very simple, but that doesn't make the port an easy task. "This apparent simplicity is extremely deceptive," Thalamus' Andy Roberts told Commodore Format. "Our biggest single technical challenge was how to organise the colossal amount of graphics data: the game uses hundreds of unique 2×2 tiles, and there simply aren’t enough characters in a standard C64 character set to display some of the screens in the game."

To make it work, Roberts and fellow developer Jon Wells are using hi-res bitmaps, "which also allows us to easily plot software sprites and thus increase the number of on-screen enemies". 

Minit was packed with incidental animations such as flowing rivers and a mailbox you can bash open with your sword, and Roberts said he wants to honor those details. "The original developers worked hard to make sure that the game was filled with loads of unique details to bring the world to life, so it’s important to replicate those little touches to ensure that the game retains its unique charm.”

In Minit, you have 60 seconds to traverse the world before you die and respawn, and Roberts has had to adjust some of the game's layout to make that flow work with the C64's shorter screen. “The C64’s screen isn’t as tall as in the original game, so the utmost care had to be taken to make sure that the screens still flow in the same way without affecting the gameplay (especially given the time is a crucial factor in navigating the environment).”

You can read Andy's review of the original here.