Minabo: A Walk Through Life Is a Low-Stress Sim
Screenshot via Siliconera

Minabo: A Walk Through Life Is a Low-Stress Sim

Minabo: A Walk Through Life is an unusual sort of life sim. It’s a very low-stakes game, after all. There are really no penalizations for losing. The win conditions for the missions tend to involve trying to live your best life in various ways by getting to certain ages or forming certain relationships. It’s calming, in its way. However, that also can mean it feels very dry and repetitive since there aren’t many curveballs.

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Minabo can come across like something of an experiment or learning experience, rather than a life sim, due to this execution. Every life begins with your turnip rising up from the ground as a bud to two parents. You then start your journey, first by pressing B on the Switch to crawl and eventually walk. You can select different other turnips, both related to you or strangers, to maintain your three needs. These are physical contact, intimacy, and belonging. By looking at their gauges, as well as your own, you can keep characters satisfied and extend their life expectancy. Keeping pace with certain characters can also help serve to deepen relationships, eventually allowing you to find best friends, partners, and raise a family.

Minabo: A Walk Through Life Is a Low-Stress Sim

Screenshot via Siliconera

However, because of this relaxed approach, Minabo lacks the “bite” needed to keep things interesting. You won’t immediately die from loneliness. Your overall life expectancy will go down instead. You don’t need to worry about more critical needs like food or rest. Also, because so many other turnips are constantly around you, there’s no need to worry about failing to fulfill a need. If your best friend or partner doesn’t want to talk to encourage intimacy, then there will be sprout or stranger on hand who does. You will always meet your objectives. In four runs, I’ve yet to see a turnip not reach 80 years old.

There’s also an element that’s a bit antithetical to its casual atmosphere. It’s absolutely a low-stress pastime. This is a relaxed life sim. A run on the Switch will probably take between fifteen and twenty minutes. However, you constantly need to keep pressing a button to walk. Also, the needs bars drop at a rather steady pace, meaning you’re repeatedly seeking out contact with other turnips. There’s no downtime or moments to appreciate what you’ve accomplished, because you must keep walking and “talking.”

Minabo: A Walk Through Life Is a Low-Stress Sim

Image via Siliconera

It left me feeling like Minabo was attempting to teach me something, rather than offer an entertaining experience. “When was the last time I interacted with someone else?” “Have I been maintaining my relationships?” “Should I check in on people I know, to see what their gauges look like?” It’s not so much about actually playing. It made me suspect the ulterior motives were to get me to play for 15 minutes, then go actually interact with people instead.

Minabo is essentially an effortless life sim. The most challenging part can sometimes feel like keeping pace when your turnip is taking their first steps. But once you start striding down the street, it’s very easy to meet pretty much any objective sent your way. In a way, it feels more like an exercise to relax and clear your head, rather than a real game.

Minabo: A Walk Through Life is available on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC.


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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.