In this paper, we describe a design methodology that we have termed Minimalist Game Design. Minimalist games have small rulesets, narrow decision spaces, and abstract audiovisual representations, yet they do not compromise on depth of play or possibility space. We begin with a motivation for and definition of minimalist games, including terms such as "rules," "mechanics," "control," and "interface," and illustrate the importance of artificial design constraints. Using a number of examples, we show the strengths of minimalist game elements in systems, controls, visuals, and audio. Adhering to these constraints, these games feature a small set of mechanics and one core mechanic, while still being sufficiently deep and allowing for player exploration and performance. This depth comes from procedural methods, combinatorial complexity, probability, obfuscation, challenge, or any combination thereof. Our methodology embraces principles of holistic design, where there is no "filler," and where every element of the game contributes to the play experience in some meaningful, deliberate way.