Jan 4, 2011

(Just) One Chance

Common game design wisdom would have you believe that replayability, multiple paths and a branching storyline are traits of a really good game. Common wisdom is of course right. No, really, just think about Mass Effect, Fahrenheit, GTA or even Vampire: Bloodlines. Well, okay, truth be said, common wisdom is right most of the time, as One Chance recently proved.

One Chance by Awkward Silence Games, you see, is a simple, freeware, indie graphical adventure of sorts you can enjoy on your browser, that lets you decide the fate of a scientist, his family and -rather megalomaniacly- mankind itself. The game will have you choose your way through 7 days in an attempt to either fight the life destroying virus you accidentally unleashed or at least enjoy your final moments. What really though sets One Chance apart from the rest of the indie adventures you've recently played is, that despite sporting nine or so different endings, you can experience only one. Oh, yes. Just one.

You can't replay the thing and thus every choice you make feels just so much more important and helps elevate this at times flawed offering to the level of a successful artistic statement. And as its creator put it:
You only have ONE CHANCE to save the world. One. uno. 1. And you bastards will have to pry this game out of my cold dead hands before I put a replay feature in.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. Brilliant my dear gnome. Everyone seems can make good graphics these days but who can really breath soul in a game matters.Cheers!

  2. Why, I'm glad we so totally agree dear Sidd. Cheers!

  3. I finished it, but didn't really like it. Execution is mediocre, storylines are all variation of "...and then you die, mwahaha!", the most positive ending is saving doctor and his daughter in the deserted, dying world. Plus the game is cheating, because how are you supposed to know you should be working on your first day? I appreciate One Chance as an experiment in storytelling, but I don't like it.

  4. This game was brilliant.

    In response to Barts, you aren't supposed to know stuff like that because of course then you could make a much more informed decision that would give your desired outcome, rather than the one you felt most comfortable with as a person. It's not about winning.

  5. @ Barts: Well, you do have a point in that it is put together in a more or less mediocre way, but I do believe that its lack of replayability and forced choices make for a unique experience.

    @ Man of Doom: A fairest of points. Oh, and that's a most interesting blog too.

  6. @Gnome: Oh, but I agree with the experience part. I just got no joy/kick/pleasure from playing it.

    @Man of Doom: I understand that. However, the manner in which it is done is crude and I felt like the game just used a cheap trick, instead of luring me into the narrative.