Last Night: One Chance

By Alec Meer on December 7th, 2010 at 9:00 pm.

In six days every single living cell in the world will die. You have one chance to save the world.

IMPORTANT: Please don’t click ‘read the rest of this entry’ until you’ve played the game. Please also precede all spoiler-containing comments with approximately 30 words (full words, not characters) of non-spoiler so as to not reveal important stuff in the sidebar on the right. Take pity on your fellow indie gamers.

Phew. Crikey. Dowwwwwwwwwwwner, eh?

The key to the game, lest you hadn’t grasped it, is that you can’t replay it. At all. Come back to it later, and you’ll still be greeted with whatever maudlin status quo you left this pixel-world in. Yeah, there are ways and means to trick your browser into giving you another go, but that really is cheating. This is a game about making choices, then dealing with whatever happens.

They’ll almost certainly be the wrong choices. Or, at least, they’ll feel like them. Your character’s attempts to devise a cure for cancer have doomed the world. Maybe you can save it, maybe you can’t. Either way, there will be terrible consequences.

For my part, it seemed horrifyingly clear come the last day that I had failed. There was nothing I could do. My family was dead. Humanity was all but dead. There was nothing left to save. I walked to the roof, and took the coward’s way out.

I feel awful.

That I feel awful is precisely why One Chance is a success. It offers the affecting mournfulness of Every Day The Same Dream and Passage; a smart emotional sucker-punch landed with savagely minimalist flair.

Go on, then. What did you do?

__________________

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410 Comments »

  1. zacaj says:

    LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA

    I worked every day except the second when I got curious what was on the roof, and it counted me going up the stairs as a day :( I saved the world on the final day, but only me and my daughter survived. I wonder what would have happened if I hadnt gone on the roof? (I bet a lot of failed suicides think that)

    • JB says:

      Same deal here.

    • Brumisator says:

      Exactly the same story for me.

    • Marcem says:

      You can’t work the second day, the workplace is locked.

    • Shazbut says:

      Me too

    • Tei says:

      Same here, :-/

    • RagingLion says:

      Same for me. I assume you ended up in the park with her as I did.

    • jonfitt says:

      Same for me.

    • Vandien says:

      I worked every day except the second where you have to see the suicide on the roof. wife committed suicide and last day take daughter to work, but she doesnt move once you put her down as she’s already dead, found the cure, then went and sat in the park with her. Fairly certain this is what you did, hate to break it to you but your daugter didnt survive

    • Fede says:

      SPOILERS AHEAD OF COURSE!

      Played in exactly the same way, and I agree with Vandien. Rather sad, but at least we (who always went to work) tried everything.

      Also, another thing: the last day the message was different, it was “You had a chance”. But I went to work nonetheless, just for pointless stubborness.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words Words

      The exact same, though I’m unsure that I’d have the stamina to do that in real life. After all, games stimulate boredom far faster than they simulate exhaustion. =)

      Then again, does this constitute ‘saving the world’? And, er, um, what’s next for our intrepid heroes?

      Hmm. ={

    • FhnuZoag says:

      I wasn’t going to give up if there’s science still to be done, so that is indeed what I did. World saved, I guess?

    • Caleb367 says:

      Same here, now i’m gonna trick my browser and cheat.
      Besides, I ended up in the park with the kid… but can’t manage to understand if she’s alive or not.
      And that’s creepy as fuck.

    • Pete says:

      I can’t believe you guys went to work. It’s a game! Why would you want to do any work at all? I think you missed the point.

    • Theblazeuk says:

      Of course we went for the objective, its a game.

    • sinister agent says:

      I can’t believe you guys went to work. It’s a game! Why would you want to do any work at all? I think you missed the point.

      Because as the person who devised the Thing that’s killing everyone, you’re surely the best possible chance the world has at devising an Anti-Thing in time. Anything else, sure, I’d think “fuck it” and stay home with the kid, but, y’know, even if it’s a long shot, I’d say that saving every living thing on the planet is worth possibly sacrificing your family.

    • Maltose says:

      She’s alive I think. She’s got a bit more color in the finale than she does on the last day just sitting on the floor.

  2. Sander Bos says:

    Hmm, for me it was just a bunch of different flashing screens (3 seconds of playtime total)? And then every time I hit play again again between 1 and 3 seconds of flashing screens and that’s it. Bug or am I missing the point of the game?

    • Sander Bos says:

      Yeah, so if you have the same experience as me described above, switching browsers may help (I switched from firefox to chrome, but since it’s flash that should not really matter).

    • Harmen says:

      Same here. At which point I stopped caring.

    • Henk says:

      I simply closed the tab and reopened it, worked fine after that. (using chrome by the way)

  3. Alex Bakke says:

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    For me, everyone died apart from my daughter. I carried on working, on the last day I found a cure, but it was a pyrrhic victory. I took her to the park.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      But every single day, I went up to the roof and thought about it.

    • RCGT says:

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      If you think that’s creepy, think about this: Every living thing will die, except those you have injected with the antidote. Human beings cannot survive off of rocks and dirt.

      You die of starvation in a matter of weeks. And that’s the best ending.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Tinned food.

    • Rich says:

      That’s something I did realise afterwards. I kept working every day, but I needn’t have bothered. Every cell is going to die, so how could you possibly deliver a cure to every living thing, everywhere on Earth? Time is irrelevant really, as I don’t think it would be possible at all.

      Also five days is no time in science. Factor in the tea breaks and you’re left with only two or three.

    • FhnuZoag says:

      Well, the trees in the park were green and verdent at the end, and the newspapers said they should be dead. So I assume whatever cure you devised will spread throughout the would like the original plague did. So some life will in the end survive, not just you yourself. And IMHO, that’s worth it.

    • FhnuZoag says:

      Oh and also there are other scientists possibly still alive on the last day, so I guess they might be able to deploy the cure in their local areas too. LET ME HOLD ON TO MY HOPE.

  4. Skippy says:

    Played this a couple of days ago, then made the wife play it. Love this game; it really makes you think about your choices. Suprised Alec was the one to cover it, my first thought on playing it was “this is very Quinns”.

    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER

    I was convinced at the outset that “go to work every day, no matter what” was the key to beating the plague. I still am. But then after that “daddy, where’s mommy?” bit, the option to go to the park instead of work popped up, and I couldn’t not. Stared at the screen for five minutes trying to convince myself that I’d already failed somewhere along the line anyway, and then off to the park we went. Goddamn fictional little girls.

    Going to the park did momentarily make me think there was some way of beating the plague there, though, on account of all the trees still being alive. Possible misstep with the art, intentional misdirection, or something else?

    • Josh Brandt says:

      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA
      LA LA LA LA

      Yeah, I went to work every day until the last, and then went to the park.

      Maybe it’s the newish-parent thing, but I’m kind of tearing up. I wish I’d gone to the park the next-to-last day too.

    • a says:

      Yes, this for me too. I tried to work every day, but come the last day the “you had one chance” made me realize there was no point to it.

      SPOILERS AND THINGS LA LA LA

      Her closing her little eyes with her head on my arm… god damn. ;_;

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      Found it so hard to resist going to the park with her. I took her to work instead because I figured – “If there’s even the tiniest, TINIEST chance I can save her life, it’s worth going for.” Even if it means sacrificing being together when we died.

    • CaLe says:

      5 minutes? I don’t get it. People are crazy.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm..
      Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm..
      Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm..
      Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm..
      Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm.. Hmm..

      @ Josh Brandt :

      Yeah, I’m thinking about taking my baby daughter to the park right now. Though it does look exceedingly cold outside.

    • Johnny Go-Time says:

      @Josh Brandt and “a”:
      Yes. My kids are 6 & 3, and I felt the same way as you, responded the same way as you; and we died in the park the same way as you.
      I’m gutted.

  5. Sander Bos says:

    So we are in the spoiler zone right?
    What is the way to beating this game? On the first day I skipped work (hey, I read in the paper I just cured cancer!), but on the other days I headed dutifully to work and to the lab if it was not locked, but I did not see any progress (apart from the days counting down).

    • Jhoosier says:

      I did the same, then the game got stuck at the very end, sat down and closed my eyes, and nothing. Weird. Had to close out the game.

    • Seth says:

      I don’t think you guys got it. When you get ‘stuck’ on the bench at the park at the end with ‘your eyes closed’, you’re dead. It’s over. Not a bug.

    • sinister agent says:

      Also, it seems quite clear to me that you can’t “win” the game. The “one chance” isn’t necessarily the chance to save the world – it could just as easily be the chance to be with your family.

  6. roBurky says:

    Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

    On the first day, I worked.
    On the second day, I saw my colleague jump from the roof.
    On the third day, I went home to be with my family.
    On the fourth day, I stayed home with my family.
    On the fifth day, my daughter was missing. I went to work, and I was attacked by a man with a knife. At first I tried to run, but I couldn’t, and he stabbed me before I could defend myself. I bled to death on the floor.

    A sad, inelegant, pointless death.

    Amazing.

    • just a cat in a hat says:

      you can take his knife and survive. but at what cost?

    • 7rigger says:

      SPOILER

      thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words thirty words

      I replayed the game (I cheated) and got to this same scene. As the nutjob runs at you, you are given the split second to disarm him. I managed to – but he simply goes to your house and kills your family.

      I has a big sad now.

    • 7rigger says:

      Ninja’d. Oh edit button! I never used you when you were here…

    • Lambchops says:

      I did that the second time.

      Spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,
      spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,
      spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,spoiler,

      it was even bleaker than the work but fail because you took a day off to celebrate ending. At least in that one you were trying to achieve something, with this you tried to find comfort in spending your last days with your family and even that was snatched away from you before it’s (admitably soon to come) time.

  7. Lewie Procter says:

    I was sure that it wanted me to think the cure was in the park, but my faith in science made me keep bringing my daughter to work with me, I was sure I could work it out.

    I really regret taking the first day off work. I was thinking “I just cured cancer, I deserve a day off”.

    I thought the newspaper were great, that and whole the whole atmosphere changed as a consequence of your characters actions.

    • Cooper says:

      SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER SPOLIER

      I did the same thing. Only took the first day off. Now all I can think is ‘what if I hadn’t’ and feelguilty about an imaginary drink in an imaginary bar in a game. So, you know, the game worked I guess.

    • kraz says:

      I would’ve gone to work, but I’ve accidentally pressed space wanting to skip the dialogue. ;/

    • Devan says:

      I didn’t skip work the first day, but was thinking that maybe I should have since really it was the work that caused the problem in the first place. What is the condition required for the cure anyway?

      Incidentally, I encountered a bug where the daughter appeared on my shoulder when I arrived at work on the final day, even though she had been buried the night before. She disappeared when I started moving though; maybe that was intentional?

    • Shadowcat says:

      Please also precede all spoiler-containing comments with approximately 30 words Please also precede all spoiler-containing comments with approximately 30 words Please also precede all spoiler-containing comments with approximately 30 words …

      I stayed with my family, but then they were murdered. At the end I went to the park by myself, and at first there seemed to be a girl hiding behind a tree, who disappeared as soon as I moved. It didn’t occur to me that it was my daughter, but I’m guessing now that it was a different instance of this same bug, and it was actually her on my shoulder.

    • sfury says:

      Another accidental Space for skipping work here. :(

    • MadMatty says:

      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon
      Spoiler Spoilt Spludgeon

      Yeah same as you Louie.
      I mean, i just cured cancer!
      I could probably kill 2-3 interns and still keep my job!
      Still, it wasnt enough that i worked all consecutive days- wouldnt go to the park with my daughter as i suspected it was full of looters.

  8. The Ticktockman says:

    These things never really interest me, but oh man. On the last day, as I carried my daughter to work with me to give it one last shot, I realized she was dead when I set her down in the office and she didn’t move. At that point I gave up and went to the roof.

    But the fact that I didn’t realize she was dead until I had carried her all the way to work really got to me. Man, that was heavy.

    • Meneth says:

      She’s not quite dead. I continued working that last day, and afterwards we were both alive in the park.

    • bob_d says:

      @Meneth: Hate to break it to you, but I think only one of you was. I did the same thing, and it doesn’t appear what you said is the case. Look at the character’s eyes. Vertical marks are open eyes, otherwise….

    • President Weasel says:

      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .just in case we’re still worrying about spoilers, 190 comments in
      .
      .
      .She’s… she’s just sleeping. She’s just sleeping!
      She’sjustsleepingshe’sjustsleepingshe’sjustsleeping!
      /tears up.

      I found the cure, after driving through the empty deserted streets. It’s ambiguous as to whether I saved the daughter or not, although opinion here seems firmly in the no camp.
      I love how much atmosphere the creator has managed to pack into such a simple game.

    • Mr Ak says:

      “Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion.”

      Good speech, although not one of Keating’s better delivered ones.

      Anyway, I’d argue the daughter’s still alive, as I *think* she changes colour. Which wouldn’t make sense if she was dead… maybe.

      Nice switch to vocals for the fourth or fifth day for the music, too. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

    • President Weasel says:

      are we still doing spoilers? ………………………………………………………………………………………………….
      Just in case we are here are some words and dots…………………………………………………………………….

      From reading the newspaper articles and what the characters said, the original “cure” that doomed the planet was meant to be “gas based” and a virus – perhaps the cure for the cure was also gas based and viral, and so injecting you started a process that saved at least some of the biosphere.
      I’d never been to the park before the final day; other people said that the trees there looked better than the rest of the world anyway and led them to believe that maybe there was a secret to the cure in the park. Not having seen the park before though, I am choosing to believe:

      - I look less grey therefore I am getting better
      - the girl looks less grey, therefore I cured her before the end, but she’s still recovering.
      - the trees look better therefore there’s hope that the entire biosphere of the Earth won’t be destroyed.

      Alternatively the graphics are just a little misleading, the trees are all dead and so is the little girl. Either way the main character is responsible for the deaths of just about every human on the planet – juding by the city scenes and the lab, everyone is dead – and unless the cure is airborne and spreads to some other survivors, repopulating the planet is going to have some serious moral and genetic issues associated with it, even in the most optmistic interpretation of the “best” ending.

    • bob_d says:

      @President Weasel: I was pretty sure that the negative outcome you describe is what’s going on, but it’s interesting that it’s left just ambiguous enough that we can’t be sure. I like some narrative ambiguity, and it’s sadly lacking in games except on accident, usually.

      Edit: I went back to the game. The park looks green now, but the bench is empty.

    • Pigeonreaper says:

      Does it need to have thirty words even if it’s a reply? Not taking any chances.
      Does it need to have thirty words even if it’s a reply? Not taking any chances.
      Does it need to have thirty words even if it’s a reply? Not taking any chances.

      Nah, nah, nah, the daughter was DYING on the last day, when you set her down on the floor. On the final day, you both have a sickly grey pallor about you- you’re on the way out. When you find the cure, you inject yourself, and go back to the pink from before. In the park, Molly is pink too. So you both live, though you might be the only ones.

  9. benjamin says:

    Everyone died. And I think a small part of my soul died with them.

    Sniff.

  10. DrPepper8 says:

    Gosh, that was a pretty depressing 10 minutes. I think I’m going to be hearing that music in my dreams tonight. This is about ten or so additional words of non-spoilery text…

    I worked most days, spent 1 day with my family, failed to save the world and ended up passing out on the floor of the lab with my family and all my colleagues already dead. I wish I’d jumped off the roof instead, now.

    • sassy says:

      that music is still haunting me. I closed the tab about 5 minutes ago but the music is still playing T_T it is trying to *SPOLIER* make me regret cheating on my wife (granted I figured she committed suicide because of that but apparently she died for most people)

  11. Bas says:

    These are approximately 30 words of text so that nobody’s fun is spoiled because SOME PEOPLE could not be arsed to type them and almost ruined it for me.

    SPOILERS
    SPOILERS
    SPOILERS

    Kept coming to work to find a cure. Wife died, took daughter to work with me, as I couldn’t leave her with her dead mother. Found it at the last moment, me and the daughter are now sitting in the park, the only living beings on the planet. I don’t think there’s any way to have saved more people. Should I have just gone to the park with her and died? We’re the only 2 people left on the planet. SAD ENDINGS ALL ROUND.

    • SAM-site says:

      Spoiler prevention text for justice! Spoiler prevention text for justice! Spoiler prevention text for justice! Spoiler prevention text for justice! Spoiler prevention text for justice! Spoiler prevention text for justice!

      I’ve got some bad news for you Bas. I did the exact same thing and thought “oh well, at least I saved my daughter”…. then I noticed her eyes were closed. She died. It’s all my fault.

      I’m now sitting in the park with the lifeless body of my child with the rest of the world also dead. I think I might have a little lie down. Just for a moment.

  12. frozenbyte says:

    RPS just loves these pretentious games, doesn’t it?

    • Dominic White says:

      There needs to be a rule against posts like this. Powersliding in, shouting ‘Pretentious!’ and peeling off like the cool kid you are… isn’t. It got old years ago.

    • Sander Bos says:

      Hey, at least you didn’t get a survey about whether you are gay/ your mother works in prostetution… :-)
      (also, suicide was a choice in this one, well if it was a choice I was off working on a cure without any result)

    • frozenbyte says:

      So tell me how this game is not pretentious, then.

    • MkHarris says:

      Do you actually understand what pretentious means?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Because throwing pretentious at anything which tries to be in the slightest bit emotional is reactionary bullshit.

      KG

    • realmenhuntinpacks says:

      Yeah fuck art n feelings n shit. Fuckin magnets, etcetera.

    • Scandalon says:

      Tell us why it *IS* pretentious. You said it, burden of proof is on you.

      I hereby declare this game…purple.

    • Matt W says:

      If you’ll excuse my deploying a quote from an article linked from here by the late, great Kieron Gillen, may he rest in peace:

      “And there will, finally, be readers who claim to find Morley’s extravagant prose experiments “pretentious”, but since anyone who can use this violently resentful, very English word with sincerity has already committed to the idea that it is better not to try than to try and fail, that clever and creative people should in general shut up rather than try to provoke an audience out of its aesthetic complacency, and that art overall has no business attempting to be transcendent, such readers may be well advised to stick with their grubbily thumbed Nick Hornby collection. In the end, Morley’s exasperating, brilliant and joyous book about pop is tribal to this extent: that it excludes the chronically narrow-minded. “

    • frozenbyte says:

      I think it’s pretentious because the game is so overly melodramatic. One shouldn’t expect a Newgrounds flash game to be very well-written, of course, but I’m saying that this game doesn’t deserve the attention you’re giving it.

    • Deekyfun says:

      Still waiting to find out who actually arbitrates deserved attention.

    • JB says:

      I’m with MkHarris here frozenbyte, you need to go and look up the definition of pretentious.

    • Wilson says:

      @frozenbyte – It didn’t strike me as especially melodramatic. If anything, I found it fairly understated. I mean, when you consider the subject matter, they could probably have been far more dramatic about it. I found it very moving for how quick it was. Excellent little game.

      Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

      Ok, actually I’m not sure about the wife’s suicide, that might be a bit melodramatic since there wasn’t any lead up to it that I noticed. She didn’t plead with me to stay or anything (not strongly anyway). I assumed she had died of the virus, and as I prefer that it’s what I’m going to believe.

    • kastanok says:

      Can we as a culture just ban that bloody word? It’s the first, last and only refuge of those who hate to think and think it is somehow their duty to inform others they may not do so neither. As I understand, to be pretentious is to try to be something better than what you are – isn’t that what we should all be doing? If we don’t aim higher than ourselves how can we ever improve?

    • sassy says:

      Ooops forgot.

      Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

      on the final day I sat at the destination choice screen for about 4 minutes, deciding whether to take one last ditch effort at saving my daughter, or spending our last day together in the park.

      That is a true emotional response to a rather simple game. The game never tried to force a message at you and never tries to be greater than it is, in what way is it pretentious?

    • Scandalon says:

      Ah, clarity at last. I think by “pretentious” you actually mean “it didn’t work for me”. Same as when people say “over-acting” they really mean “It wasn’t good enough to draw me in, instead it seemed cheesy.”

      And of course what seems melodramatic toss for some people is deeply touching for others.

      But I’d much rather people try, and fail (or not succeed fully or whatever) than not try at all.

      (And while I do think there is room for improvement, I’ve now commented like 4 times, and replayed it once, so it obviously wasn’t a total failure.

    • Okami says:

      Fact: People who call games that try to be different pretentious also write death threats to Roger Ebert for saying that games are not art.

    • Baf says:

      Also, “pretentious” doesn’t mean “overly melodramatic”. Luke Skywalker shouting “Noooooo!” is overly melodramatic, but it’s far from pretentious. Stan Lee’s prose style is overly melodramatic, but it’s only pretentious when Norse gods are involved. Bohemian Rhapsody… well, no, that’s not overly melodramatic, that’s melodramatic enough. Still, not pretentious.

    • UW says:

      Maybe it is pretentious… I just hope it isn’t portentious

    • President Weasel says:

      fuckin’ blankets… how do they work?

      Pretentious is not another word for “I don’t like it”.
      Personally I found the game understated and moving. The creator did a hell of a lot with some simple graphics and two tunes.

    • Peter says:

      I think it games, and art in general, are pretentious when they attempt to mimic the form of good art without any kind of depth. Imagine maybe poetry written with flowery thesaurus words, while it’s clear that the poet doesn’t understand the shades of meanings of the words, a sense of rhythm or structure, or anything interesting to say.

      I’m don’t think I’d call this game as pretentious*, I just thought it failed. But I also think pretentious almost fits. I wouldn’t think one could make a profound game about “choices” where every option is so shallow, binary, uninformed. Real life choices are much more interesting than the choices I was given here, and that’s important–leaving out the complexities makes my choices here meaningless to me: I just didn’t feel like my choice to go to work meant that I also chose to spend no quality time with my family/friends/co-workers, even though I think I was supposed to feel that way. I can’t regret my choice to continue my futile work on a cure because there was no way in the game to gauge my chance of success.

      I do like the idea of not allowing replays, but since I never cared enough to think about replaying it, it’s kind of moot.

    • Consumatopia says:

      “…but since anyone who can use this violently resentful, very English word with sincerity has already committed to the idea that it is better not to try than to try and fail…”

      This is backwards. Once you’ve admitted that there is such a thing as trying and failing, that we don’t simply give out awards for trying, that art isn’t just about seeing how many levels of recursive meta-theory you can toss in a sloppy mess on top of each other, then you’ll have to admit that there is a place for that word that burns you so.

    • kongming says:

      And that place… is for a ten minute flash game?

    • Shadowcat says:

      Powerslide, eh? Now that was an awesome game.

    • Longrat says:

      The main reason I consider this game pretentious is because it has no replay button. It tries too hard to mimic a real life course of events despite the fact that it IS still a game and it is just a railroad down to several predetermined endings. The creator thinks he made something more than that, which is pretentious of him and so this game is pretentious.

    • Babs says:

      Cannot a work be greater than the sum of it’s parts? Personally I think the non-replayability is a vital component, it subtly changes it from a game that’s about winning to a game about an experiance.

    • MrGoodGuy says:

      @Longrat
      Oh really. The no replay idea is the only reason for this not to be pretentious. If it could be replayed, it would be just another Every Day The Same Dream.

    • arccos says:

      I have to say, I’m disappointed at the replies. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, so why bash someone for having one you don’t agree with?

      I disagree with it being pretentious, if by that you mean “Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed”. I don’t know how talented the author is. I do think it is ostentatious (which I found on the same dictionary page): “intended to attract notice and impress others.”

      I honestly don’t think its very good, either as a game or as art.

      As art, its completely derivative. How many of you didn’t know what was coming when you saw the daughter and wife at home on the first day? How many of you couldn’t predict the possibilities you would have by the end of the game? Maybe I’m jaded by too many of these type of games, or too many great interactive fiction stories, but seriously, I’m not attached to the npc of my “wife” or “child” after two sentences of interaction, so I don’t really care what happens to them. You have to have a grip on someone’s heartstrings before you can begin pulling.

      In terms of a game, there are no actions or choices I found interesting. It created a system: work, home, ditch work, and then immediately abandoned it by removing these options from the player’s choice without rhyme or reason. If my work colleague jumped from the roof, I’d be shaken up, but you could damn be sure I wouldn’t go home for the day if the world depends on a cure. In fact, I wouldn’t be going home, period. I would be at work 24/7 trying to save everyone. My wife and child would be at work with me, or with family. The player choices offered are the least interesting possible, and player action is rarely mapped to a reasonable response, similar to some of the problems with the old Sierra games.

      Just so its not all negative, if people like (or even dislike) this game, I can highly recommend Aisle, a short interactive fiction story that really understands what you can do with limited player interaction:
      http://parchment.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/parchment.html?story=http://parchment.toolness.com/if-archive/games/zcode/Aisle.z5.js

    • kongming says:

      Now arccos’s post, that’s pretentious.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      PRETENTIOUS IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL ARMY

      My hobby: replacing every use of “pretentious” on the Internet with “having an inflated sense of self-importance” and seeing how many make sense.

  13. Schizoslayer says:

    That other one was better I forget the name. The depressing game that this one is clearly channelling.

    SPOILER SPOILER ALERT SPOILER

    So I went to work every day. I took my daughter to work when I had to and on the last day found a cure. We went to the park. Forever.

    It seems you can only ever find a cure on the last day regardless of what you did on the way there so the entire exercise feels a little pointless. I give it meh out of ten.

    Also: Bored of the artistic depressing games now.

    We need more Man With Gun.

    • Meneth says:

      According to several of the reports above, it’s not just that last day that matters.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! OF STUFFFFFF!!!!!

      Rob – probably worth pointing to whatever walkthrough you got that from. Also, to make sure they were right. I’m sure the cure only happens on the last day, but I’m not convinced it’d be a “did you go to the lab on the last day?” switch unless you’ve some proof otherwise.

      I admit, if I did this, I’d randomise some variables in there so you couldn’t have people like Rob calling something pointless when they’ve had to go outside the game to get the knowledge to render something pointless. This card trick was a trick! Like, Christ Rob.

      EDIT: Though you’ve also missed what I missed – you don’t save your daughter. Your daughter’s dead. The injection is futile. You only save yourself.

      EDIT 2: If only I could replay it to check, eh? Next time be clearer, indie bods.

      KG

    • Nick says:

      Kieron – certain newgrounds cookie deletions will let you replay it should you so desire.

    • Meneth says:

      “Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! OF STUFFFFFF!!!!!”… sorry if anyone saw the spoiler before my edit..
      It looked to me as if she regained some of her color after finding the cure.
      Also, who’s Rob?

    • JB says:

      “Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! OF STUFFFFFF!!!!!”

      Meneth, I’m sure she did regain her colour, and her eyes were more open. Or is that just wishful thinking on our part?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Rob is Schizoslayer. We’re friends so I went for the real name.

      KG

    • Schizoslayer says:

      SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

      Actually I don’t know it for 100% I just read the comments on Newgrounds after I played through. It’s a psychological game of chicken. The game keeps telling you that you have one chance in order to make you question exactly what that one chance is for. It bets that you’ll blink and bunk off on the last day. The story after all would have far less impact if you can randomly find a cure before the point when it’s too late and the only reason to work on the only reason to work on the last day is to suckerpunch the player with a “It’s too late! You am a failure!”.

      I think it would have been better as IF than a flash game actually.

    • Rob Hale says:

      Worth noting I’m also quite bad to watch sad movies with as I sit around analysing how they are trying to manipulate my emotions with the direction and music to a point where the impact of what they are trying to get across is largely lost. It’s something I’ve always done and since I’m a games designer I’m even worse at it with games.

      As soon as I saw the arrow pointing to the roof I thought “OK so this is riffing on that other depressing game so at some point I or somebody else will throw themselves off the roof” and the entire experience lost meaning for me when I was able to predict the different endings that might occur based on the rather simplistic plot devices being used. “Oh so you have a daughter. That means the game is saying you have one chance to be with your family. Very clever.” and so on. It reached a similar point where your wife commits suicide. I saw the blood coming from under the door and thought “Ah so my wife is dead in the bathroom. I’ll go straight to bed then.” but the game wouldn’t let me. I HAD to go in the bathroom.

      The only one I wouldn’t have predicted is the homicidal co-worker. Shame that I didn’t get that ending in a way as it’s the only one that wasn’t blatantly obvious to me.

      If you remember I had a similar reaction to the IF that Harvey Smith did. These kinds of games just don’t work on me as I end up finding the invisible walls and the things the designer didn’t account for in the first 30 seconds of the game.

      EDIT: I’m not trying to be elitist or anything. I wish these games did work on me because I’m missing out. But I’m the guy who if presented with a level to test at work will break it in 30 seconds without even trying (to the sound of a level designer screaming “You weren’t supposed to do that!” and then crying).

    • Lilliput King says:

      Schizoslayer is a fucked up name whichever way you slice it.

      It has no bearing on the discussion, but seriously what were you thinking.

    • Josh W says:

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      Are you serious? I went to work every day but the last, when it said I’d missed my chance, so we went to the park. If not I would have kept taking my child to work until I got a cure. There was only one thing I could see had a chance of making a productive effect, and I was hoping all the way through that there wasn’t some stupid adventure game gotchas that says “actually you should have skipped work on the first day, and gained some insight that would stop the whole thing”. I get the impression that there wasn’t thank goodness, but I kept expecting some special insight to crop up from somwhere, like I’d talk to someone on the roof or something,

      On the emotional side the bit with his wife was actually really sad, in the usual way, as was the “I am Legend+with a daughter” feel I got from the later stuff. You sort of have to make a choice; do I fill in the blanks and let this affect me?

    • Muzman says:

      Ooplely Doopelly Dooo Ooplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly DoooOoplely Doopelly Dooo

      My assumption was the exact opposite from the first post here. I guessed the one chance would be the first choice they gave. I call this Bioshocking. That wasn’t quite true either though, to its credit.

      I get the no replay mechanic and it’s well used here. But this game is actually pretty complex. It’s annoying to read about all the other interesting turns of events. On the whole these sorts of games say more about people’s assumptions of game mechanics themselves than anything else. But the experience they can create doing so is fascinating when it works.

    • Milky says:

      Quick and easy replay “cheat” if anyone needs (less hassle than screwing about with browsers) – http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

      Just clear the stored info from your machine, jobs a good one!

  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER

    Even in the face of Armageddon, I will not compromise. I will still do my work.

    KG

    • Matt W says:

      ‘,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz’,.pyfgcrl/=aoeuidhtns-;qjkxbmwvz

      I spent most of the game daring the developer to try and suggest that, in the face of an armaggedon I created, I should just give up, slack off and hope someone else finds a cure while I totally abdicate responsibility and just enjoy myself. The “You had one chance” thing half-suggests that that’s what was intended, but I’m tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt and lean towards a deliberate ambiguity on their part.

    • drygear says:

      I took it as an existentialist thing. I went to work like Sisyphus with his boulder or Dido and Gogo waiting for Godot to arrive.

    • UW says:

      Ah.. so, in your case if the world is about to end… you will write some comics?

      I guess, you never know, your concoction might one day be discovered by future civilzations and lauded as the last creative works of a doomed species. The final desperate musings of the one man who, in the face of it all, persisted with their art until their very last breath. The final panel could be you, writing the final panel.

      I suppose that would be pretty neat.

    • Bret says:

      What Gillen said. Duty above all. words words word sword swords words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words

      Hmm. Just judging from how the disease spread, and the slightly better looking trees and flesh at the end, the cure does some good even if not injected. So, humanity?

      Possibly maybe saved. Maybe.

    • Mr Ak says:

      Beware the blue penis, KG.

    • sinister agent says:

      More important than duty was that the alternative to going into work was not “have sex with wife”.

  15. ecurtz says:

    It was cute to reference Every Day the Same Dream (although it may have gone a little too far.) Also here’s another sentence of spoiler prevention filler about the cute graphics, I really like how these games have combined pixel art with subtle textures so it looks like the big, blocky pixels are made of some woven material.

    I failed in my playthrough, mostly because it was impossible to tell when something was likely to trigger the end of day, so if you explored at all you were likely to get screwed. The “message” (if it has one) seems pretty damned simplistic, and not really very sensible. Why would everyone in the lab kill themselves? If you were going to die a non-horrific death in five days anyway why not stick it out and work / go to the park / enjoy whatever your limited choices may be?

    • Nick says:

      Reguarding everyone in the lab – they didn’t.

    • ecurtz says:

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud …

      You saw at least one colleague jump (if you decided to investigate the roof on the wrong day) and there are pools of blood around others. Since the plague victims don’t appear to bleed it is safe to assume suicide or murder.

    • JB says:

      “Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words!Thirty words!Thirty words! Thirty words! Thirty words! OF STUFFFFFF!!!!!”

      ecurtz, i saw at least 2 colleague corpses and only one pool of blood around a body, though I didn’t go further right than the lab door. Had work to do, you see. Saving what was left of the world. And my family.

    • Fox says:

      There are many spoilery words down here below these first words that we shall call pre words that go before the spoilers so that you won’t inadvertently spoil things for yourself before having played the game for yourself in a run-on sentence-like manner, also why are you even reading this far into the comments if you haven’t played yet, you silly silly man and/or woman.

      You say the plague victims don’t appear to bleed, but in my playthrough the wife was dead in the bathroom with blood all over the place. So much so it seeped out the bottom of the door into the hallway. There was no indication that I could find to suggest that came from anything but the plague. Unless she slit her own wrists and bled so profusely as to fill and then overfill a tub? At any rate, following that train of thought, I assumed the dead co-workers at the office died to the plague as well.

    • Nick says:

      “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud …”

      Yes, they didn’t all kill themselves, they were murdered as you yourself can be if you happen to be there at that time.

    • Nate says:

      * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers *
      * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers *
      * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers *
      * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers * Spoilers *

      The wife killed herself, I’m pretty sure. I assumed that her staying in bed was meant to be a sign of (suicidal, as it turns out) depression.

      Side note: There isn’t enough blood in the entire body to fill the bathroom sink, let alone the tub. Google tells me it’s a little more than a gallon for the average person, so what, about 5 liters? So we can probably call that a bit of artistic license.

      Also, if you’re going to slit your wrist in the tub, you’d probably fill it with warm/hot water first as it’s supposed to make you bleed out faster… and I’m a little disturbed that I know that.

  16. Heynes says:

    The game itself is a bit of chore to play, but I’ve always been fascinated by enforcing permanence in your choices as a gameplay mechanic. Some might argue that it defeats the whole purpose of games, but there’s just something more elegant and immersive with having a bit more fatalism rather than simply reloading the last quicksave/checkpoint.

    • Fumarole says:

      I often artificially restrict myself in this way when gaming, particularly with RPGs. It can indeed increase immersion.

  17. Jsnuk says:

    Sadface

  18. DeliriumWartner says:

    Yeah, this was a little too influenced by EDTSD for me. To the point of distraction.

    It was ok, but not as affecting as its predecessors. It really did leave me wondering if I’d played it wrong, which I guess is sort of the point, but not something I enjoy.

  19. Geoffrey says:

    SPOILERS…Howmanycharactersisthirtycharacters…

    That should be enough. OT:
    Wow.
    I worked.
    Saw my colleague jump.
    Worked
    Worked
    Worked (pretty sure this is the day I found that my wife had killed herself).
    Worked (took daughter to work with me)
    Worked (took daughter to work with me). Found a cure, cured myself, walked out to find what I’m pretty sure was my dead daughter in the hallway. Took my dead daughter to the park and sat on the bench with her, essentially the last thing left alive on earth.

    By the end of it, I was pretty convinced that there was no way to cure the thing, and I was just going to be made to regret not taking the title card at its word (everything will be dead; implication that there is no ‘if’), and not spending the last time on earth with my family. Even then, I couldn’t not try to save the world. I want to say that the thought that I saved some life (since when I go back I see a park devoid of people, but green with life), makes me feel a little bit justified, but honestly, it just makes me sad that I chose to save “life” instead of comforting those around me.

  20. ThirdWorldFirstNation says:

    Beautiful game.

    Spoiler

    Spoiler

    Spoiler

    I skipped a day of work when the boss told me to go home, and carried my daughter to work everyday after her mother killed herself in the bathtub. On the final day, I was told I ‘had’ one chance but I took it and went in to work; my daughter didn’t move when I put her down but the screen had a green swoosh on it! I cured myself, cured her and we’re having a lovely day in the park straight out of Ward Moore’s ‘Lot’. And there are no other people around, quite a happy ending.

  21. Inglourious Badger says:

    SPOILER SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    etc

    I went to work on all but the last day when I died a sad death on a park bench in an empty world sat next to my dying daughter.

    Life lesson learnt: Don’t bother going to work YOU WILL DIE ANYWAY

  22. Sander Bos says:

    Wasn’t there some article like maybe a year ago about playing far cry 2 without ever loading a save, to see how that would affect gameplay?

    Presenting Super Meat Boy, one chance version. Recipe: Install super meat boy, play until first death, uninstall game, spend some time pondering on consequences of your actions…

  23. KingCathcart says:

    Using chromes Ingontio mode I have now played this twice.

    @Alex Bakke
    @Mereth
    @Bas

    SPOILER

    Second time through I found the cure.
    I’m pretty sure my daughter died and I was left the last man on earth, in the park, sitting next to my dead daughter.

    This game seriously needs some cheevos.

  24. roBurky says:

    Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

    So did nobody else get attacked by a man with a knife? Or are they just not mentioning it?

    • phuzz says:

      I didn’t.
      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
      I kept going into work, and at the end, I sat down and closed my eyes.

      This game made me glad I don’t have kids :(

  25. Travis says:

    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER

    The game would be less pretentious if the walking speed wasn’t so slow.

    • westyfield says:

      Ugh, indeed. I always come away from these games feeling like I’ve wasted my time – and I have, to an extent. If every living thing on Earth were dying, I’m fairly sure I would run to try to develop a cure.

    • Deekyfun says:

      I’m interested in how something can be considered pretentious on the basis of its movement speed. Does DooM become suddenly more worthy and self-important when I toggle off run? Maybe it does.

      I thought it was basically a slightly fatalistic seeming choose-your-own adventure. Pretty evocative and spooky though.

      I took the day off by accident on the first day, and, convinced the game was lecturing me on the consequences of being so self-satisfied, felt compelled to work to try and find a cure, though on the second day, I tried and the door was locked, so I went to the roof. My final day ended in miserable failure, dying in front of my monitor at work still flashing a red X. Made me wish I’d spent my time having fun instead. Pretty powerful stuff for such a simple game.

      D

    • Lilliput King says:

      @Westyfield

      buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn buhg gus idjsmn isjnf shdn

      Hells yeah. And why would you keep driving home and sleeping? The entire world is dying, you can put in some fucking overtime, you lazy sod.

    • westyfield says:

      @ Deekyfun

      It doesn’t become more pretentious, it becomes more annoying, which leads to more bitterness and accusations of pretentiousness.

    • Deekyfun says:

      @Westyfield

      This I can agree with. The thing which most annoyed me about the game was that it seemed broken for the first bit, my character wouldn’t stop moving around at lightning speed – but that seemed to sort itself out after a few screens.

      While I liked the game, I can understand that others wouldn’t, for whatever reason. I think I can even understand why people could feel the need to rationalise or justify their perfectly legitimate opinions with concepts such as pretentiousness which often seems to hold little resemblance to their actual feeling. I also think you need the manner of a saint to avoid doing such completely. I often find myself trying to reason with friends about how terrible X-Factor is, for a variety of pointlessly worthy reasons when I probably should just let them get on with enjoying it. Then again, if I will be coerced into watching such things…. oh well.

      D

  26. nabeel says:

    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER
    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER
    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

    Moving.

    I didn’t work one bit, just to see the world fall to pieces and my family die. The reckless abandon of a game player who thinks he can try something different the next time.

    • John O'Kane says:

      Yeah, games with no obvious way of figuring out what comes next have trained me to play twice. Once to explore the limits and boundaries of what can be done. Another to actually then play it well. Which makes you extra vulnerable to a game where you can only make one choice….

      …which makes it brilliant. It’s more like life, you don’t know what the future is, you can only guess at optimising the outcome given shoddy forecasting, you live with your decisions, you feel your regrets and you take what is coming to you for it. Some what fatalistic, but honest.

      SPOILERS etc.

      Day one, went to work – skipped out with the girl (exploring the games boundaries – happens), looks like a homage to Every Day the Same Dream. Could this be a comedic take on it? Just sits there in the bar – fades to black, start of day two. Ah fuck, I ready know this is a game changer – cheating on the wife and work is not going to feed well into the next round. I’ll have to play an honest game next time – best explore more on the days this time.

      Day two, eh, something in the paper about the cure going wrong, I see this is the games major story – best get to work, I wonder if I’ll need to work the 5 days or if I’m supposed to think laterally here and take the alternative options? How to know? Can’t work – go to roof, see someone jump. More homage to EDTSD.

      Day three, choice of staying at home… hmm.. No work to do, maybe that cure is today. Driving in car… hold on – this is probably a day I’m supposed to savour time with the family… regret. Work.. nothing happens. Come back, wife dead. More regret – I’m really going to play this differently on the second run.

      Day four – Picked up Molly in the hall. Went into the bathroom, don’t know why – still “playing” the game a bit I guess – see wife is gone. Get the choice of the park – feel I should explore this. Sit in park. Molly says she doesn’t feel so well…. :(. Night time, two graves outside the house. :’(

      Day five – looks like my chance to save the day is now in the past tense. Walking slow, sick – fuckit, everyone is gone, lets just die gracefully in the park. Sit in park, eyes close. Sad.

      Quickly glance down page – see that the author mentions no replay. Decide to take my punishment and write this story here – more meaning than a play through on another browser will allow.

  27. 7rigger says:

    thirtywordsthirtywordsthirtywordsthirtywordsthirtywordsthirtywordsthirtywords

    No-one survived. I missed the chance it seems. I just sat down in the lab and died. I took the first day off and nothing else seemed to make a difference.

    Everyone’s dead Dave, everyone is dead.

  28. skinlo says:

    Everyone died.

  29. westyfield says:

    Spoileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroileroiler

    Spoiler
    I worked every day and took the daughter to work. Found a cure but by then everyone was dead, including (I think) the girl. Went to the park.

    It was ok, a bit depressing but then I called the ending so it wasn’t a nasty surprise.

    • westyfield says:

      In short: I would rather have been downstairs eating cereal.

  30. Rinox says:

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    Skipped work the first day
    Went to the roof the second, watched my colleague jump
    Stayed with my family the third day
    Went to work after my co-workers told me they were on to something and needed me
    Went to work the last day, although everyone was dead. I died a slow death in the lab.

    I also didn’t see my daughter or wife from the third day on anymore. Strange.

  31. oatish says:

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

    I messed up my 1st day spamming space to see what would happen and I didn’t go to work. I worked everyday after to make up for it but it wasn’t enough and everyone I loved (including myself) died. To see the loss of so much life (albiet pixely fake life) becuase I couldn’t be patient and just wanted to move onto the next screen is thought provoking.

    • Lambchops says:

      Snap.

      Do I still need 30 words, well OK then I suppose I’d better. Spoily McSpoiler with spoilkerins sauce and spoil pudding on a flambeed bed of spoil follows. You’ve been warned!

      I was just doing my automatic, “yes, yes I’ve read the text now let me go to the next line. Oh I’m having beers am I? Well that’s exactly what I damn well would have done anyway, I’ve one for pub lunches for far less meritous occasions than cure cancer before!” So I’ve learned the lessons that accidental carelessness will just lead me down the same path as willful carelessness!

      I’ve fired it up in chrome to have another go because I’m a cheating little bugger and I fancy trying another path, even though I absolutely love that this guy has decided to make the game a one shot thing and think that more people doing short form games should have the balls to do so.

      Also, in tespect to walking speed I actually liked the fact that as the days go on it seems to slow down on the last day to a depressed trudge as all around you dies.

      Bleak, but one of the better recent efforts at this sort of thing I reckon.

  32. Atic Atac says:

    SPOILER

    Am I the only one who blew everything off to have dirty sex with a coworker?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I’ve got to admit, I was tempted.

      KG

    • phlebas says:

      Was it worth it?

    • The_Terminator says:

      I played through the game twice, and did that the second time to see what happened. My wife somehow knew and left with my daughter, and everybody died.

      First time I went to work every day except the last (when I went to the park instead), and everybody died.

      Depressing much?

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      …and in the game

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      @atic atac – and in the game!

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      (Should’ve hit refresh before replying…

      and in the game)

    • Pmeie says:

      I did, on my only playthrough. Then I got home and my wife was dead. -_-

    • Hunter King says:

      My IRL girlfriend is named Annie, so I figured it wasn’t that harmful of an idea. Then I come back and my wife committed suicide in the bathtub. Can’t help but think “At least I took the sexy route!”

  33. neolith says:

    My daughter and I died together in the park.

  34. McDan says:

    SPOILER?
    SPOILER?
    SPOILER?

    YES, SPOILER.

    Seriously depressed that I can only really properly play that game once. Found my dead wife in the bath after the third day. Found the cure on the last day.

    Anyone know what the music is for this? Quite enjoyed it.

    • phlebas says:

      Under the game window it says the main theme is ‘Story Of Life’ by darthduba.

  35. noobnob says:

    The creepiest thing about this game is that the lane your car is on has no other cars behind or in front of you. And you can’t reverse. It’s cursed. There’s no way back.

    Also, we really need a spoiler tag. Something that changes the font’s color to be the same as the background it’s on, or encloses the text into a text frame that can be made visible by pressing a giant “SPOILER” button.

  36. bbot says:

    Spoiler.

    Spoiler.

    Spoiler.

    Spoiler.

    Played through it three times. Got the cure on the first playthrough, died looking for one the next two. (in order of playthroughs: wife suicided, child died of disease before I could cure her; wife and child killed by coworker; wife suicided, child died in park.)

    The “you had one chance” is a bit of a dick move. Well, the entire game is a dick move, but that’s an especially egregious one, since there is apparently no way to save humanity from your (off screen) mistake.

    And though it’s a faux paus to nitpick art games, I’m going to have to point out that any plague wiping out humanity entirely, much less in a mere seven days; is patently ludicrous. If anything, the remnants of humanity giving in the great underground Vaults will survive.

    • Susan says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. The Vaults were never meant to save anyone.

    • Bret says:

      One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven tweleve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect ect

      Well, yes, but what of the people in Subspace? I bet the main character’s lazy ass cousin Scott is fine.

  37. phlebas says:

    I liked this a lot more than Every Day The Same Dream. This has a surprising degree of attention to detail in the backgrounds and interstitial scenes, drawing a lot of emotional power from its pixels.
    (is that enough pre-spoiler text?)
    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
    Things like the stuff left on the floors in the house, the state of the tree outside, the people in the background on the drive to work. Really nicely done.
    All along it was telling me I had one chance and I didn’t know whether it was one chance to save the world or one last chance to spend time with the people I loved. I missed the last chance to spend time with my wife and she took her own life; I wonder whether her leaving Molly alive was mercy or cowardice. The day after that I checked around the house as usual, only realising after I’d stepped into the bloody bathroom that I’d got Molly with me and getting out again as fast as I could. The final day I didn’t hang around, didn’t look in Molly’s room or the bathroom, just headed in to work because I might as well go out trying.
    I found the cure on the last day and went to the park with Molly. But I think she was dead. It hadn’t sunk in yet. Life on Earth is saved, just maybe not the humans. And I wonder if it might all have been all right if only I’d bunked off work the first day and not put my cure out in the first place.

  38. 8-bit says:

    I took your advice and played the game before reading but ended up with the same results with one thing different, on the final day I went into work but as I entered the building I saw that he was still carrying his dead daughter, it disappeared after a moment so I assume it was a glitch but god that was creepy.

    • Scandalon says:

      I had the same glitch.

    • Feet says:

      Same as me, totally freaked me out. Like back when FEAR first came out and you got those glimpses of a little girl…. Was it a glitch? WAS IT THOUGH?

    • Sinomatic says:

      Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

      I don’t think that was a glitch at all. And if it was, it was probably the most perfectly timed emotional glitch in history.

    • 8-bit says:

      Well if it wasn’t a glitch it certainly had what I guess was the desired effect, I was going to go into work on the final day but after seeing that I went up to the roof.

  39. Scandalon says:

    So, while I don’t think it’s pretentious, I dont think it was…worth it? Every Day the Same Dream at least felt a bit novel, while this was exactly the same genre. I kept thinking “why am I stuck in a linear sequence.” Eventually a bit more choice opened up but…meh?

    Anyway, I did get what I think is the maximum fail – went home first day, tried to find a cure all the rest, wife killed herself, daughter was sick (dead) on last day, I just sat down in lab and died.

    The fabric texture underneath everything was kind cool though.

  40. Alec Meer says:

    30 words, not 30 characters, people. You risk comment-deletion otherwise.

  41. Ian says:

    LA LA LA LA LA LA LA SPOILEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS
    MORE SPOILEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS
    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
    SPOOOOOIIIIILEEEEEERS!!!!!
    MORE MORE MORE MORE FILLER MORE FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER
    Enough?

    Good.

    So going to work every day IS the right answer? I went every day aside from when my daughter asked where mummy was when I went to the park and even then I really hesitated on it.

    BUT, I was expecting simply plugging away at the cure to be the wrong answer, I thought it was going to be wanting me to accept the distractions.

    • Matthew Whittingham says:

      I think the whole idea that a game has a ‘right answer’ or nead to be ‘beaten’ (Agh – I hate it when people talk of games like that) needs to be overcome. Just think of it as an experience with choices.

    • Fumarole says:

      You’re not the only one who feels that way Matthew.

    • Ian says:

      Well change “right answer” for “way to a favourable ending” if it makes you feel better.

      I don’t have a problem with getting a sad ending, but the question had to be phrased somehow and I was just asking because of the assumptions I’d made as to what it was going to turn out they wanted me to do.

  42. Kid A says:

    Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

    I went to work every day. The last day before “You had one chance”, I took my daughter to work, and noticed that she wasn’t moving in the lab. I went to the park with her the last day and fell asleep on the bench there in the snow.

    …I really hope that was snow.

  43. rei says:

    Generally I’m all for these things—loved Every Day the Same Dream and many others—but this just feels a bit clumsy. I actually laughed when spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler my wife killed herself. What a shitty mom, and what an obvious and forced thing to cram in. It was a nice enough game, but of no emotional impact whatsoever (and I pretty much can’t watch anything on TV without being moved to tears, from children’s shows to the news to goddamn Touched by an Angel (and I’m a lifelong atheist)).

  44. Anonymous says:

    SPOILER ALERT

    Three years ago, I got a call from my wife’s doctor.

    I was standing next to my graduate carrel in the basement. They had found, the doctor said, a four centimeter mass in her brain, just behind her right eye. I said: “We are not talking about a benign mass. We are talking about a … malignancy.” I could not call it cancer.

    They performed a second MRI to confirm. The mass had grown by a centimeter. I was told that it was glioblastoma multiforme. This is a grade IV astrocytoma, doubling in mass every eleven days. I was present. My wife was not: that morning, she had forgotten how to use the shower. I had to help her. I said: “I know the staging system. This is not the kind of cancer you can survive.” There was a pause. “That’s right,” the doctor said.

    By the next Monday, my wife was sleeping eighteen hours a day. When she was awake, her left arm was limp. She didn’t talk much. We took her to see her parents; her grandparents. We got an appointment with a neurosurgeon the next week, and the neurosurgeon gave her a choice: surgery or not. She told me she couldn’t think straight. She asked me to choose. I begged her to choose. We waited alone a dark hotel room. We filled out her living will together. Then I chose.

    I chose surgery. because I don’t believe in miracles and I do believe in science. I kne , even then, that science would have to provide a miracle to save her life. This was not, the doctor said, the kind of cancer you can survive.

    So, they cut off her hair. They cut away the scalp and removed a fifth of her skull with a jigsaw. This is what I chose. When I saw her next, she had two black eyes and a line of staples which started above her left eye and ended below her right ear. She was tucked into the recovery bed with a cup of ice chips; when she turned and looked at me after surgery, she croaked, “The margaritas here suck.” I laughed. It didn’t strike me until then that I hadn’t done that for a while.

    Then she went into a coma for a while.

    A few days later, I was sitting in her hospital room on a cot. An echelon of doctors walked in and told me, grimly, that it was not cancer. It was Marburg multiple sclerosis. This is also terminal. Days passed. She woke up. Months passed. She started blogging. She wasn’t sleeping as much. Her MRI was still clear. Years passed. I finished graduate school. I still come home to her every day.

    Her diagnosis is still terminal. Her neurologist is unwilling to clear her, because no one has ever survived her condition for so long without severe disability or, indeed, without treatment. Her MRIs are still clear. No one calls it a miracle. (And yet.)

    But I haven’t learned my lesson: I am still, as I’ve always been, a fact-driven pragmatist capable of making grim decisions. Even grim decisions about those I hold closest. I don’t believe in miracles. (And yet.)

    So I chose to work every day until the end, and trusted science to give me a cure. Even if science had to give me a miracle.

    I guess that’s the kind of person I am.

  45. Chris D says:

    Roses are red, Violets are blue, here’s thirty words, in case you’ve not played too. Actually that was only fifteen words so now I have to write this sentence too, which spoils the effect a bit.

    I worked every day until the last. (apart from day 2 when the office was locked, so I went to the roof. I figured it was my mess so I had to try to fix it. As I was a happily married man I ignored the floozy. My wife died and I took my daughter to work, figuring I owed it to her and anyone who might be left.

    On the last day the message changed from have one chance to had, so I took my daughter to the park where we both died.

    If I had one more chance what would I do differently? I think I’d take the day off when my wife asked me, although without having read that even if you work on the final day everyone dies I think I’d have to try that as well. Ok, so that would involve two chances.

    I was slightly resentful that the significant choices, ie: developing a virus that destroys cells and releasing it into the atmosphere, were taken before I had any input. Of the things I’d do differently that would be the biggie.

    It seems unfair that by the time you have the experience to avoid making mistakes you’ve already made them. And in the game.

  46. Easydog says:

    SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!

    I lived and it’s ambigious but I think my daughter did too. I’m pretty sure that this is as close as it comes to victory. Damn, pyhrric victories are downers.

  47. Conor says:

    LA LA LA LA LA LA LAL AL AL A LAALALALLA LALALA LALALA LALALA ALALLALA LALALALAL ALALALAL IS TRHIS 30 YET LA LALA LALALA LA LA LA LA LA 30 NOW
    Worked every day, except the second, where my colleague jumped from the roof. Found the cure in the end, cured myself, and Molly. Then we sat in the park, surrounded by dead plant life.

    BUT WAIT!

    I reloaded it to see what it was like, and all the plant life was green again. My conclusion? The cure didn’t cure humans of cancer. It cured the planet of it;s cancer. Us.

    Deeeeeeeeeeeep.

    • Hippo says:

      SPOILERS (not really, since the relevant info is in the post I’m replying to, but still. I guess I have to type something. Is this enough?)

      Oh.

      Now I wish I had done things differently. That would have been worth all the sacrifices, really. I mean, okay. Everyone died, but the planet lived on. Life continued. That’s big.

      For the record, I worked every day except the second and the last. I died with my daughter in the park. It was kind of sad.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      That’s kind of awesome.

      Not the ‘deep’ bit, but that the game makes such a huge thing of telling you not to replay it, but it’s only upon attempting to replay it that you get the full ending. If true…

      …that’s tricky.

      I like that.

  48. Narretz says:

    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER
    SPOILER

    Another game with a great premise that leaves me wondering if simple playtesting would not have improved it by lots. I managed to kill everyone including myself, (mainly) because there is no indication on when a day ends. I skipped work in the first day, and went to the roof the second day, just to know what was there. But after you missed work two times, there is apparently no way to find a cure. By desperate tries where not rewarded and so I died a lonely death in my lab. I was kinda shocked that my wife killed herself, but overall the emotional attachment was quite not there, and the artistic direction was also a bit bland for my taste. Although the limping at the last day was very fitting.

  49. MuscleHorse says:

    The juxtoposition of cutesy graphics with a ‘weighty’ storyline doesn’t quite work here – also the music is absolutely awful and overly emotive.

    Not bad but not quite worth a RPS posting!

  50. Henke says:

    The characters in this looks like pixelated versions of characters you’d see in a Dave Teatro animation.

    Also I enjoyed this game. Though everyone died.

    • bananaphone says:

      Imagine it instead of the music in the original game. That is all.

      In the words of Hitchcock: the line between horror and humor is very thin.