Don’t Panic: System Status 100

They don't like it up 'em.

“Interstellar panic simulator.” It’s not immediately clear why System Status 100 creator Jonothan Rubock calls his free browser game that. It’s easy-peasy at first, simply giving you a little froggy space robot and a steady stream of space bullets to jump over. Survive for 25 seconds and another box will open on the screen, starting another one-button minigame. Oh. Then another comes at 50. And another at 75. Then you’re experiencing interstellar panic. I’ve never quite reached 100 seconds, so I don’t know what happens, but the game has space for another four games. Crumbs.

It’s a wonderful and horrible game of trying to concentrate on more things than you can reasonably concentrate on, and trying to recover from mistakes. While healthpacks restore a little health, the more you lose, the more glitchy artifacts start flickering around the screen, then you mistake those for bullets to dodge or rocks to drill and panic and start mashing keys and everything goes wrong.

And I keep playing it. I’m starting to slip into rhythms, instinctively checking the right screen at the right time, but it’s a tricky one all right. Every space mission I’ve been in charge of has ended terribly.

(Use the number keys to play the first few four games, gang. Look for the numbers flashing up as they begin.)

I’m determined to hit 100 and see what happens, as the instructions say mouse controls come into it too at that point, but my highest is only 95.79999999042454 seconds. It’s quite precise with your failings. Reader dear, please play this game a whole load and tell us all what happens.

17 Comments

  1. WiggumEsquilax says:

    Argh! So close!

  2. Ross Angus says:

    Let’s get this straight: you played four different one-button games at the same time, while narrating a video? I couldn’t even watch it, without getting confused. Perhaps John, with his legendary multi-tasking skills, will be good at this. I will fail badly.

  3. InfiniteSubset says:

    Did anyone else have trouble with the controls of this game? I couldn’t seem to figure out what buttons controlled any of the mini-games, but the spacebar seems to spawn a health pack, meaning I was able to survive indefinitely despite failing every game. The mouse games worked…

  4. MeatMan says:

    The game doesn’t tell you what any of the controls are, so I started pressing random keys, which lead me to realize that pressing the spacebar (which produces health power- ups on the first mini-game) allows you to play for as long as you care to continue.

    To answer Alice’s question, nothing special happens after 100 seconds. I played for 236 seconds before giving up on the constant pressing of the spacebar, and in that time, only 6 games appeared.

    screenshot: link to s30.postimg.org

  5. theslap says:

    Erm… am I the only one suffering from extreme frame rate drop and processor overload trying to play this game? I can jump over the first few bullets just fine, then frames start dropping and all hell breaks loose. I can’t get past 10 seconds.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      It was even worse for me, I got Powerpoint-slow frame rates from the get-go, with almost a second-long delay between button press and response.

  6. SuddenSight says:

    Hello again! I am the flash game did it curmudgeon. This time it’s Multitask. In fact, there is a whole franchise of Multitask games on Kongregate.

    Though I must admit the glitches that obscure the screen are a neat idea.

    • Hex says:

      :)

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I don’t know why that’d be curmudgeonly. You’re sharing other games we might enjoy, so thanks. I hadn’t seen them. I too enjoy how System Status 100 collapses more horribly into a horrible mess, though.

      • tormos says:

        similarly panic inducing multi minigame madness in flash: Grid 16 link to kongregate.com
        also nostalgia for me because it was the first game I played on Kongregate back in the day

  7. Baffle Mint says:

    So, what actually are the controls on the mouse games? I can’t seem to get the first one to do anything, and of course by the time they show up there’s no time to experiment.

  8. Jrap says:

    Hello lovelies! I rolled out of bed this morning to find this and a few other pieces about my humble project and frantically started fixing issues. Deepest apologies for any pain these bugs might’ve caused you, and I would have fixed them sooner, but I had a prior engagement with being asleep.

    -Space bar no longer spawns health. That button was for ME and ME ALONE ya no good cheaters.
    -People who are getting performance issues: this is a limitation of gamemaker that’s very tricky to work around, I’ve added a downloadable .zip version of the game which should fix most issues with browsers behaving poorly.
    -Controls added to the game’s itch.io page
    -Quote from this very article added to the game’s itch.io page

    And finally, a tremendous thank you to this article’s author, Alice. I’ve never had anything written about me before and I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to see you game being talked about on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Keep up the good work inspiring other small-time devs to keep at it, because without interaction like this, I would have quit a long time ago.

  9. Heimmrich says:

    I like this one best: link to gamejolt.com

    It focus one of the games every X seconds, then all the others slow down. It’s pretty neat because, at least for me, it gets the challenge closer to “doable”.