Free Game Friday: “One Chance” (2010) Browser
In five days, every living thing on the planet will die. It is your fault. You are desperately trying to fix it.
You have one chance.
This is the ever-so cheerful setup to “One Chance”, one of the numerous pieces produced by Dean Moynihan of Awkward Silence Games. The player character is a scientist, a happy family man with a wife and daughter, and who has discovered a cure for cancer. The catch is that, the next day, it’s realized that this cure for cancer, which has already been released into the atmosphere, is slowly killing all life on earth.
It’s calculated that all life on earth will cease to exist in the next five days.
Your next actions are up to you. Will you spend the last days with your family? Will you lose yourself in a hedonistic affair with your coworker? Or will you devote yourself to work, desperately searching for a cure? It’s entirely up to you.
But don’t think that your actions have no effect on the world around you, because you’d be very wrong. As the days go by, you watch the world dying around you, from the withering tree in your front yard to the diminishing crowds on the street. Your office crumbles as coworkers suicide and labs are wrecked, and slowly your home life begins falling apart as well. And depending on what actions you choose, there are multiple different endings to the game.
And this is where “One Chance”‘s true gimmick lies; the game’s programming means that you really do only have one chance. If you try to replay the game, you just get an endless shot of the final screen. There are ways around this (clearing your cookies, for example), but it really does add an element of tension to the game. How much more would you consider your choices if you knew you couldn’t just hit “reload” when something went wrong?
“One Chance” is an extremely unique little game, and well worth a playthrough. It’s intelligent, well thought out, and the stiff, stylized art style really works with the game’s mood. The plot hits you like a punch to the throat, and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s the kind of game you will be thinking about for days and weeks after you play. I have my issues with the game length (you’ll be through it in 15 minutes) and the one playthrough mechanic (it may add tension, but it’s incredibly frustrating knowing you can’t get to the alternate endings without fiddling with your browser), but it’s still a game I very highly recommend.
You can play “One Chance” at Awkward Silence Games.