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About the Story
What if you had only one shot?
Entrant - Single Choice Jam
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Number of Reviews: 3
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If You Had One Shot is an ideal entry in the Single Choice Jam. The jam allows for one actual choice but as many click-throughs as you want. It hoses all the parser commands, even EXAMINE-ing, for four directions. You are about to give a speech at your brother's wedding, and all four choices are drastically different.
But here's the problem: you pick one, and you try to restart, and you're not back at the wedding. Whichever direction you pick, you get an immediate story. Then on resetting, you look back at what you did after some time.
This is one of those efforts that definitely should be done, and of course it can't be done too much. It's an effective gimmick, and the writing is good, as you'd expect, since everyone writing has won or been nominated for an XYZZY award. Maybe multiple ones? But they're all well-known. I have my guesses, but I don't want to share them, because guessing is part of the fun, and I don't want to spoil my reasoning, right or wrong. Who wrote each piece is not obvious.
Yes, I did find a way around the "only one ending" bit, but it's an entertaining concept well-executed, one that might not have popped up so quickly without the jam. Each wrong way builds into a story as well.
As for how I got around? I won't spoil it. I think it's reasonable to expect the player who really wants to see them to do a bit of legwork. So it's neat to have something quick and satisfying like this that retains a bit of mystery.
If You Had One Shot is my favourite kind of parser out there: simple, short, and you will always reach the end. So short even, you can be done with it in a few minutes, 10-max for all endings. Simple enough it only has four commands: N/W/S/E. And very much like Aisle, you will reach the end at the end of the action, no matter what.
But IYHOS goes further with that mechanic and its ‘One Shot’ premise: you can truly only choose one thing - the game locking any possibility of restarting the game, even when prompted*. It does hammer on the consequences of your action. Like life, you cannot go back, undo, restart… you can only move forward, with your regrets, your guilt…
* Well, you can, but not while the game is open…
As for the story, it is written by four different authors, each focusing on a different choice and its consequences. Honestly, unless you are familiar with their works, I found that their style blended so well that I couldn’t tell had written what. I think it speaks to the strength of each author, as well as Mathbrush’s choice of having those authors on board.
Kind of like Aisle, each branch will give the player a bit of information about the MC, the characters around them, and their relationship. Though, unlike Aisle, aside from the direct consequences of your action, the provided information is connected with one another. I thought the twist from them was quite funny, but also kind of sad. You kind of feel for the oblivious MC…
This is a one choice game dislike another previous ones. You can only play the game once, then it will lock and become unplayable. Another good experiment by Mathbrush and his crew.
I played "One shoot" while dining in a job travel. I liked the surprising experience, even more when I couldn't retry in the current parser apk. So, read carefully the text, get involved when the atmosphere and empatize with the protagonist. There are some "all good, but different" endings, so make your choice according with your preferences. (As I am a weird player, I managed to see all the endings (this game deserves the effort), but this is other question).
A must play game, short, inmersive and original.
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