If You Had One Shot

by Wade Clarke profile, Victor Gijsbers profile, Hanon Ondricek profile, and Brian Rushton profile


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Really. You only have one shot. If you're honest!, August 13, 2023
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: 2023 Single Choice Jam

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.

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