In six days, every single living cell on earth will be dead. You have one chance.
So says the the tagline for One Chance, a flash game hosted on Newgrounds by Awkward Silence Games. You've just found a cure for cancer, but the next day you find out that the cure is extremely deadly, and that it's killing everything. Every day for the next six days, you make a decision that will ultimately determine the fate of the world. Can you save humanity? Can you save your family? Can you even save yourself? It's one of those artsy games without a whole lot of gameplay, but it packs some emotional resonance into the experience, and that makes it worth playing. But be warned: you really do only have one chance. More after the jump.
I thought One Chance was pretty good. The decisions you make each day are simultaneously trivial and critical; at first they don't seem like a big deal, but then you start to realize that they matter quite a lot. In light of all of the deaths around the city, do you stay home to be with your family in your final days, or do you go to work striving to develop a cure, or do you try to compromise and do both?
I ended up with a pretty bad ending, but in retrospect I don't think I'd do anything differently. The only thing I feel that I might have done wrong was perhaps trying to compromise too much, but that's what life's all about, really. Always compromising to make ends meet. Or maybe that just says something about myself, not about life. If so, then this game has taught me something about myself, and got me really thinking about things, which is quite an accomplishment.
The music, of course, adds a lot to the experience. It's sad, brooding, and foreshadows the entire game. The opening text tells you that everything is going to die in six days, but it doesn't really set in until you hear the music.
There are several different endings you can get, depending on where you go and what you do on each day, but you'll only ever see one of them. Because you only have one chance. If you close the game and open it up again, you'll be permanently stuck on the screen you ended on from the last time. And man, does that add a lot of weight to the game. It makes your decisions really matter, since you can't go back and un-do everything, you have to live with the decisions you made and hope it was worth it, left to wonder how things might have been different if you'd acted differently.
One Chance takes about 10 minutes to playthrough, and it's a free indie game, so you may as well go play it on Newgrounds. Click here for the link. (And if you really want to more than one chance, you can clear your flash cache and start from the beginning again.)