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Oneshot Game Review
In this world, where computer story games as emotionally invested as Oneshot are so few and far between, this game is a breath of fresh air. In other words, this game is a masterpiece that is worth playing.
OneShot is a surreal top-down Puzzle/Adventure game where Niko (the protagonist) and you are two different people. This game’s world knows who you are.
As the god of the world of Oneshot, you are tasked with guiding the messiah (Niko) through a dying world that is deprived of sunlight. The Messiah, on the other hand, is expected to restore the world's sun (a literal giant lightbulb).
Niko does not live in the world of Oneshot. Before he even arrived at the Barrens (a region in the world of the game) he was with his mother.
In the beginning of the game, Niko wakes up in a dark room and after some light puzzle solving, he finds himself in the Barrens with the world's sun. This series of puzzles consists of you figuring out how to get out of the house Niko wakes up in.
This game tears down the fourth wall super early. (The fourth wall is a performance convention in which an invisible, imagined wall separates characters from a game from the audience). In fact, the wall goes down after the first puzzle when you interact with a computer. The puzzle consists of you figuring out the password for the said computer. The Entity (the being who talks through the computer) communicates with you; the person sitting behind the screen. And it doesn't just communicate with you using any name like your Steam username, (Steam is gaming platform; a place where you download games, Oneshot being one among them) it uses your real name; your Windows profile username. This may not sound that amazing but is definitely surprising, maybe even a little bit spooky until you realize what's going on.
This game is worth playing because its mechanics are very well thought out and innovative. This game does things with the "RPG Maker" engine that I never thought possible. For example, on one puzzle, the game uses an already opened document on one’s computer to help you guide Niko. Why is this amazing? Because no other game of the puzzle/adventure genre uses an already opened document on one’s computer to help the player guide the protagonist.
Also, Niko is an extremely likable character. He’s an 8-year-old kid. I know Niko’s age might disturb some people but I personally see nothing wrong with a young protagonist. He's loving, he's likable, he tries to make the right choices, and most importantly, he looks like a cat and likes pancakes. Actually, I take that back. The most important part of him is that he asks you, god, for guidance through unfamiliar territory. He completely believes in you. I guarantee that you will feel for Niko as much as you would a friend by the end of the game. Anyone who has played Oneshot will tell you that this game's main strength is Niko. During one of many interactions with Niko, Niko asks you about our world and enlightens us that our world is like his. Every interaction with Niko is an invaluable moment.
Since Oneshot is a game best experienced without any prior knowledge, I won't spoil anything else about this amazing game. However, I will talk a bit about the solstice update/patch. This update/patch fixed almost every problem I had with this game. In this update, Niko finds out about the simulated world he's in and works with you and three others to go back to his home and restore the world's sun at the same time.
This game's pixel art is very charming and its story is completely original, interesting, and engrossing (especially in the light of the solstice update).
This game's dialogue between characters is well written and really brings out the tensions, worries, and emotions of the characters. You know a story game’s good if you feel empty inside after completing it. The developers are even translating the dialogue into different languages such as Korean so that as many people as possible could play and understand this game.
There are some problems that this game has that I must point out, however. These problems include being too short and not giving the player enough time to bond with the side characters. Even with these problems, in my opinion, this game deserves a solid 10/10.
© 2017 Benjamin Kim