Three Minutes to Eight presents the player with a question: What would you do if you only had 24 minutes to live? Do you try to prevent your death? Accept your fate? Or do you ponder how you ended up here in the first place?
Available on iOS, this unique point-and-click adventure from Chaosmonger Studio casts players into a complex and eye-opening narrative. It tells a story brimming with meaning, focused on the human experience, and told with a level of care and respect many games try and fail to capture.
24 Minutes to Live
The protagonist of this story wakes up to find himself in an unfortunate circumstance: a time loop. He wakes up at 7:33 PM and dies at 7:57 PM, and the goal of the game is simple: find a way to live past Three Minutes to Eight.
The primary gameplay involves talking with various characters and solving object puzzles to change the circumstances that lead to your death. The real success of Three Minutes to Eight lies in its ability to make even the most mundane and random things essential to your character’s journey.
No matter how small or inconsequential, the details matter in those precious 24 minutes. Who you talk to, who you don’t talk to, what you pick up, what you don’t pick up. The most rewarding part of the game is finding just the right thing that pushes you forward and closer to your goal of living past those three minutes to eight.
It becomes even more engaging when the details start to change after each loop. Items that were once here and now there. The city you live in has a different name. Even the player’s girlfriend looks different but acts like everything is normal. What does it all mean? How can you make sense of it and still live?
These ever-shifting circumstances keep you guessing and keep you engaged. The simple point-and-click interface helps this along. Players use the left-click to move, and the right-click to interact with their environment and pick up items. By combining certain items, players can easily make progress. A notepad keeps track of the various tasks the players have completed till now.
It drives home the idea that you are in control, even when the world around you seems to say otherwise. Little by little, you start to put the pieces together and build a picture of how you can keep moving forward even as the world seems to be doing everything in its power to confuse and derail you.
Three Minutes To Eight has all the tropes of a classical adventure, following a protagonist fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds and finding a way to succeed despite them.
The game makes compelling use of this formula to capture the feeling that the player is stuck in a loop truly. The setting is familiar yet unfamiliar, forcing players to adapt what they have learned to move forward. It works quite well, thanks to some very compelling writing. These moments made me care about the characters, even if they may have only been around for a short time.
The genuinely gorgeous pixel art also helps, along with the excellent use of music, sound, and voice acting. Together, they drive home the unique atmosphere and aesthetic the game is going for. It creates an uncanny yet colorful and surreal setting that compels the player to keep going. Meanwhile, the changes during major parts of the story drive home how the world is shifting.
Is It Hardcore?
Three Minutes to Eight is a compelling, surreal, and immersive adventure title that offers a fun spin on the point-and-click genre.