At the first major emotional gut-punch, I was stunned. It was one of the hardest hitting and shocking moments I’d experienced in a game, and it was my own damn fault. I knew I could have avoided it, but I had done what I thought was right. In less than 15 minutes, One Chance takes you on a ride of betrayal, loss, and bitter-sweet redemption.
You play as a scientist who has finally found the cure for cancer, but if you haven’t been able to tell this far, not everything goes according to plan. The game takes place over the course of seven days (each probably two or three minutes long), and in each you meet characters and make choices that effect how the rest of the game plays out.
One Chance is smart, forcing you to make some of the hardest decisions this side of The Walking Dead. There isn’t a right or wrong, there’s only the needle on your personal moral compass. After experiencing One Chance, I had to have someone else see what I had seen. While watching three playthroughs of close friends, I was vastly entertained by the spread of the choices we made. Two friends ended up in wildly different situations than me, as another followed the exact same path that I did.
The music is fitting throughout, with the exception of one scene, where it could only be described as one of the most appropriate uses of music in gaming. The track plays and fades out at a time in which you feeling nothing but helplessness, which left me utterly speechless. Remember how Kanye’s Power made you feel like an ultimate hardass in Saint’s Row 3? Imagine the polar, polar, polar opposite of that.
That’s it. If you aren’t sold by now, this isn’t going to be for you. If you are, you’ve probably already finished the game by now, and only come back here for some kind of reprieve from the hopelessness you now feel. Either way, it’s one of the best free experiences you can have in the next half hour, and it’s worth it if you’re up to the task that is finishing it. Aren’t video games neat?
(The title really does mean that you have one chance. At the end of the game, it’ll freeze on the screen you finished on, and will remain there as long as your browser remembers you played the game on that site. If you want to play through it again and attempt the other paths, play the game on a different website or clear your browsing history.)