Point-and-click games may seem simple, but I’ve always loved them because I love stories and I’m the kind of person that just loves exploring every aspect of a game. Literally, I will play through multiple runs of a game just to experience every dialogue, scene, and ending. I easily become engrossed in learning all about the plots and the characters, and 3 Minutes to Midnight is jam-packed with mystery and intrigue.
Set in the 1940s after the end of World War II, 3 Minutes to Midnight takes place in New Mexico where you play as Betty Anderson. As Betty, you wake up one day with no memory of what happened before, only to find yourself with hints and clues to piece together that something is running amok in town. The biggest mystery is trying to figure out exactly what is going on.
At E3, I got to try out a demo of 3 Minutes to Midnight, specifically a scene from the summer camp. The team explained to me that they chose this specific scene because it showcased typical gameplay and showed off interesting characters and plots without actually revealing any overarching spoilers in the game. And what struck me the most as I played was how clever and realistic the team tried to make the gameplay. For example, at a camp, there is likely to be mosquitoes and there are some plants that might keep those insects away. But you can’t simply stick those plants on your body; instead, you have to figure out how to work with the items you’ve collected or combine them. Also another reason (for me personally) to spend lots of time with this game.
Equally enchanting as the story is the 2-D art. Every aspect of the game from the background to the characters is hand-painted by a talented team of artists. There’s just something so enchanting and familiar about the way the characters are drawn. And there are a variety of characters, each with their own unique appearance, personality, and backstory. So for players like me, I know I’d spend a lot of time in just exploring and learning about the characters. Not only that, all character lines have voice acting, meaning you get to hear your characters speak. It’s a nice touch to have in a game, honestly, because it makes the characters and the setting that much more real.
And this game continued to intrigue me even as I think about it after playing the demo. The team explained to me that some of their inspirations came from shows such as The X-Files, Twin Peaks, and (a personal favorite of mine) The Twilight Zone. The creator hinted that there were some more inspirations that he’d like to credit but explained that any more hints might give away spoilers for the game. But, if you like those things, you’ll probably like 3 Minutes to Midnight!
Additionally, the game is developed by an indie group known as Scarecrow Studios. It was founded in 2016 by Jan Serra. Since the beginning, the studio focused on point-and-click adventure games. Their passion for this genre is evident in their attention to detail in order to really enhance the player experience. Not only that, the developers are very keen on making this game as accessible as possible. 3 Minutes to Midnight will be available on a variety of different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android) and with subtitles in a plethora of languages (English, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Turkish, and Catalan).
And honestly, that’s what makes this game so charming to me. The art draws you in and the stories make you want to play for hours on end. It’s an indie game, so budgets for these kinds of projects typically are limited, but with those limitations, Scarecrow Studios has put a lot of detail and love into 3 Minutes to Midnight and their love shows.
If you’re interested in experiencing 3 Minutes to Midnight, the game will be launching some time in early 2019. Until then, enjoy this trailer to get a glimpse of what’s to come!