Play One Chance, Be Sad For The Day

I think Ars Technica‘s Twitter account had tweeted out a link to their article on cognitive dissonance which, despite my lack of experience in neural science, intrigued me enough to read it. Luckily for me, I spotted a link to the side which read “This is how I died, and this is one I couldn’t save: One Chance.” Needless to say, my interest had been piqued.

One Chance is a somewhat unique Flash game in that it isn’t terribly addicting like Kickups or even all that original (it’s extremely similar—almost alarmingly so—to Every Day the Same Dream), but it hits you hard much like EDTSD or any other number of artsy one-timers. While you could describe it in its most base elements as a side-scroller, you really are living out your last few days on Earth as everything in the world will be dead in six days. However, it is all your fault, and you ostensibly have one chance to save it.

WARNING: You should definitely play this quick and brilliant little Flash game before reading any further.

After spending just 15 minutes in the world of scientist John Pilgrim, One Chance had some how managed to force itself upon my thoughts for the rest of the day. My own ending resulted in having to bury my wife after her apparent suicide, lay my daughter to rest after I took her to the park in an attempt to salvage anything resembling happiness, and sit out the last few moments of humanity on a snowy park bench.

I won’t tell you specifically how I got to this particular tragedy, but I will tell you I didn’t go with Annie at any point to skip out on work. In fact, no one I talked to who also played this game ever did, and yet they also all got different endings. I was, quite literally, hit with a mild spell of jealousy when one friend told me he had found a cure. My first thought was that it should have been me to find the cure and save(?) the world. That’s when I realized I had played a winner.

Like I said, One Chance is an actual one-time playthrough (unless you delete some cookies), so there’s absolutely zero replay value, and it is strikingly similar to some past games (especially EDTSD), but this particular game in this particular form hit me hard—the music especially so. Hopefully it had the same effect on you.

How did you use your one chance?

Source from Ars Technica.

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  • The game was nothing short of fantastic, profoundly poignant and its brevity actually adds to the effect. Excellent review, knowing there are numerous different endings truly makes this game one of a kind.

  • Bob

    Playing it twice over, seeing two different endings didn’t make it any less meaningful. The first time I went with my coworker to the bar and devoted all my time to the cure, but still lost. Second time through, I was determined to save humanity and was in the lab all six days and succeeded. I saved myself and my daughter, but was humbled at the prospect of being the last man on earth. Truly, a wonderful game.

  • Meh, it’s been done before and in a much better way

    • I would agree if we were just talking about Flash platformers in general that only allow you to play it once, but these two games are vastly different in my opinion. When I died in You Only Live Once, I laughed after I realized they really meant it. When I died in One Chance and realized the same thing, I felt a significant amount of sadness. Sorry you didn’t feel the same way, but thanks for reading anyways!

    • Are you kidding me? That was shit.

      • Are you shitting me? Seriously, I don’t mind pretentious bullshit but One Chance is taking things way too far. Really skin-deep over-the-top melancholy with some indie emo song thrown on top for extra emotions. Just because you put in all the right ingredients doesn’t mean you’ve made a pudding. Sure, this kind of genre is somewhat unexplored, but that doesn’t mean we need to pretend stuff like this is of any artistic value. YOLO took the same concept but also managed to not turn it into a heavy-handed cliché but instead made me laugh all the while I still realized I had more or less killed this little digital guy.

  • Just played before googling looking for any mention of an actual cure. Music was fantastic, and the second I went into the bathroom after seeing the blood, the vocals kicked in and I just felt hollowed. Incredibly gripping.

    • Definitely agreed. When I saw her in that tub, I just couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I’d been that sad over a game in a long while.

  • Cyrus

    Yea, I think I also got the “last man on earth” ending, like Bob on the second play through… I am not totally convinced that there is a better ending, as the trees at least seem to have come back to “life” (or lifey-color), but yea…

    Also, even though you can’t play again, try loading it back up again, just to see what happens. The screen you get (at least for me) is a little different from the last screen of “the game” (the trees and grass at least seem to be alive, at least in my case).

  • My ending was exactly like the original poster’s. For some reason this game hit me very hard. “Be sad for the day” is extremely accurate. I spent the rest of today waiting impatiently to see my 3-year-old to cheer me up, because the “I don’t feel so good” line just kept haunting me.