Title: One Night Stand
Publisher: Ratalaika Games S.L.
Genre: Action & adventure, Other, Role playing, Simulation
Platform: Xbox One
Audience: PEGI 16
Release Date: 02/10/19
Price: £4.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Waking up can be cruel. So cruel. Often because of different reasons. Being tired after a bad night’s sleep can be as exhausting as waking up with a major hangover. Speaking of the latter, so does the protagonist in One Night Stand.
Searching for this game sure gave me some weird results, but does it mean that the game is also in the same category? Should I stay or should I go is not only the question that the player asks himself in the game developed by Kinmoku. Do you want to know if I ran away from that game as soon as I had the chance to do so or if I wanted it to be more? Take a look at my following review!
There’s a stranger in my bed…
One Night Stand is precisely what the title hands to you. You wake up in an unfamiliar apartment, in a bed that is not yours to discover that you’re lying next to a stranger. Or at least you cannot remember her anymore.
You think remembering her isn’t a good thing? Wait until you see some of the 12 endings the game has prepared for you.
If, and only if you’d ask yourself while reading, I was ever in a situation like the two protagonists of One Night Stand… No. I haven’t been in that situation and me living it through the game was enough to kill off any curiosity in that regard.
What sounds like a negative experience certainly isn’t one. I was impressed with how Kinmoku handled the issue and made you feel uncomfortable. Or relieved when things cooled down. Or you got the hell out of there in time…
Think we kissed and I forgot…
The player struggles to remember, and you can certainly do good or bad while hiding it. You can lie, you can be honest, it is totally up to you how you approach the girl facing you.
To progress in the game after you’ve woken up, you search the room with a limited amount of turns. Given the clues you found while the woman in front of you is occasionally leaving the room, your answers vary. Some methods are rather innocent, while others might be a bit… overstepping some boundaries, let’s say that. You ever wanted to be a detective? One Night Stand gives you a small taste of how it could be like.
The controls are rather simple and easy to understand. The objects you can interact within the game have a black line around it. Just like the graphics in general, those lines look like a scribble. The soft beige, brown, and earthy tones reminded me, together with the whole behaviour of the game environment, of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and its successor Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (which got no release in NA).
One Night Stand has a unique vibe, with the life-like rotoscope animations and the hand-drawn artwork drawing me to that game. A subtle choice for this kind of game since you don’t want to get too distracted. The title’s focus is something other than stunning visuals. It does it in its own way, and I appreciate this style very much.
Trying to connect the dots. Then do it all again.
The thought in mind, from the Developer, was to complete One Night Stand several times. So don’t expect several hour-long playthroughs. The average playtime is around 15 minutes or less, I’d say. It depends on you thinking about what to choose and what to skip. You can try different choices, and they do matter. Kinmoku did not disappoint in that regard.
What’s interesting is the way you play in general. The first playthrough is a mess that makes you want to know more. I, for example, tried during my first attempt to be very careful and not disappoint the girl in front of me while lying to her about her name. (Real-life Jen here, she never wants to disappoint. Aww.)
And boy, that one backfired quite hard!
Slapped in the face by that, I tried again. And again. The fast-forward function was a significant aid here to get to see different outcomes of the story. That’s the whole charm of the game. The Developer Kinmoku (aka Lucy Blundell) knows what she does and how to lure you into the obvious traps. You realise they are obvious traps, but you still do it. Because she made you panic and has you in the palm of her hand with her well-written story. Browsing through her blog before writing my review, I know why.
I also learned that she’s living in Germany, about two hours away from my former home town. Not biased at all, hand on my heart. (Even though I sometimes felt I was looking in the mirror while reading something from her.)
A brief section about the music: The soundtrack is fitting and well done. It could be more, but… with a game like this, more music would rather be troublesome than enriching the experience. The sound effects play right into the theme of One Night Stand and help the atmosphere more than an additional song would. Less is more, even though I don’t take those words lightly when it comes to soundtracks on games.
Honest talk here: I was sceptic at first as I heard the title about this game. It is upfront with telling you what it’s about. No shame here, but could this be a title I remember or might even enjoy? I gave it a chance without researching too much about it. I often do that after I have written the review (no peeking at other people’s reviews, though!). After three years, One Night Stand got a port to consoles after only being available on PC. Kudos to Kinmoku, the game deserves it.
The biggest throw off might be the length of the game, but if you are curious about the outcome of the whole dilemma, you will enjoy it. It is different than I expected and has hilarious hidden options to discover (hint: try hitting only “Go home” in one playthrough). I would have wished for a few questions being answered and, maybe one different outcome of the game, but that’s just me.
My imagination had a lot of work to do in the aftermath. Which, I’d like to assume, was the intention of the game. I’m looking forward to the future projects of Kinmoku and am glad I stayed on good terms with the game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase One Night Stand from the Microsoft Store using the following link, https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/one-night-stand-console-edition/9ngf0lhshpvx?activetab=pivot:overviewtab