E3 2018 had plenty of loud, crowded areas where attendees could wait hours at a time for a few minutes with a AAA game. But sometimes the best part of a video game expo is straying from the beaten path to find something more obscure. Tucked away in a quiet corner, I found a small booth with little more than a banner and a couple of laptops. The excited developers quickly introduced me to their passion project, a point-and-click adventure called 3 Minutes to Midnight. It quickly became my favorite indie game of E3. Fast-forward to today, and the small dev team is looking to take production to the next level with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
3 Minutes to Midnight: A point-and-click adventure
3 Minutes to Midnight is a point-and-click adventure game inspired by LucasArts classics, but it doesn’t stop there. Developer Scarecrow Studio is aiming to create a non-linear adventure where every choice you make matters. Puzzles have multiple solutions, and every character interaction is a chance to influence the story, including the ending.
When we said replayability, we meant it! The game offers multiple endings, each of them distinct from the others. The endings are drastically different and are determined by how you play the game, giving real stakes to the story. Some finales may be happier than others, so pay attention to your choices! No need to fear “multiple endings” where the only differences are that the ending cinematics have the camera tilted at a weird angle and everything is tinted some random color—we guarantee it.
You’ll be playing as Betty Anderson, a young girl with a bad case of amnesia. It seems there’s something strange going on in the small New Mexico town she finds herself in. Missing memories or not, she’s out to get to the bottom of it. Along the way, she’ll encounter “an overly ambitious mayor, a top-secret military base, the mafia, and a potbellied pig with a vendetta.”
Getting it just right
A potentially great point-and-click adventure can be dragged own by frustrating puzzles, confusing objectives, and limited replay value. Scarecrow Studio aims to learn these lessons from the past and avoid similar pitfalls in 3 Minutes to Midnight.
Everyone knows that puzzles can make or break an adventure game. (Cat hair mustaches, anyone?) After all, most of the challenge comes from figuring out solutions to these convoluted problems. What’s worse than puzzles that are too hard or too easy, though? Having to solve the same kind of puzzle over and over until you feel like eating your controller out of frustration.
That’s why we’ve made a special effort to vary the types of puzzles in 3 Minutes to Midnight. You may need to talk to other people in town to figure out an answer—or to get yourself out of a real mess. Some puzzles are progressive, meaning one decision early in the game could dramatically influence how you find answers. The environment may hold clues, but you might also have to rely on your own inherent knowledge.
With over 1000 interactable objects and the largest script in point-and-click history, players will be able to use their creativity to figure out many different solutions. In turn, these decisions can influence the outcome of the game and affect which ending the player sees. When we say this game can be replayed, we’re really not kidding!
If you find yourself struggling to find a solution, 3 Minutes to Midnight features an elaborate hint system. This will highlight relevant items and assist you in moments of crucial dialogue. Best of all, it’s totally optional!
About the Kickstarter
If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the official 3 Minutes to Midnight Kickstarter page. It includes a trailer, a project video, gameplay footage, tons of screenshots, animations, character and story details, music samples, developer info, and much more. Scarecrow Studio is looking to raise around $55,000 to bring their point-and-click adventure to life.
Kickstarter backers will have a wide variety of options. Scarecrow Studio is offering multiple backer tiers with tons of rewards. These rewards include posters, music, a plushie, limited edition T-shirts, a letterman jacket, and much more. A few ultra-generous donors in the highest tier will even be able to join the game as an NPC!
3 Minutes to Midnight is currently targeting a 2020 launch. It will arrive on PC first, with Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 versions following. It may also come to Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS, depending on which stretch goals are met.