PAX EAST 2019 | "3 Minutes to Midnight"
When you think of classic point-and-click adventures, the era of LucasArts comes vividly to mind. From the likes of The Dig and Monkey Island to Sam & Max Hit the Road, these games played a big role in fine-tuning true narratives in video games. The folks of Scarecrow Studio aim to recreate that magic with their upcoming title 3 Minutes to Midnight. From its demo alone, it appears they’ve managed to find that original spark from days of old.
At PAX East, I was given the opportunity to play a segment from the game’s second chapter. You are seeking the keys to the nearby dam, which won’t be given to you until you help the local campsite with some chores. In true point-and-click fashion, one simple task becomes a long chain of events filled with pure insanity. Angry raccoons, a scuba diver stuck in an outhouse, and a young girl with a bad case of split personalities are in your way from reaching your goal.
Like most point-and-click adventures, the key to success is exploration. Whether it’s via clicking every damn spot on the screen or searching through one’s dialogue tree, finding the right things to do will result in many trial-and-error moments. Fortunately, 3 Minutes to Midnight will ease some of that frustration with the aid of its kooky humor. The demo went into weird places, ranging from strange water monsters to explosive toilets, all of which were presented with a good hearty laugh.
Unlike most of the current point-and-click games, 3 Minutes to Midnight aims to bring the classic style with a more modern look. The artwork for the game looks wonderful, with the hand-painted characters and surroundings looking like a canvas brought to life. Its 1940s setting fit well with this art style, giving to mind classic war posters from World War II and some of Max Fleischer’s more detailed cartoons.
Thus far, 3 Minutes to Midnight looks very good from both a written and visual perspective. With a big world to explore and a lot of people with deep secrets to uncover, Scarecrow Studio’s debut adventure is shaping to rekindle a heaping dose of that LucasArts magic many have fond memories of. 3 Minutes to Midnight will hit PC, Mac, and Linux later this year, with console releases sometime afterwards. Raccoon repellent sold separately.