Quite honestly, the best experiences that I have with games are with the ones I have no expectation of liking, but that I find myself getting completely drawn into and really thoroughly enjoying.
One Night Stand was one of these games, and was a real surprise for me. I was initially intrigued by the art style, which uses a technique called rotoscoping I hadn’t seen used before in games, but I was unsure of how engaging the story would be.
I was delighted not only to be engaged, but really pulled into the branching narrative of the game. Lucy Blundell’s decision to make the game a series of short stories that can be discovered and played through in only 15 to 20 minutes is beyond brilliant. It means that in this awkward choose-your-own-adventure story of a forgotten night and a chance encounter, you’re free to make different decisions and see where they take you.
While a longer, more detailed narrative would certainly have different benefits, the design of One Night Stand is superb because it invites you to keep playing and keep making choices. You’re thrust into a strange situation and asked to make the best of it. As you play through this moment again and again, you learn more and more things about your situation, creating a one part memory game, one part Groundhog Day-esq opportunity to try and get through this awkward conversation and achieve the result you’re hoping for. It’s intriguing, compelling, and can played quickly enough that you attention will be kept easily.
We had the opportunity to talk with One Night Stands creator, Lucy Blundell recently, and to ask her about where this game came from, why she chose to use this unique art style, and to learn a bit more about her background as an independent game developer.
Our thanks to Lucy for taking the time to talk with us and share her story! We’re eager to follow the development or her other visual novel, and you can be sure you’ll hear more about it on IndieHangover.