Some video games are created simply for entertainment while others have a more influential driving force. Neither reason is wrong, or right for that matter, but when a message is being sent out to players it does have a more powerful impact. Life isn’t always gumdrops and sunshine and that’s okay because without pain there wouldn’t be pleasure. When a video game has such an impact on me, I love to shout it from the rooftops and Dystopia Interactive has done just that in “One Zero Three”.
One Zero Three drew me in like a moth to a flame. Upon my first glance, I saw a memento from my childhood. I had a ballerina figure that spun to the tune of the Nutcracker. I feared that ballerina and imagined she would come alive at night and dance around the room. She literally terrified me until I hid her in my closet, along with a Furby and other toys I deemed dangerous.
However, after my initial flashback I noticed the ballerina wasn’t a ballerina at all, but rather a mime. The lack of a smile intrigued me, and I needed to understand why her eyes seemed to carry a load of pain. The melancholy mime is named Lily and she has used her vivid imagination to create a safe place to hide. An unfortunate event occurred during a night out on the town and now her mind is attempting to keep her safe. Only she, with the help of the player, can unlock the memories of that fateful night and truly come to terms with what happened.
One Zero Three has a Tim Burton meets Dontnod Entertainment. The elegant creep factor meshes well with gameplay similar to Life is Strange. The Kickstarter described it as “a mystery game of I-spy driven by storytelling” and based on the trailer I’d say they hit the nail on the head. One Zero Three makes players dig deeper by reading messages and solving puzzles while exploring the labyrinth that is Lily’s safe place.
The graphics are impeccable, such detail is not often seen in indie games. Not only are Lily’s emotions shining through, but even the tiniest details add to the gameplay experience. The pictures on the wall and even a note on the wall stating, “You’re here” really reminded me that this game was meant to be inside someone’s mind. Not only are the graphics mesmerizing, the music helps set the scene as well. “Lily’s Theme” and “Wilbur’s Theme” brought me back to “The Corpse Bride” while the song in the trailer transported me to parts unknown. Overall, based solely on the trailer, One Zero Three is a game I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.
Daniel Paz, of Dystopia Interactive, mentioned he wanted to make a game that was memorable, impactful, and emotional. One Zero Three is a game I am not going to forget, not only because of the graphics and the music, but because of Lily. She appears to have had a terrible ordeal, everyone can relate to that, and while her mind wants to lull her into safety, she’s not willing to let that happen. Lily seeks the truth whether it’s easy or not. Overall, Lily’s story is one I am excited to get to unlock.
Head on over to One Zero Three’s Steam page and wishlist it because Lily will be popping up on Windows, Mac and Linux December 2018!