It’s Friday night, and you decide to take a good friend to the movies, that will equate to about two hours worth of entertainment. Or maybe instead, you order pizza, have some beers and do the same at home with a television show- that’s about an hour’s worth of entertainment (at the least). Even a round of Monopoly is going to kill close to an hour of time. Would you have someone over to watch a thirty second ad and then send them home? Sane people do not do this, for several reasons. One such reason is your brusquely treated guest might stop talking to you, forever. The other factor is, you probably need some rest and relaxation time for yourself. Thirty seconds just doesn’t cut it when it comes to winding down. Video game entertainment is measured in game hours not minutes.
Therefore, when I played through a seven minute video game called Murder, I was shocked. It was as if this developer had me over and invited me to take a seat. I was offered a mixed beverage, shown a TV commercial and as soon as it ended, shoved out the door. My initial reaction to this treatment? Slashing this person’s tires. Maybe urinating on their front door. I’m usually a very calm person. But after getting cozy on my couch with Steam’s Big Picture mode and then…The End. I mean what the hell? I didn’t really do anything. Clicked some dialog boxes and it was over.
Seven minute video game are a woeful choice for entertainment. To up the ante on the awful quotient, a seven minute game with no choices, no consequences, no real actions, and no substance is just a rotten insult- yet that is what Murder is. Sad thing is the game is up for sale, as in: for real currency. Commercials, YouTube short films, and fan flics are usually available for free- most of which last longer than seven stank minutes. How do you have the audacity to charge for a seven minute long 5 total screens non-game?
Granted, the length of an entertainment option does not preclude it from being clever, poignant, or memorable. Murder on the other hand is short and unmoving to the extreme. The entire game could be explained in four sentences. You play a police officer named Motomeru Minori; awakened by a nightmare in which she is shot by a robot. Once she gets up she stares outside, checks her computer, and gets dressed- then heads towards a murder case. This murder victim was killed by someone who leaves no fingerprints or real evidence. When she gets back to her apartment, it’s been broken into by a… (wait for it) a robot- the very one who killed his owner, the end.
I wish I could say that I was exaggerating. There’s a hilarious twist though, you get TWO rolling end credits, because the first is a big fake out. One where you revisit 2 of the 5 single screen locations again then before you can fully grasp that it is over again, you see another set of end credits. Pretty cool right? Gamers can be chuckling for a moment thinking “Oh ok, that’s not the WHOLE game WHEW!” and twenty-eight seconds later WHAM! You are swept back into your gaming chair, with another pile of end credits. It’s as if a sweaty hairy buttock is smooched onto your nose and farts hot methane so hard your eyelashes melt; and before you can even blink away the extra brown in your eye someone slaps a SUCKER sticker on your forehead.
I never do this, but for this review I am going to. It warrants an explanation. Review scores are hard to come up with, I tend to put games in league with each other and scale them up and down based on how the experience felt versus other games in that genre. There isn’t a “garbage seven minute game” genre, so this is a difficult comparison. I decided to give Murder a 2 out of 10 for the following reasons:
- .5 points for- It started and ended without crashing.
- .5 points for- Music was neat-o.
- .5 points for- Pixel graphics show much potential for 1988.
- .5 points for- Robot voices and malfunctioning stutters were cool.
If you make a point and click game at least make sure the clicks and what you are doing mean something. There’s no point in just clicking 1-3 people per small area (did I mention just 5 single screen levels?) that lead to some useless banter. Where’s the dialog choices? An old fashioned dialog tree at least? Can I have a choice: do I want to go into Door #1 labeled “Restroom” or Door #2 labeled “Third Credits” please? Give us anything!
Seven minutes long? That’s all the writing they could come up with? Just to let us know that AI robots are starting to turn on evil humans. I know what you’re thinking that original premise has never been done before. Therefore exposing this crucial revelation is best done with a seven minute video game. How else to properly highlight and intensify this original notion and make it resonate with players who are not used to games that take time to play.
Seriously? If I lasted seven minutes in bed I would be bachelor for the rest of my days. I doubt I would even find someone willing to bear me a child. Murder needs to kill itself and start over. The music and graphic style indicate an actual game could have been made by this developer; had he not just spastically collapsed on the “SELL ON STEAM” button within hours of coding this project. It’s a tease and nothing else, and not really worth holding the name “video game.”