A game with a message, One Night Stand takes you through a first-person point-and-click story that makes it point simply yet clearly.
It is quick, but replayable, so you get to experience the same events with different attitudes. It’s a game that can take a lot of different turns depending on what kind of person you are – or, rather, what kind of characteristics you bestow upon your narrator.
You wake up, hungover, with no memory of the night before. Your vision is blurred. Your first mission is to explore the smudgy bedside table next to you to find your phone. You have missed messages from the friends you were out with the previous evening, who you don’t fully remember seeing and it is very low on battery. It is then that you realise you’re not in your own bed. You roll over and don’t recognise the girl lying next to you.
The way the game creates the sensation of being hungover is great. It takes a while for your focus to sharpen and even then you are grateful for the soothing colour scheme and gentle music of the game, even if your play it feeling absolutely fine.
You are presented with a series of choices. What to reply to your friend before your phone dies, what to say the girl lying next to and how you’re going to go about finding out how you ended up in her bed.
When you talk to her, you are given options about where to steer the conversation. When she leaves the room, you choose what parts of the room you want to explore in search of answers. Ultimately, you get to decide whether to be a gentleman or a creep. Your choices influence the course of the narrative so you can replay the One Night Stand over and over again to unlock multiple different endings.
Each playthrough is fairly quick, but the different choices you’re given allow you plenty of opportunities to explore the different ways your actions can have a direct impact on another human being. Ultimately, the point is to make you think about actions and consequences, and it does that very well.
The game is provocative. It makes you contemplate your influence on the world around you and the way that your decisions affect other people. Obviously the game offers a very specific scenario in which to think about the ethics of your actions, but the same method of thinking could easily be applied to any situation.
One Night Stand is a game that makes you think, putting you very squarely at the centre of the story, but without feeling preachy. It lets you make your own decisions but also sit with the consequences of them.