Nicolas Cage Is Never Wrong
HIGH It’s a cheery apocalypse!
LOW Pop culture references abound.
WTF Those spider bites are drastic.
60 Seconds! asks hard-hitting questions like what’s more important, a wife or a gun? If a payphone rings after a nuclear bomb drops, is it wise to answer it? And, the most important of all — can anyone trust a cat?
Set just over a minute before an impending nuclear strike, 60 Seconds! asks the player to run around a procedurally-generated 3D house shown from a top-down perspective while collecting as many family members and/or possessions as possible before jumping into a shelter before the bomb goes off. Once in the shelter, the presentation switches to a 2D text adventure/resource management sim.
In the sim portion, rationing food and water is a daily event. Randomized events will also crop up and demand that the player make some hard choices, like whether to answer a payphone ringing outside the house, or whether to send the player’s spouse out with the only gun available, knowing it might get damaged and leave the family defenseless against bandits. Every few days, the player must send a member of the family for supplies as long as there’s a healthy one still surviving — not always the case since rationing might leave the family too hungry, tired, sick or thirsty to do it.
Failure comes when all family members either die, run off, or get locked out of their shelter. Winning can come in a variety of ways via successfully navigating a number of events and ultimately being rescued by the military or helping others within the community in ways that ensure survival.
Each run of 60 Seconds! is brief – a long run might be just under an hour, while a short play can be over in a minute if the player doesn’t make it to the bomb shelter in time. The chances of winning are slim, so nailing down that all-important 60-second run at the start becomes vital – it’s a crucial balance of collecting enough family members to go out and forage and getting enough supplies to sustain them while keeping morale up. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk.
The writing is lighthearted, verging on barely-controlled hysteria, and fits the setting and mood perfectly. Less enjoyable were the pop culture references that don’t feel appropriate. As a Brit myself, I’m tired of people pointing to Monty Python as our sole source of humor — I wish the writers would have at least gone with something just a bit more current. Even something from the ’80s like Black Adder, or Mr. Bean.
Stale references aside, 60 Seconds! is incredibly entertaining in short bursts, and an easy recommendation to those looking for short, cheerful bursts of desperate apocalyptic survival.
Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Robot Gentlemen and ported to consoles by Monster Couch. It is currently available on iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, and XBO. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher reviewed on the XBO-X. Approximately 4 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed multiple times. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Language. The game, though lighthearted and cartoonish, involves a lot of death. The main character and his wife can end up as skeletons inside their shelter, and the stories that unravel are often macabre.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are no important audio cues and I found the game to be fully playable without sound. The text cannot be resized, nor can the color be changed.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.