hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: 4PM

5:00 PM on 07.09.2014 // Alasdair Duncan

This short but impactful interactive story doesn't pull any punches

If you're like me, then you'll have staggered out of a pub, wandered home, and then tried to fill in the blanks but, like a favorite song of mine says, it's just the best bits that are colored in.

I can't honestly say there's been nights out where I've drawn a total blank but I know my mates and co-workers have repeatedly needed me to fill in the blanks ("You mean you don't remember swearing at the boss, then throwing up in the corner?") and that's never fun.

Caroline, the protagonist in 4PM -- a short interactive story from developer Bojan Brbora -- is having one of those days. What happened last night, why is the room spinning, and shouldn't she be at work?

4PM [PC]
Developer: Bojan Brbora
Publisher: 4PM Game
MRSP: $4.99
Release: July 9, 2014

It's hard to talk a lot about the specifics of 4PM's story without giving away some of the important story beats and it wouldn't be fair to spoil those moments.

Suffice to say, Caroline seems to be having quite a few of these mornings where she wakes up with blurred vision and wearing last night's expensive party dress. There's quite a few clues lying around that this isn't the first time she's enjoyed a night on the town but today is going to be the day when Caroline is going to have to snap out of this cycle.

Throughout the day, there's flashbacks to events both recent and in the past and slowly Caroline's life comes into focus. There's items and bits of dialogue that will help fill in the larger picture about how Caroline has gotten in this state. There's no puzzles to solve -- merely objects and items that will explain a lot about Caroline's past.

Again, it's hard to talk about any specifics as 4PM isn't a long game by any means. (Something that's politely pointed out the bottom of the Steam store page.) There's no inventory, abstract logic, or environmental puzzles. This isn't an adventure game.

Looks-wise, 4PM is uneven; there's a stylish fugue that coats the visuals which makes sense considering Caroline's inebriated state. The environments all look fine but some of the facial models are pretty poor. On my PC, there was repeated graphical glitching in certain areas that broke some of the background textures, which was distracting.

The voice work is good and it's in the climatic scenes that the emotion is really ramped up by the lead characters. There's very little padding here and there's some interesting alternative paths that can lead to some very different outcomes. 

Your mileage with 4PM will vary; the game tries to tackle subjects like addiction and loss, guilt and blame, but never in a preaching way.

It's an example of the difficult things in life being explored through the life of a single person. Of course, there's the usual gaps in the narrative that happens when you take control of someone's life without any prior knowledge but after a series of revelations, you'll understand why Caroline would have forgotten significant events.

If you've got no ties to the themes 4PM is attempting to address, especially considering its short length (under an hour if that), you might not find that it resonates as much as it could. However, if you're wanting to have a short and dramatic interactive story, 4PM is a mature and refreshing story.



4PM - Reviewed by Alasdair Duncan
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Alasdair Duncan, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Full_of_hornets Tips
Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, F... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Dear Namco, give me a proper localizer Super Robot Wars title. I need it in my viens, especially this
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
I just wanna get drunk and listen to J-pop
extatix avatarextatix
Spiel was mightily expensive. Holy shit... Good thing I didn't bring more money with me, too. Saw enough stuff I'd love to own.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
In memory of Lesser Dog of the snow fields. 1 spaghetti = never forgetty
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Trialling PS Now - review to come later - has reminded me of a piece of little-reported PS3 news. Owners of hacked PS3s could turn any PS2 game into a 'Classics' title and run them on a bog-standard PS3 with few issues.
nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -