Reviews

3 out of 10: Season One – Review

3 out of 10 is an interactive sitcom about a struggling game development company called ShoevelWorks Studios, which have the ambition of getting their latest game “Surfing with Sharks” a review score higher than 3/10.

The story begins as a young animator Midge, turns up to an interview at Shovelworks, only to find there is no interview, she’s employed and she’s going to have her work cut out fitting into Javier’s shoes because they’re still full of blood after he spontaneously combusted at his desk.

After a brief introduction to each of the characters, you’ll start off controlling Midge, as you carry out small tasks such as finding ingredients and attempting to piece together the mess of a development studio who struggle with each other just as much as they struggle with every other aspect of game creation.

The story is filled with twists and an ever-changing crazy storyline, with game engineers who literally eat interns for breakfast and a dark shady figure who’s intent on seeing Shovelworks fail time and time again.

Graphically I was fairly impressed, with good animations and overall attention to detail, it’s not quite on the same level as the Telltale games franchises, or other episodic games like Life is Strange, but the cartoon-like presentation feels more like a show of Family Guy with the humour to match.
Some will no doubt find some of the lines a little cheesy, but for anyone with an interest in the games industry, it’s nice to see a game that’s just as happy to poke fun at every aspect of the games industry as it is itself.

The real highlight which again suits the style and humour perfectly is the voice acting, with the main cast of 12 artists, which deservedly have their own profile in the extras section of the main menu, each and every actor does a fantastic job of really bringing to life the characters if 3 out of 10 was an actual TV show, I’d be more than happy to watch it, so to have that intertwined into an interactive game, showcases the balance.

It’s fair to say there’s not heavy gameplay elements, you’ll be backtracking across the office (or another environment) performing simple tasks at least once or twice for each episode, but as well as the cut-scenes and storyline, there’s a wide range of mini-games, they’re all pretty quick quests that will only take a few minutes, but they’re well spaced out, giving a really nice balance between the walking sections, the actual story and the games, meaning nothing feels too repetitive before you’re changing and thrown into something completely different.

As you progress through the game, you’ll start to rack up stars, each mini-game can award up to 5 stars, and there’s often a few lying around when you get to explore the location or you are asked to go and talk to someone specific.
While collecting stars isn’t essential, you’ll need 70 to unlock the extras, big head mode is self-explanatory, as are the concept art and music galleries but the best of the bunch is certainly “Explore World” which allows you to step back into the main development studio area of season one, playing different iterations of surfing with sharks as well as old MIT32-C games, which are as retro as you can get, the main benefit though are the dozens of radios now dotted around the place, which you can interact with to hear developer commentary about the creation and design choices behind 3 out of 10, it’s great to hear the thought process and understand elements developers wanted to introduce and while there must be hundreds of video game references dotted throughout 3 out of 10, there’s no doubt there’s a few details you’ve missed which this audio-logs might help clear up.

Season One is split into 5 episodes, with a wide range of scenes in each, Episode 1 features 25 scenes in total, revolving around Midge’s introduction to the team and the backlash from angry fans over Great White and Tiger sharks, like all episodes, it will take you around 30-40 minutes to get through, which puts the whole of season 1 at around the 4-hour mark which is just below average for an episodic adventure game, but 3 out of 10 is certainly entertaining and at just over £8, it represents great value too.

When I first started playing 3 our of 10, I wasn’t overly impressed, but after the first half-hour, as you learn more about the characters, and get into the story, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable evening worth of gaming which continued to impress, even after completion and working back through the extras was an enjoyable insight that I wish we saw delivered in such a fun and entertaining way more often.
Thankfully we won’t have to wait long as developers Terrible Posture’ have already announced season 2 which will be released in April and to be honest, I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 8
Sound - 9
Story - 9
Value - 8.5

8.5

A fun and entertaining look at the game industry, packed with mini-games and humorous insights into development.

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