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Score: 90%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Steam
Developer: Ocelot Society
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Puzzle/ Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Event[0] is an interesting game. I don't know of another game exactly like it, but its most unique feature may be combining so many elements of other games that you really wouldn't expect to see brought together in such a fashion... while leaving out the hallmarks of the types of games that mainstream gaming churns out continuously. There's no high-speed action, no shooting, no racing, no full-contact... there's not even contact, at all...

The graphics are first person, but without seeing yourself at all. You can see the environment around you, but you won't see your hand when you're typing into a console. This might make it a little easier to rationalize the fact that all you can do is to move forward, backward, turn and look around. And type on active consoles, as I mentioned. You need a door opened? You'll have to convince your friendly host A.I. to take care of that for you.

While the graphics are first person, the ship is very location-oriented; you will find yourself trying to solve some issue in one room or the other. This gives is a Myst-like feeling, while the dark future / post-apocalyptic / alternate past (everything is 1980's tech) feel of the game reminds me of the Bioshock series. The interactions with the Kaizen, the computer A.I. running the ship, sometimes felt like using the Eliza artificial entity program from back in the 80's, but Kaizen felt a bit more limited, with responses that seemed to be picking up on a couple of keywords in my question, not processing the meaning, as Eliza would often seem to do. Having said that, Event[0], as a whole, is its own game, unlike anything I've played - and not in a bad way.


In Event[0], after a backstory-building preamble, you find yourself the sole human on a spacecraft being controlled by an A.I. program of questionable integrity and sanity. It is obvious that someone before you had tampered with, well, quite a few things, actually. You have two goals: 1) to do what the A.I. wants you to do so you can return to Earth and 2) to figure out what's really going on... although not necessarily in that order... and possibly doing the figuring out thing to determine if you even want to do what the A.I. wants, without tipping off the A.I. Yeah... have fun.

It feels strange, at first, to have your interactions limited to physical movement, camera movement and typing back and forth with the A.I. You can also get information about things around you by looking at them "sort of like hovering over them," revealing a pop-up with information about the item, but there is no "jump," you won't grab something, and there is no shooting or stabbing or using anything.

A lot of story can be gathered by reading through the computer logs in each of the terminals. Additional clues and context can be gleamed by keeping a watchful eye and closely inspecting the environment as you move about the ship. Some important bits of information need to be collected to solve puzzles, but a lot of the information merely helps you to piece together the story that led up to the current state of the ship. If you've played Skyrim and you find yourself reading all of the books in the game, you might enjoy Event[0] more than the average gamer.

Event[0] is a strange animal, but I found that its uniqueness makes it more appealing. As you play the game, you'll want to unfold the story as you would a piece of origami, taking care to enjoy its unique beauty as you see it at first, but to try to understand how it came to be in its current state. To do so, you'll need to look around at everything in your environment, as certain things will be useful information to solve later problems. There is no "inventory," per se, but noteworthy bits of information will be automatically recorded in your suit's HUD and will be displayed when you access any of the Kaizen-85 terminals.

As for the length of the game and the replayability, I found that my first playthrough took about 12 hours, total. However, the ending you get can be different based on your actions, so exactly how much gameplay someone gets out of the game will depend on how many runthroughs they play as well as how much they scour the ship for data and how chatty they are with Kaizen as they play. I think the fastest run I made was just over an hour, but that didn't give me any real time to get to know Kaizen. As of this writing, I've spent a total of 21 hours playing the game, I've gotten three different endings and I've unlocked 10 of the 12 achievements. While I greatly enjoyed the game, I don't think there's much more for me to do and I don't seem myself going back to play it much more. Your mileage may vary.


There are generally two "modes" in Event[0], I'd say. The primary mode is when you're simply exploring the ship. This mode has no urgency (other than Kaizen prodding you along to do his favor for him) and no real danger to you. You can take your time to look around the ship. Because of this, you've got all the time in the world to look for clues and, should you find yourself in a bit of a bind with a particular puzzle, talking with Kaizen about it could help you get past it. Remember, since you're trying to do something for Kaizen, he's on your side... he wants to help you progress on to that goal.

The other mode is an EVA in your spacesuit (which you always wear). These out-of-ship experiences are limited by the size of your personal on-board oxygen tank, so you'll need to make sure you're back in the airlock before you run out of the stuff. Oh, and we're dealing with 1980's technology, so leave yourself a few extra seconds for the software to actually execute and open the doors.

If you find yourself short on information or confused as to what to do next, retrace your steps and see if there are any notes or clues that you missed or talk to Kaizen and see if he can help you out. He once made me realize what a clue was with an off-handed remark, then I knew just what to do with it and was able to progress.

Finally, if you find yourself stumped and getting frustrated, walk away. Go do something else and resume your game later. Clearing your head can help and there's really no reason to get stressed over a game when no one is shooting at you and there are no other players.

Game Mechanics:

Indie games often give you an unusual flavor, something odd or different from the mainstream game offerings. They take chances and try new things. When an indie game fails, it can fail hard, since they take big chances. Event[0] is definitely not your average game and it feels so linear that it seems almost like interactive storytelling, rather than a game. However, the story is intriguing and I honestly have to admit that it threw a curve ball at me that I wasn't expecting. If you're a fan of high speed action and shooters, you won't even know what to do with this game. You can move around (slowly) and you can interface with computer terminals. You don't shoot enemies. There are no guns.

I found Event[0]'s approach to A.I. to be interesting. It was obvious that certain aspects of the interactions had long-term effects, similar to dealing with a human: if you tell someone something now, you expect them to reference it later. Yet, some statements would result in the same tight loop of comments, as if Kaizen hadn't just said the same thing in response to you the last statement you made. This reminded me a bit of Eliza, an A.I. program from the 80's, but Kaizen didn't seem to be made to try to fool the player as much. Eliza was designed as an attempt to emulate a human, whereas Kaizen was designed as an attempt to emulate A.I. from the 80's. Also, Kaizen had to help to unfold the story, so it's not exactly the same thing, anyway. Still, the player should attempt to bear in mind at all times that when you're communicating via the terminals, you're interacting with an A.I. with a personality and feelings.

If you like puzzle games and adventure games and you miss games such as Myst, you might find Event[0] piques your interest.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 7 or higher (64bit), Intel i5 2.4Ghz Processor, 8 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Graphics Card, 10 GB available HD space

Test System:

[Alienware Aurora] Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz, 16 GB dual-channel DDR3, Alienware Mainboard, Windows 10 Home 64 bit, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (4GB), Two Monitors (Samsung S22C300 21.5" / Gateway HD2201 21'' HDMI), 500 GB Solid State Primary Hard Drive, 1000 GB Secondary Hard Drive, Saitek X52 Flight Control System, Logitech Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury, Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Astro Gaming A30 Headset Black Gaming Headset, EPB Fiber 100Mb Internet Access

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