Dive Right In!
3 Out of 10 is an episodic playable sitcom that follows the world’s worst game development studio as they work to create their upcoming release. The game is split into 5 easily digestible episodes that offer humor, insight, and a multitude of gaming genres that absolutely entertained and engaged me throughout it’s story.
The game begins as a new game animator, Midge, joins the ranks of this bottom-tiered studio, Shovelworks, as they work to complete their game in hopes of getting a score better than a 3 out of 10 (there’s the name of the game!). Throughout the five episodes, there’s plenty of opportunities to meet all the other studio members and see how they interact with each other. In true animated sitcom fashion, each episode runs 20-35 minutes and somehow gets more bombastic after every junction. The writing is top-notch, perfectly balancing the story while also making as many jokes and comical moments as possible. I constantly found myself appreciating the game culture jokes, pop culture references, and character dynamics between each other.
I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in this game to jump right in and read as little about the story and Easter eggs as possible. Going in with no information will make everything that much more surprising and exciting.
The layout of the game is very much inspired by old school point-and-click adventures mixed with a traditional sitcom structure. Each episode has very small 2D areas for you to explore, gain a bit of additional storytelling and world building, and breaks up the long cinematics. I was immediately concerned because the movement in the first episode was so choppy that I was getting a bit of motion sickness. Luckily, that part of the game only lasted a few moments and did not appear again throughout the game.
Outside of this isolated experience, nearly all the animations are smooth and crisp, enhancing the overall experience and offering an incredible balance between watching scenes and playing the mini-games.
Though you’re watching about a third of each episode (which, interestingly enough is about 3 out of 10…), the actual gameplay mechanics is widely varied and mostly engaging. As the story progresses, there are various mini-games that directly relate to what is happening in the story. For example, your character must create snacks for someone, so you’re now playing a mini-game that matches up recipe items to create the desirable snacks.
What I really loved about these mini games is that many of them invoke direct inspiration from classic and traditional games. I was able to catch mini-games inspired by shmups, brawlers, mobile matching games, horror movie-to-the-next-checkpoints, and even The Legend of Zelda. I’m sure there were plenty more that I missed or didn’t list, showcasing the love and care that the developers put into this game.
The other fantastic quality of life that Terrible Posture put in the game is that everything is skippable. Let’s say, I do horrendously during one of those mini-games. Instead of forcing me to replay it so many times that I’d lose interest in progressing the game any further, I’d be allowed to simply move on with the story. However, if I wanted to push through the struggle, I could complete the mini-game and earn stars to unlock Extras like Big Head Mode, Concept Gallery, and other niche fun little additions
Overall: 8.5 out of 10
3 Out of 10: Season One is a fantastic adventure with a whimsical and funny ensemble of characters. The numerous references, witty jokes, and mini-games made this an absolute joy to play and experience. I highly recommend this, especially with the five episodes being perfect bite-sized experiences for players to consume. And, with Season Two coming out in a few weeks, this makes it the perfect time to binge play this game!
A copy was provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review on the Nintendo Switch.
A version of this review is also posted on Six One Indie.