Stuck in a boring job that just makes you want to kill yourself? No need to stain your office desk. Slowly put down that stapler and play Adult Swim Game's Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) and you may just get amused enough to want to live another day.
The Plot Unfolds
You are in the shoes of Stan. He is a classic office drone. One random day, he snaps due to a last minute notice for an office meeting. Driven bonkers by yet another dull task he does not get paid enough to endure, your job is to save him from the madness by helping him to kill himself.
As you may have guessed, the whole premise revolves around trying to execute your demise in the most brutal, yet hilarious, means possible. Fortunately (or unfortunately), you do not die easily. For each injury-inducing item you encounter and opt to use, you will be awarded a certain percentage corresponding to your health degradation. Unless you have been playing for a while, it is sometimes hard to guess which actions lead to a faster end. There is no set route. Any combination which leads to a 100% death will finish the game. Fail and demon faces laugh at you as Stan is shown in yet another hellishly boring assembly with the work force hive.
Killing Yourself Has Never Been Easier
The controls are keyboard driven. The directional pad guides Stan to where you want him to go. The M key brings up the map as well as your health degradation diagram. To interact with deadly items or to talk to the cubemunity and other drones, you press the space bar. Randomly, pesky co-workers pass by for a little chat, which you also reply to with the use of the space bar after scrolling to your answer. The intractable objects are indicated with a green arrow.
In order to hasten Stan's demise, you must understand how to cut your exploration time. We especially liked the fact that some deadly obstacles come in many forms. Some are easy to spot, such as your standard pair of scissors or that oh-so-sharp paper cutter. While other kill methods, such as the Piñata, weasel horde or the random bathroom clown, are not so obvious. Also, there are also deadly items which are not so useful on their own but can be combined with others to pack more of a wallop. The "Multi Step Injury Elements" as they are called, are best found on your own. Although if your patience, and or time, happens running low you can always use the map for hints as to where to go next.
Like the unbearable office that it is, there are a few annoyances to be found loitering its corridors. Watch out for "that" chatty guy who just would not shut up about winky face emoticons or the company's budding broom ball team. Beware the dude that has a compulsive need to ask whether you are having a chicken sandwich or Italian beef for lunch. Ah, polite small talk. No wonder Stan is just raring to end it all. Thankfully, helpful co-workers do exist in this game. Aside from providing you plenty of gossip to increase day-to-day boredom, the occasional workmate may also be motivated enough to help you meet your maker if you choose the right insult.
A Morbid Kind of Fun
Aside from the morbid humor this game has to offer, the injury classifications are snicker worthy as well. Beat Down by a Clown is certainly our favorite, although Push Butt and Rub comes in at a close second. The art in Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) may remind you of those modern "How To" books out in the market. It is polished and nice to look at. Even the kill animations seem silly enough to be palatable during a lunch break.
However, it is advisable that you do not let your kids play or even watch you play this game. Though it is artfully directed and the titles are not too explicit, it was intended for adults for obvious reasons. Sure, cartoon violence is not really all that uncommon -there is plenty to be found in children's daytime programs alone. Of course, it always helps to be prudent. If you are fortunate enough to be able to play without curious and wide-eyed kids hounding your back, then you are more likely to be able to fully enjoy this little gem of a game.
Death, Over and Over Again
The replay value for this title is quite high as with many suicidal and death like games - www.deathgames.org; if anything, 5 minutes is barely enough for you to explore all of the injury elements to be found throughout the game. Expect to find yourself combing through the game's many areas seeking out new actions to do. There are various rooms and floors to explore as well as some easily missable objects to discover. For those who like getting top scores, leader boards do exist for the game. However, the game could have benefitted from randomly occurring characters or events. If anything, it could make getting a faster time a tad more challenging for those who have played a couple of times. With the game as it is, one simply has to figure out an efficient path. Rinse and repeat.
While we are at it, an endless mode could have also been a fun addition for Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) veterans. If anything, it may serve as a stress buster for those who are looking for a little extra something. Those aside, the game is fun to play as it is. Nothing beats a little morbid fun after slaving away at work all day, right?
It is safe to say that this game is unique. After all, Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) does cater to an older, open-minded casual gaming crowd. The system is simple to use and manages to compliment the search for injury elements nicely. The delivery is quite entertaining and the large number of combinations is a joy to experiment on.
The downside to this game is that after checking all the obstacles and determining the most efficient path, there is really nothing to warrant another play through. Unless you think you can beat your personal best of course. An extra mode or two could have really helped in this department, or at the very least extended the game for those who do not care for rankings.
At any rate, 5 Minutes to Kill Yourself novelty is quite hard to beat. Top it off with silly death animations aplenty, thematic design and peppy music and you have got yourself a winner you would not want to pass up. Just remember to keep it away from the kids.