Planning for the apocalypse in one minute


My state in is the grip of a historic drought, but I don't have even a single bottle of water in the house. In the event of a power outage, I'm not sure where my flashlights are stored, and I don't have any spare batteries for them anyway. I'm the kind of guy who buys a birthday card on the way to the party, and then has to go back into the store to buy a pen to fill it out on the dashboard. I'm unprepared for stuff, in other words.

That's why 60 Seconds!, an adventure game by Robot Gentlemen, feels like it's designed just for me. The atomic bombs are falling, and you have just a single minute to run around your house in a panic, grabbing whatever you can, before heading into the bomb shelter and seeing how long you can survive.

During my mad dash, I manage to collect a few cans of soup, a bottle of water, what I thought was another bottle of water but was actually bug spray, a fire axe, and a rifle. Oh, and my family. My wife, Dolores, my daughter, Mary Jane, and my son, Timmy. Unfortunately, I forget to grab a radio, and one bottle of water is not going to be nearly enough for all four of us. We're not off to a good start.


As each day passes, you have to make decisions on everything from rationing food and water, to dealing with events (such as a weird smell coming from a wall, someone banging on the door to your shelter, or family members getting sick), to deciding who, if anyone, should undertake an expedition to the surface for supplies. We definitely need some, and I choose little Timmy to go scavenge. The kid needs to grow up sometime. He departs. What a sport.

While Timmy is gone we manage to shoot a hole in a water pipe with my rifle, and fill a couple extra bottles, which is great news. When Timmy returns a few days later, he's brought more soup and water, a first-aid kit, and a gas mask. Also excellent news! What a little scavenger he turned out to be! Timmy found something else: tetanus, after cutting his hand on a rusty piece of metal. That's not good. I decide to save the first-aid kit for a real emergency, and try to seal Timmy's wound with a heated axe blade. I'm not going to win Father of the Year, but it seems to have worked.


Feeling a little guilty, I head outside myself on the next expedition. While I'm gone, everyone else gets sick. I guess I should have brought some sort of soap or disinfectant, and washing in bug spray, while an option, doesn't seem like a good idea. Worse yet, the only thing I found on the surface was a Boy Scout manual, so I send my daughter into the wastes, hoping she'll do better.

She never returns.

As we reach Day 25, it's just me and Timmy. Dolores has undertaken the next expedition, hopefully to find a radio, and she's not back yet, either. Timmy and I are down to our last can of soup, and seeing as how he's already crawling with disease, it seems pointless to, you know, feed him. He expires. I guess eating him is out of the question?


Down to my last can of soup, I use my Boy Scout manual to repair the gas mask. In hindsight, I probably should have done that before letting my adolescent daughter and loving wife go wandering an irradiated wasteland in search of supplies. It's clear at this point neither of them are coming back. Well, no sense in beating myself up over it, and besides, I can probably barely lift my arms to hit myself with.

Notes for the next apocalypse? Bring more water. Bring a radio to get news from the outside. Bring more first-aid kits and something to wash with. Bring... well, maybe bring one less family member?

I mean, there's only so much soup to go around.



The first PC game Chris owned was Choplifter in 1982, and since then our staff writer has played at least three other games. He has a love/hate relationship with Early Access survival games and an odd fascination with the lives of NPCs.
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