4PM is a short, narrative driven game, made by one person as an attempt to tell a real, thriller story in the form of an interactive experience. It has high production values and a cinematic style. It is, with your support, a first in a series of smaller, narrative driven experiences, that spare no expense on audio-visual style.
User reviews: Mostly Negative (180 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Imagine Heavy Rain, but scaled back a little bit, and with less quick time events."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“if you're wanting to have a short and dramatic interactive story, 4PM is a mature and refreshing story”
7/10 – Destructoid

“By showing a dark side, 4PM extends our contemporary obsession with troubled heroes”
Kill Screen

“a well-written, thoughtful short story in video game form that will intrigue fans of succinct narrative adventures such as Gone Home and Dear Esther”
4/5 – the Guardian

4PM wins indie showcase people's choice at Develop!

Some good news upon the release of the game, mainly that it won the award for people's choice at the Develop Conference in Brighton! A very pleasant surprise!

About This Game

Note of caution: 4PM deals with subjects of alcoholism and suicide

"You wake up, your flat is a mess, you have a terrible hangover, sounds of the city and police sirens outside. Another day in in a life of Caroline Wells and her dull, corporate job. You get up, thinking that this is going to be just another day on your downward spiral, but what lies ahead is a day of life changing, cathartic experiences"

4PM is a short, narrative driven game, made by one person as an attempt to tell a real, thriller story in the form of an interactive experience. It is, with your support, a first in a series of smaller, narrative driven experiences, that spare no expense on audio-visual style and try to tell believable, real stories through engagement, dark humor and fun.


- 4PM is a short experiential game, where you lead a character through several different scenes/locations during a day, each with its own, unique gameplay, adding to a bigger story

- 4PM is a cinematic experience aimed at people interested in interactive story-telling, but without the complexities and reflex based natures of classic games

- 4PM doesn’t have an inventory system, health bars, or any other distracting elements, it pulls you into this story and puts you in the shoes of the character. You are Caroline, you live her day, and you have to make some big decisions which will change the outcome of the game

- 4PM will try to create an interesting blend between linear, cinematic stories and interactive gameplay



Note:

This is not a typical, mechanics driven game, it is a short, interactive story with gameplay elements. If you are interested in something a bit different, experimental, then this is it, if you are looking for an open world, leveling up, puzzles and 10 hours of gameplay then this is probably not for you. I do appreciate amusing, negative comments though :D .

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Win 7
    • Processor: 2 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible with 512MB of Ram
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Win 7
    • Processor: 2.5 Ghz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible with 2 GB of Ram
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X
    • Processor: 2 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD/Nvidia card with 512MB of Ram
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X
    • Processor: 2.5 Ghz
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD/Nvidia card with 2 GB of Ram
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Well, this was a solid half hour of WTF. This was loosely a story about alcoholism and suicide, but not really, since the ending is so vague that who knows what the real message was, other than not lying to yourself. The gameplay, such as it was, wasnt terrible. Obviously it was lo-fi in every way, but it wasnt so relevant since all you do is walk from point A to point B, pick up a few objects along the way, and listen to some tired dialogue. All of that would have been forgiven if the story was better, but it wasnt. It was sparse, uninspired, and lackluster at best. Also, edit your damned text. Seriously, I get that people dont seem to know the difference between lose and loose, but dont let that sort of thing make the final cut.

You know, I've played far worse, but these uninspired games that should be better really aggravate me a bit. This clearly meant something to the developer, and yet he/they couldnt be moved to write a better script?

Anyway, I wouldnt spend money on this other than as part of a bundle, which is how I got it. Normally I would say to see for yourself, but this time, I would just take the reviews to heart. Not the best first foot forward for the developer. Hopefully, he/they learn from this and put something better out next time if there is a next time.

p.s. 4 gb file! Seriously!
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
This game if you care to classify it as a game is very hard to recommend or even review. First off the game is very short, in fact I'll probably spend more time writing this review than I did actually playing the game. The game ultimately comes down to a five minute segment at the end which makes up the meat of the gameplay if you can call it that. You pick a few choices and the story finishes from there.

For it's five dollar price tag I wouldn't recommend it, this is more or less something you would find as a tech demo to a much larger game. Heck I would expect to find something like this as a student thesis.

The positives of this game are it deals with subject matter that is very rarely ever touched in video games, alcoholism, divorces, suicide, but it's done in such a short span that you really don't care one way or the other about the main character or any of the supporting characters....

If you want an interactive Sunday school special like we saw in the 80's, this may be the game for you. If you want gameplay, graphics, a comprehensive story, or generally a game, this probably won't be for you.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
The thought I had after I 'played' this: Why is this on Steam?

I don't mind 'games' as interactive stories, but this is badly done. The writing/story is very poor and cheapens the whole experience... which isn't much. With some effort people could write a better short story in an hour and be more satisfied.
The whole handling is like you are wailing through jelly. All wobbly, off center, slow and unresponsive.

So I really wonder where the focus was because in my opinion it wasn't on anything.

A very poor cash grab.
Avoid it like the plague.
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
If you got this in a bundle, no problem.

Otherwise, stay away. Pure garbage.

Graphic is ok, but I suffered from horrible motion sickness due to weird camera movement (FPS) I couldn't play more than 10 minutes. Some people that's more tolerant might be able to play more, or even finish the game, but I really can't say they'll enjoy it.

Game's just another interactive story point and click with FPS style that's... just... horrible.

So awful I can't be arsed to write longer review than this.

Totally not recommended 0/10!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
I have played many walking simulators like The Stanley Parable, Insert Title Here, Gone Home, etc. 4PM has an interesting premise, but it is flawed by a very subpar production:

- terrible graphics, filled with screen tearing problems (even playing it on max settings)
- very bad controls
- the story is told so fast you do not get involved with your character
- she appears sober in the end, even though she drank a lot

The good thing about this game is that it is very cheap, but still too expensive for so little value. I don't mind short games, as long as they are good enough. I got it in a bundle, but I'd be really annoyed if I had bought it for the full price.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
I like lots of one-man projects...

And clearly, this was made by one man. A man that should continue with making this sort of thing, but maybe save progress so you don't have to restart the story, regardless of how short it is, every time you open the stupid thing. It's not a game, and it becomes apparent within about 30 seconds what's going to happen through the whole thing.

You're a drunk ruining your life.

Oh, gosh, that story's never been done before. There's never been a single game about the horrors of addiction.

You keep having flashbacks of you in a car.

And you're a drunk. You're drunk and you're driving, and headed for a head-on collission.

This game has won awards

Why? Look, this isn't the worst thing I've ever played, because it KIND OF works, but that friggin' camera view shake that he put in there just so you could know you're drunk is the most disgusting, irritating piece of garbage that's ever been conceived. Stop that.

Narrative driven...

This generally means that there's a good story. There's no good story here.

You're a drunk

Graphics are okay, sound is okay, gameplay is bad, story is bad, boring. Booooooooooooooooooooooring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Also, stupid. But mostly just boring. I will never get that half hour of my life back, thank you. Now I'm educated on the dangers of addiction and alcohol. Go home.

2.5/10
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
I recognise this game deals with some very serious issues. I also understand that this alone does not make it immune to criticism.

My thoughts are mixed. The game was short, and conveyed a powerful message. Succinct, and direct. But the dialogue was not particularly inspired, and felt forced.

The story being played over the course of a day I did like, and the revelations at the end were also thought-provoking. However, these high points are truly offset by the fact that the game is entirely played while the camera is criminally defocused. Yes, I recognise this does convey the feeling of someone who is 'defocused' in the head, as it were - the same with the unresponsive controls. I GET IT. That does however make for a vastly frustrating gaming experience. Enjoying a video game isn't always about having fun all of the time - some of my favourite games are true heart-wrenchers - but sadly due to the fact that this particular game has all of the right ingredients, but frustrating execution means that I really had to force myself to finish it. Any longer and I daresay I'd not have had the patience.

Headache-inducing. Lose the defocus - at least some of the time - and tighten up the controls a little more, and by the GODS I cannot recall how many times I tried to escape the office and failed.

I can't recommend the game in its present state, sadly. A bold effort, and a commendable and noble cause, but it doesn't quite get past the finishing post.

I do hope the developer isn't disheartened. It's a little sad to see the 'Note' in the game's 'About' section on Steam, about how he enjoys all of the negative comments. Take heart, and if there's an overwhelming negativity to a game, muscle through it, and find out where the constructive criticism is, and do your utmost to fix the issues. Or - produce something better next time around. This is how we learn and grow. By saying you're enjoying the negative press, all you're doing is feeding the fire, and ultimately alienating your players. The overwhelming majority of whom have PAID for the game, and are thus ENTITLED to voice their opinions.

For those interested in a playthrough video: http://youtu.be/ScJ4Prd0wTg
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
You can enjoy this story if you have some personal troubles and need something to inspire, or if you just have a compassionate heart. But, honestly speaking, you won't lose anything if you'll play this on YouTube.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
This game. Yeah, cinematic and all that.
It appears to be quite serious about its subjects (alcoholism, one night stands in clubs – you name it) but, really, it has quite the shoddy approach to it, falling apart quite spectacularly on its 20-minute mark finale.

Buy this game only if it's a matter of life and death (and that would require a pretty big justification) or if you just like throwing cash at your screen – that's an hobby too!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
I got this in a bundle today, having never heard of it before. But, I like "artistic" games; I've enjoyed such works as 9.03m so I decided to try it. The "0.5 hrs on record" you see above is my total play time, from beginning to end, beating it. Plot aside (there is one, but it's not very well fleshed out), the execution of this game fails on every level. Optimization is poor, response is sluggish, interactive items only work when it's time in the "story" for them to work, character models look at least ten years old, voice acting is mediocre, and even the subtitles are poor (for example, "lose" is misspelled as "loose"...twice). One "stealth" section of the game is laughably (and worse, frustratingly) bad, and all of these things get in the way of what should have been an interesting and meaningful experience about alcoholism and depression.

It's hard to believe this is a 2014 release. "4PM is a high production value, cinematic experience aimed at people interested in interactive story-telling," the game's press release reads. Yes, all those things would be true --if it were 2004. It's not, and this game is far too many years too late to be worth the effort of muddling through it. What a shame.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
It’s almost impossible to defend this newly-fledged “interactive fiction” genre that the likes of Dear Esther have bestowed upon us when the case material you have to work with is as shallow and vapid as 4PM. Almost everything it advocates feels like a vain copysheet that works off the assumption that wrapping your game up in art-house pretentiousness is a sly shortcut to critical acclaim.

Full Review // http://www.honestgamers.com/12461/pc/4pm/review.html
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
A quick experience, about 30 minutes if you want to go through all the dialogue options. It is interesting in concept, but is dull in execution as you stumble through the day as a drunken mess. The story falls flat, it tries to connect with you on some emotional level, but in the end you simply dont care, mostly because no time was taken to build/ develop the characters or relationship(s?).

If you are curious still, I can recommend watching the whole game on youtube, youll save yourself the money and you can also jump ahead of the mostly boring parts of the game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
this game , idont know ,i kind of really want to puke after 3 minutes of play, because of the blur of everything and the way of the view moves, i'm seriouse, think somebody could put this game into some medical use. not funny.
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201 of 262 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6, 2014
Pre-Release Review
4pm is something I first assumed would be along the lines of The Stanley Parable or Ether One, but I was very wrong. The game is advertised as a “short, narrative driven game” - that being quite literally all it is. I could say I wasn’t really impressed with 4pm, but that would be quite the understatement. Disappointment is all I really got from this title.

Overall the game is incredibly poor. With no replay value and such a short experience on top of a fairly poor execution, it will leave you wondering what you really played it for in the first place, that is, if you haven’t thrown up within the first five minutes due to the fuzzy and wobbly, low FOV camera. Perhaps if it had a little more polish, such as fixing the camera and not messing the player around with false choices, I might have been able to recommend it a little more as one to watch out for in a sale, but at the end of the day, the flawed design decisions are just too off-putting to recommend at all.

EDIT: And before anyone complains about the gameplay time (as that is normally critical in reviews) the game took 22 MINUTES to complete. The extra time was looking for different 'choices' but as shown in my review - there are none.

More information can be found in the video review which allows me to explain some technical points much easier, as well as the basic summary below. Hope this helps justify my opinion on this game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_7a6Cv0L-A

Summary:
+ Storyline has SOME engaging moments.
- Blurry and fuzzy camera can cause nauseating effects.
- Choices aren’t real “choices”.
- Game is incredibly short with no replayability.
- Poor design decisions throughout with no gameplay elements.
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49 of 62 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
Ok first things first this is painfully short,so short in fact that by the time i had gotten into it and was starting to enjoy it,it was all over.
This sort of game falls into the same catagory as GONE HOME but is no where near as good graphically as that game or no where near as interesting,to anyone who has played GONE HOME you will understand when i say that the game dealt with issues in its story that we dont see (if at all) in this medium and 4 AM also has this same approach in telling an adult and interesting story.
But and its a big "BUT" this is no where near as good as that story and has no where near the length to tell its interesting premise and comes up short,and like i say its all over before its begun.
Now before we go any further i know it hasent come from a big publisher or a huge team of developers,but neither have a lot of other games and they really do put this indie game to shame.
The graphics are ok,the sound is ok,the script is ok well lets just say this the game is "OK" but nothing special (not in this reveiwers eyes anyway) and that is a shame as it really wants to tell you a good story and really has a good story to tell but you can finish the whole experience in less than half an hour ("HALF AN HOUR" i hear you say) and thats another of its miss givings.
I sadly dont reccomend this game to anyone,during a price drop or in a bundle.
I can see what they wanted to do and where they wanted to take me,but it fell short of what i wanted it to be and that is a crying shame.
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33 of 38 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
I will give the developer credit where it is due; 4PM’s store page bills itself as a mature and unique, albeit short narrative promising an emotional ride on the subjects of alcoholism and suicide. Along with the trailer and screenshots, (that admittedly look pretty good), and a low, low price point, it seems a promising option among the rest of the junk that regularly pops up on steam. And that is where I must give the developer his due; he’s made a really good sell. And that’s the best I can say, because the game itself is a laughable experience, and for literally every wrong reason there could be.

First, the entire game is put through a ridiculously prominent fuzz filter, one that is evidently absent from the store’s trailer and screenshots, likely to better entice you into wasting your money. The filter itself is used to try and mask the horrid graphics underneath, but it doesn’t succeed. It loads slowly for no apparent reason, breaking up the many short mid-scene jumps with even longer loading freezes. Worse, the actual animations of the cast, particularly their faces, makes any attempt at creating an emotional resonance with the player fail miserably. Instead, the poor acting and bug eyed reactions will likely give you the same reaction as I had: loudly laughing your head off at the sheer stupidity at every attempt at “drama”.

And what little attempt at a story there is, happens almost entirely at the end. “The big reveal” that occurs near the end of every good drama is shoehorned in with only a couple minutes of piss poor dialogue, with virtually no real exposition or story prior. The absolute pretentiousness of it all is positively palpable throughout.

Despite how utterly trash this game is, I recommend it to a specific brand of person. Anyone who enjoyed the previous King to the Pretentious Kingdom, Dinner Date, is in for a real treat. Where I found DD to be comparably boring, 4PM offers several moments of gut wrenching hilarity, particularly during mid-game, where gears shift from pretentious slop to White Girl Simulator 2014. The entire thing lasts little more than around 25 minutes, and most of that time will be occupied wondering if something is ever going to happen. When something finally does, the credits come not 2 minutes later, and you’ll be left wondering how a single developer could create such an experience, let alone reach his keyboard, with his head so far up his own log cutter.
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46 of 67 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2014
4PM is a 'very' short, narrative driven game, and personally it's not a good one but it could have been. Clunky controls, ok voice acting, not that good looking, and overal the game feels kind of cheap (yea i know it's 5 dollars but still feels cheap). Don't expect Dear Esther, Stanely Parable, Dream, or Gone Home, those games in terms of their genre are way more higher quality in every aspect than what we got here. I'd tell you to get it when it's 1 dollar or less.
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86 of 150 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2014
Pre-Release Review
Not a good game. Takes like 25 odd minutes to complete. But length really isn't an issue for me personally - everything else is.

Controls are way too heavy, the graphics are blurry as hell, and the game is just plain pointless (mind you, I'm one of those who does see value in games as a form of art). There are four scenes if I recount correctly - apartment, club, office and rooftop/bar. And when moving through each scene, I was hoping for something substantial...it never came.

I have played Gone Home. I have played Stanley Parable. I have played a few more of the "walking simulators" recently. I didn't like those all that much, and neither do I like this (it's really worse than all the rest). Much promise and anticipation, but alas, I say don't waste your time and money on this travesty of a game/art.
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92 of 166 people (55%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2014
Pre-Release Review
The game is almost exactly what it says it is, if you can call it a game. Its a short film animated and made to be interactive. The only part that I don't see as very true in the desciption is the "Change the Outcome of the Game" part. I mean there are 2 different endings from what I found but until the end I found that the wrong choices just result in a fail, in which they just put you right back at the point of the game where you made the decision, pretty much making you choose 1 path until the end where it actually matters what you choose. I played through it 3 times. It is a pretty good story though and the ending is quite a shocker. The graphics are very blurry at times but it is that way for a reason, and once you start playing, you figure out why. It is definitley something new, I've never played anything like this before and I am a fan of short films so I actually enjoyed this. There is a note at the bottom of the store page stating that this is not a game of intense action, free roaming, or leveling up, and you shouldn't expect to log very many hours on it. That statement is very true so please take this into consideration before purchasing and crying about how short it is. All in all i give it a 7/10 for being unique and the first of its kind that I have played.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
A rather choppy first person narrative. The majority of the game is spent reminding you that the character is an alcoholic, in cartoonish ways that ultimately go against the fragment of a story that they're trying to tell. I understand that this is a student project from a film school, but there's not enough here to be a satisfying story, or experience.
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