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 (116 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
200 of 261 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
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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41 of 52 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
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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44 of 63 people (70%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
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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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
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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85 of 144 people (59%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
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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91 of 165 people (55%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
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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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
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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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hinpcjHFqAY

4PM was an interesting ride that tried it's damndest to tell a compelling and moody story. It promises to be a high fidelity experience, but due to some poor textures and facial animations, it doesn't quite live up to it. The game also tries to emulate the human experience by tossing in an over abundance of head bobbing. At certain segments of the game, the bobbing can get so nauseating it could induce motion sickness. The biggest issue with 4PM is it's length, I've finished the game in under 45 minutes, I've heard others doing it under 30, coupled with the lack any replayability, to say the least, 4PM is a short game.

Despite the game's glaring issues it is priced appropriately. At $5.00, it's not a large admission fee, and if you are curious to the game there are things to like about 4PM. The game is full of little details that help immerse the player, from playable mini-games on your computer monitor, to peelable stickers on the back of a cabbie's seat. Though the game fails to deliver a true high fidelity experience, parts of the game does look decent, and well laid out. The lighting overall is quite good as well.

Unfortunately 4PM's many issues, out weight what positives it has going for it. This one is only for those who are really really curious.

Pros:
- Can look good at times
- Good lighting
- Has some attention to detail to help immerse the player

Cons:
- Incredibly short
- No replay potential what so ever
- Poor textures overall
- Awkward lip syncing
- Story jumps all over the place
- Story felt rushed
- Could cause motion sickness
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
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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19 of 34 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
This interactive story took me 30 minutes to complete. It has a great story. The biggest letdown of this game is that it feels very unpolished. At one point, I got stuck in a wall while dancing. That being said, there were many more positives than negatives. The way the main character unfolded through the story was wonderful. The story is just ambiguous enough to satisfy any story searcher's lust, and even after the story was over, I still felt like attempting to connect some of the dots in the story.

Overall, this is a 70% solid interactive story. 7/10
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
The good: Cool way to tell a story, mostly memorable experience
The bad: Could have been a lot more in the way of story, 28 minutes long and 3GB in size
If you buy this for a game, you will be disappointed. If you buy it as an interactive movie it's decent. It's not something you'll watch/experience over and over though.
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12 of 21 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Exactly what I expected (and I only read the disclaimer on release day!).
I like the cinematic atmosphere and the whole presentation. It's true that it might not be a real "game", but I would really like to see more of this. A good compromise between a movie and a (too) complex game. Perfect for people who want to relax after a day of work (most AAA games tend to be too complex or are dumb shooters).
The only problem here is for sure that it's just 30 minutes long. But I see it more as a teaser for other games like this to come. Make it 1,5-2 hours long and tell a nice story, I have the feeling that there's some potential in this.
4€ is a fair price (that's worth 1 bigmac(!) in the analog world).
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13 of 23 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
I have been following this game since I first saw it on Greenlight, I loved the concept and voted yes.

Now that the game has come out I feel like it was worth the wait, I liked it a lot.

It was a short and sweet game that was well done in my opinion. The graphics could have been better but I do like the blur and wobbling as if it was an actual hangover. I only complain about finalizing, I mean the characters being transparant when on the rooftop was strange but not anything serious for me.

I would like to see another game like this in the future!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
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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10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
I don't mind that the game is different and really not much of a game at all. While I love traditional gaming, I'm always interested in trying something unique, and it was the apparent uniqueness of 4pm that made me want to try it out right away.

But even with those caveats, the game is slight. It takes maybe 20 minutes to complete, though I bet someone could do it in 5 minutes a second time through. Your interactivity with the game world is limited to walking forward and clicking on a small handful of items, like answering machines and doors. The story is entirely linear until the finale when you're presented with a series of choices, which I assume changes the ultimate outcome.

So since it's not much of a game in the traditional sense what we have left is the story, and it is an interesting one, albeit clumsy and brief. Without wanting to give too much away your character appears to be a 20-something party girl, and the story is a parable on alcoholism and memory, which is a refreshing change from the constant barrage of orcs and guns and blue haired lolitas that constitute much of gaming.

Since Steam only offers a thumbs up or a thumbs down I'm not recommending it because it's just a little too sloppy in both story and gameplay for 5 bucks, but on a 5-star scale I'd put it more at a 2 or 2.5, worth a go if you find any of the aforementioned elements interesting.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
It is funny what people call a "game" this days. You will finish this game in about 30 minutes.. if you explore every corner!
They say "if you are looking for an open world, leveling up, puzzles and 10 hours of gameplay then this is probably not for you" and I did not expect something like this but 30 minutes to see EVERYTHING? Yu serious?



Negative

Story
-Way too short. The credits are the longest part of the game.
-Had potential but they did nothing interesting with their scenario.

Choices
-They are pointless.

Graphics
-Bad especially the blurred vision. I know it should show that the main character is an alcoholic but it is really annoying.


Neutral

Bugs
-You can glitch through people and you can interact with things behind the walls. No big/game breaking bugs found.


Positive

Dancing
-The only good thing in this game. I laughed so hard about the dance style and the screaming.. played that part for 10 minutes!



Bought it for 2 euro and I think it was a waste of money. Dont buy it just watch the trailer cause the trailer is showing you the whole game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
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 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
4PM is like a hangover without the fun of the party beforehand. It's short, disorienting experience that is, at times, physically painful to play. This appears to be entirely what the developer set out to do, but it's just not for me.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
4PM is a short story driven game in the style of the Stanley Parable but will you want to play this ? In 4PM you play as Caroline a complete drunk and essiantly the game is about her trying to pull her life back together. So how is 4PM ? Its absolutly awfull. The game barely works and half of the time its too boring to push to the end. So lets begin with the good. Great premise. The story is great and sometimes moving but thats pretty much it. The games controls are bad and the graphics are bad. But from what i understand its to simulate a real life drunk person. The game barely makes sense on what you need to do so pretty much all you is press on random things and hope it works. The game is also confusing to navigate. The Voice work is abysmal to say the least. This game is also incredibly short around half an hour and im incredibly dissapointed in this title. So overall 4PM is a poor excuse to make a story driven expierence and its not really worth your time. Bad graphics, Horrible controls and overall its not good. I give 4PM a 2.5/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
I *love* so-called "walking simulators". I like story-driven, artsy, pretentious games because I think they're interesting. Dear Esther, Gone Home, and Kentucky Route Zero are among my favorite games, so when I heard about 4PM I had high hopes. Unfortunately, 4PM just doesn't deliver. I play story-driven games to be told a good *story*, and 4PM's is just... bad. It stars an incredibly unlikeable, unrelatable (at least for me) protagonist. The whole 20-minute experience exists to deliver the twist at the end, which ends up not being particularly exciting. There are a few parts where you can make choices, but they end up not mattering at all. If you choose wrong you essentially get a game over and can start again at the decision. The whole story is cliche.

I wasn't sure whether the negativity around this game was just people hating on walking simulators (user reviews for Gone Home are bad too, but I loved that game) - but no, even if you like artsy story-driven games, this game really is just that bad. Don't buy it.
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