Meta Gameplay and Real Consequences in Puzzle/Adventure Game, OneShot!


OneShot is a top down Puzzle/Adventure game with “unique gameplay capabilities”.

When first explaining OneShot to new players, I like to emphasize the meta elements of both the narrative and gameplay. There are a lot of games that have broken the 4th wall in gimmicky ways. One of the most infamous examples is the “back of the box” puzzle in Metal Gear Solid, in which the solution was actually on the back of the physical case. We used this example when first explaining the meta puzzles to GDC attendees, but it’s not quite an accurate comparison.

OneShot has a narrative reason for why there are puzzles outside the game. Early on, the game makes it known that it’s aware of your presence and your unique connection to Niko. The game entity will obstruct your progress by placing solutions to puzzles outside the bounds of the game. It will also talk directly to you through system messages outside the game window.


OneShot does not break the 4th wall because “there is no 4th wall”. You, the player, are a direct participant in the story.

In addition to the meta puzzles, OneShot also features “real consequences”. This should be evident in the title. In the original game, you only have one shot to experience the game. Once you make a difficult choice at the end, you will never be able to play the game again (at least not without some computer wizardry). Even deleting and reinstalling the game won’t make a difference.

The Steam version will allow savvy players to experience the game again, but the game will still “remember” your choice, so in that sense you still only have one shot. Those who wish to return to the world though might be rewarded with additional insights into its machinations.


OneShot was originally developed by nightmarign and mathew for the 2014 IGMC. The game was developed under a tight time window of 30 days and so some elements of the game were rushed. The Steam version of OneShot is in a sense, the full vision of the original game; the story the developers always wanted to tell.

For those who have played the IGMC version, here is a list of some of the key differences between the two versions:
-The extended version of OneShot is roughly TWICE as long as the original.
-The story is now fully realized, with many new areas, characters, dialogue and lore.
-There are new in-game and “out of bounds” puzzles. Some of the previous puzzles were also reworked.
-Major graphical updates to all areas of the game.
-Additional music tracks were also added.

OneShot has been a labor of love from the beginning and it really shows. YouTubers have also commented on how there is something special about the experience of guiding Niko through this decaying, pixelated world, full of quirky characters. You can watch ManlyBadassHero to see firsthand how his connection with Niko and the game worlds deepens over the course of the playthrough:

CLICK the button below to purchase OneShot on Steam!

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