Is 3 Out of 10 worth more?
Video games and comedy have had something of a strained relationship over the decades. There are many, many games that aim to be funny, but only a small fraction manage to generate the laughs, often as a result of the tone between gameplay and writing not syncing up, or an overreliance on zaniness. Terrible Posture Games’ 3 Out of 10 is designed as a light comedy experience from the ground up, describing itself as a playable sitcom set in a game development studio, and for the most part it pulls off the humour thanks to good writing and excellent voice work.
3 Out of 10 is, at its heart, a narrative-driven adventure with mini-games. You’re introduced to Shovel Works Games, a studio that releases consistently terrible video games, crewed by a cast of eccentric characters. You predominantly play as Midge, a new animator who has been appointed to replace the previous animator who recently exploded due to stress. Midge has arrived just as the team are working on their latest game with the hope they can finally make something good. Over the course of five episodes, clocking in at 30- to 45 minutes each, you’ll become involved in all sorts of bizarre scenarios involving the games industry and resolve each of them through mini-games and item hunting, all whilst learning more about Midge and the rest of the crew’s hidden pasts.
The game plays out mostly in cutscenes, interspersed with exploration and mini-games. When exploring, you’ll often need to find a specific item to use or person to speak to by wandering around the small environment you’re currently in. There’s quite a bit of flavour here, feeling somewhat like a classic adventure game as you can find lots of hidden objects with text attached to them. There’s not much in the way of challenge or puzzles here however, as you simply need to find the thing you’re looking for.
The mini-games are the bulk of the challenge here, with each chapter containing a couple to get through. Impressively, every mini game is unique to the ones that have come before. Ranging from driving around town to sneaking through an office, everything is completely different and I’ve got to give the developers a lot of credit for trying to keep things fresh throughout. None of these mini-games are utterly outstanding in gameplay, but they are a fun distraction. There’s even an option to skip them if you’re finding one to be a pain in the backside. Doing well in these does net you stars though, which unlock extra features such as big head mode and concept art, so there is some impetus to play them through.
With 3 Out of 10 being a cartoon series in design, one of the most important aspects is in the presentation, and Terrible Posture have done a great job here. The art work and animation are excellent, and give the characters real personality. Artist Viper’s occasional psychotic rages and Ben’s calm yet exasperated demeaner were particular highlights. Then there’s the voice acting which is just stupendous. Everything is just so well delivered with near flawless timing that the characters feel more well rounded than simply being conduits for voice actors delivering lines. This being such a strength really sells the game as the sitcom series it advertises itself as.
What is less of a strength is the resolution to the story though. Now, I’ll preface this by pointing out that 3 Out of 10 is free on Epic Games Store, and under £10 on Switch and Xbox — where I played it — which isn’t a huge price to pay. This season ends with absolutely none of the major plot points wrapped up, which is pretty annoying. I was getting towards the end of episode five thinking that they had a lot to handle, and then it just dropped into a cliff-hanger ending and that was that. Thankfully, season two is due to be released on PC in mid-April, so at least there isn’t long to wait if you’re not playing on console. For console players though, this is pretty disappointing.
Other than that gripe, I had a really good time playing through season one of 3 Out of 10. I’m genuinely looking forward to playing the next season, and the fact it’s available for free on PC is just great. Even with the price point on consoles, it’s still easy to recommend giving this a playthrough. You’ll likely find yourself enjoying the characters, story, and presentation and wanting to do more in the game’s world. I’d certainly give this more than 30%.