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Fab Flash: Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself)

Written By mista sense on Monday, March 26, 2007 | 10:30 AM

Here's a fun little item. Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself), brought to us by Adult Swim, is an interactive adventure in simplicity, and it's good old gruesome fun. You're a little cubicle-bound worker bee, who's just gotten the meeting-request-that-broke-the-camel's-back. Your obligated ass-kissing session begins in just five minutes, and the only way out is suicide by office supplies. The clock's ticking.

As intense, cinematic crunch-time music plays, you must navigate the well-animated little office area for supplies and items that can be used to inflict damage on yourself, even combining things, like a lighter and a fire extinguisher, to some pretty funny dramatic effects. You can even tempt your coworkers into injuring you, if you choose the most provocative responses in conversation with them. A miserable-looking party piñata can be worn on your head to entice other coworkers to beat you with a stick. Eventually, if you accumulate enough damage, you will find salvation-- in your own horrible death-- from the prison of white-collar slavery.

Though basic, and easy to win, the game's real genius is in the cute details. You dress your featureless sprite in one of four bland shirt-and-tie combos. You also have four choices of pants-- but they all look the same. This exercise in conformism, the canned lounge tune intro music, and the charming, old-projector instruction sequence all help set the tone-- capturing the mind-numbing office drone's world that would make anyone want to kick off. The peripherals-- tacky plants, geometric work floor, ubiquitous Supply Closet-- are spot-on. We've all been there, and virtual suicide-by-paper-shredder has a wicked delight that feels personal.

Shows like The Office speak to that deep sense of cynicism and bitterness that the shirt-and-tie soldier feels, but trust a game to take it to the next level. Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) is definitely worth five minutes of your time, yet another example of how some of the coolest ideas don't need a hulking processor or an elaborate plot.

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