Press X to Not Die
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Press X To Not Die is a quick-time-laden FMV game with B-movie levels of acting and effects. While this sounds pretty terrible in theory, it is actually quite entertaining when you sit down and play it. Unfortunately, the game isn’t very long, but it is a lot of fun while it lasts, and there is some replay value thanks to the branching storyline and the multitude of ways you can die. The game also sells for pocket change, so if you are in the mood for thirty minutes of goofball entertainment, you can’t go wrong with Press X To Not Die.

Gameplay: Press “X” (and a few other keys depending on the difficulty setting) to not die (and perform a few other actions.)

Graphics: The visuals consist purely of HD GoPro footage.

Sound: The acting is as cringe-worthy as one would expect from an interactive movie, but this just adds to the entertainment

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Press X to Not Die

Developer: All Seeing Eye Games  | Publisher: All Seeing Eye Games  | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / Indie / FMV | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Ask any gamer to name some of their most hated gameplay mechanics, and quick-time events will likely be near the top of the list, along with pointless fetch quests, plodding escort missions, unskippable cut-scenes, and forced stealth sections. Fortunately, most developers tend not to base their entire game around these mechanics but use them sparsely instead. All Seeing Eye Games, the developer of Press X To Not Die, went for a different approach by making quick-time events the primary input of the game and then went and turned the whole thing into an interactive movie to boot. It is a choice that caused the downfall of many ambitious developers in the 90s, but surprisingly enough, Press X To Not Die manages to sidestep this curse.

The game opens with your friend informing you that you need to press “X” to not die before he is killed in a shower of blood for not pressing “X” in time. It’s all downhill from there as you discover that your whole town has seemingly gone mad and violence has erupted everywhere. The only sane choice would appear to be to flee town, but first, you need to meet up with your girlfriend and maybe figure out what caused all the mayhem. In terms of story, Press X is pure B-movie fare, but it not only knows it, it revels in it.

The entire game comprises full-motion video clips shot using a GoPro Hero+3 Black Edition camera, giving you a first-person view of the action. The “action” itself consists mainly of actors in plenty of horror movie makeup trying to kill you in creative ways. If they succeed, there is usually plenty of blood before you get another shot at not dying. If you succeed, there is usually plenty of blood, and the story progresses. The bottom line is that this game has plenty of blood and isn’t afraid to fling it around in the most dramatic ways possible. The quality of the video footage is decent enough, considering the equipment used, although it tends to be very shaky. If you are the type of person who gets motion sickness from these types of point-of-view footage, then you might be in for a rough ride while playing Press X. For extra authenticity, the game features a “1994” mode, which drops the quality of the footage to that of the pixilated efforts commonly seen during the 90’s.

In terms of gameplay, Press X To Not Die is a series of quick-time events interspersed with a couple of dialog trees. Usually, someone pops up and tries to crack your skull or hit you in the gonads, and you have to press the on-screen buttons to survive the attack or retaliate. On the easiest setting this usually means literally pressing “X” to not die, but playing on higher difficulty settings results in more complicated button combos and less time to press them. For a game that can be completed in about thirty minutes, there are almost 30 different ways to die, which is quite impressive. In fact, the game even features an unlockable death gallery where you can relive all the ways in which your character can shuffle his mortal coil without having to replay the game.

The quick-time events are not just reserved for violence either. Every now and then, you also have to press the correct sequence to perform a pointless event like locking a door, putting on your jacket, or watching your girlfriend shower. Don’t get too excited about that last one, though, as it doesn’t turn out as you might imagine. Not everyone in the game is out to kill you, so there are a couple of scenes where you get to talk to people and make dialog choices. Once again, these are very basic and consist of a proper response and some stupid ones. Choosing the right replies usually advances the story, while picking the stupid ones will earn you disgusted looks. It has to be said that the acting in Press X is downright cringe-worthy in the best possible way and makes a couple of B-movies sound like Shakespeare in comparison. It is all great fun, though, and if you plan on taking anything in the game seriously, you’ll just be left shaking your head.

As much fun as Press X is, it has to be said that it is a very short experience. Seeing everything the game offers will require multiple playthroughs, but even then, it won’t keep you busy for very long. The game was released as an Early Access title on Steam in 2015, so unfortunately it also means that some of the references now sound very dated. Characters talking about Twilight and The Hunger Games were funny a few years ago, but not so much these days. On the other hand, the persistent dissing of M. Night Shyamalan’s Happening is still amusing. Press X is a very entertaining experience, especially considering the low asking price if you are a fan of bad acting and B-movies. It doesn’t take itself very seriously and isn’t afraid to poke fun at the genre. Despite being quite short, the Steam achievements add some replay value, and it is worth playing on “Hard” mode at least once in order to unlock the blooper reel. In addition, the game actually features Steam leaderboards so that you can show off your high scores and choices. Finally, purchasing the DLC for Press X is highly recommended if you enjoy the game, as it enables you to play the prototype version. What makes this extra interesting is the fact that it was all shot using stuffed animals and an assortment of other toys, which is pretty darn funny.

While Press X To Not Die is probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, it delivers precisely what it promises: a ridiculous live-action B-movie adventure. Considering the price, there is no reason not to try it, but if you are unsure whether you’ll like it or not, the game does have a demo available as well. Although we would have liked to see more locations and scenarios, we had a lot of fun with Press X while it lasted and look forward to seeing what the developers come up with next.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or later
  • Processor: Dual Core
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 or higher
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad
  • OS: Windows XP or later
  • Processor: Quad Core
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1920×1080
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad
  • OS: OSX 10.7 or later
  • Processor: Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 or higher, OpenGL 3.0+
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad
  • OS: OSX 10.7 or later
  • Processor: Quad Core
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1920×1080, OpenGL 3.0+
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad
  • OS: Ubuntu or equivalent
  • Processor: Dual Core
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 800×600 or higher, OpenGL 3.0+
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad
  • OS: Ubuntu 16.04.3+ or equivalent
  • Processor: Quad Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1920×1080, OpenGL 3.0+
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard & Mouse or Xbox 360 Gamepad

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