Ultra-Indie Daily Dose: 3 Minute Walk Hits Good

Hello, you glorious gluttons for all things indie horror! Are you just starving for the newest of the new, the most unknownest of the unknown? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Ultra-Indie Daily Dose! In this series, we’re going to pick a new game every day from an indie horror creator you’ve probably never heard of. No million-dollar budgets or factory productions. This is the space for the little guy with not but a developer toolkit and a dream. So if you’re down to roll the dice on something different, then stick around and check it out!

3 Minute Walk is, as it says, three minutes. It’s a short but tasteful awareness of anxiety from the Covid 19 pandemic. Made by serif_ on Itch.io this small game is based on his own experience with anxiety as a compassionate project to reach out to others that are struggling.

The plot’s straightforward. It’s time for groceries so all you need to do is walk out the door of your apartment and down to the parking lot. A fortunate occurrence I had on my first playthrough was forgetting to grab my mask when leaving the apartment which was all too familiar. It brings back memories of jogging back to the car to retrieve my mask every time I forgot at a store entrance.

For a 3 minute game, the environmental density of 3 Minute Walk is of surprising quality. The starting apartment is full of your expected zoomer lifestyle and I have my suspicion it may be pulled from the developer’s own home environment. Objects and architecture are graphically simple with straight edges but well detailed throughout, they could as well be made from standard cubes stretched and fused together but regardless of method, it’s engaging.

Lighting isn’t something to skim over either. The timeless tradition of lighting points of interest worked well enough for me and the colors aided the perceived threats and helped the suspense. After all one interpretation of anxiety is the anticipation of threats regardless of their reality. 

The “enemies” in the 3 Minute Walk are perhaps the next highlight next to the environment. It’s the only real photo element used with cutouts of people. I could see this failing if not for the visual effects at play. The flickering eyes, stretched lips, and tunnel vision are genuinely unsettling and it’s an effective way to communicate a repulsion to normally inoffensive objects. 

What is also curious is the choice to include the ability to run. There are no chasing enemies and aside from the elevator encounter, you can easily pass by people fast enough to not trigger a game over. It really emphasizes anxiety as an internal mechanism and not solely a learned behavior.

I highly encourage this bite-sized experience, for only 3 minutes you can play 3 Minute Walk it in your browser on its Itch.io page.