30 Kilowatt Hours Left
Developed by Tofu Sheets Visual and Triangle Box, 30 Kilowatt Hours Left is a game made in 72 hours. It’s not easy to make a game in 3 days, but this little post-apocalyptic tale held my attention as I struggled to keep the power going just long enough to listen to my companion on the radio just a little longer.
I Don’t Review Things Often
Before the actual review starts, I just want to note that I don’t usually take review requests. Just keeping up with all the new visual novel releases is enough to keep me busy. Even without reviews, I’ve taken to spending my weekends playing through the demos of upcoming Kickstarter games and playing ones I want to feature and promote. It can be crazy for sure!
That said, I definitely don’t mind occasionally writing a review on smaller 20-30 minute games. They’re easier to digest and game jam games totally fall into this category! If you’ve created such a game and you’d like a little review, it’s harder for me to say no 😀
Dark Beasts and a Fading Generator..
You don’t know what happened or how it did, but there just seems to be no one left. Dark creatures shamble around in the shadows threatening to eat you. The setting of 30 Kilowatt Hours Left is that of a depressing one, where your shelter can be overtaken at any time. The only thing that keeps you safe is a large generator that is on its last legs, with just enough juice to survive for a few more nights.
I love the general atmosphere of the game, not because you ever explore the world outside your door, but because the threats feel so imposing by way of having to manage your power usage. There’s a heater that drains your power dry. It must be run throughout the night or you’ll freeze. The dark beasts are terrified of lights, so the lamps need to stay lit. There’s also the ongoing threat of blowing a fuse if two power sources are too strong.
It’s a great concept that works very well for the game, though after much trial and error, I found that sometimes the best ideas for conserving power don’t always lead to the best results.
Your Only Companion
Another major point in the game comes when you try a new frequency on your beat-up radio, hoping for any response. Is everyone dead and gone? Nope! There’s a female voice who finally answers back, and she is also running low on supplies.
I found the interaction between your character and the voice on the radio to be one of the greatest parts about the game. I felt invested in both characters in such a short amount of time and I have to credit that to the fantastic voice acting. The two characters and their respective voices have a great dynamic that made me really strive for that happy(kinda) ending.
When the Power Goes Out
There are 3 endings in the game, with 2 negative and one positive. It is pretty hard to gauge how to get to the happy ending. It seems that one ending depends on your character’s awareness, while another depends on how low the kilowatt power is by (I think) the third or forth day. Be prepared to replay the game a few times to get to the happy ending!
And, as mentioned before, the happy ending is only slightly more happy. I felt that this one was rushed and not nearly as rewarding for all my attempts to reach it. But again, 72 hour game? I can forgive that.
Solid Little Story
I’d definitely recommend 30 Kilowatt Hours Left. It’s got a very strong premise, likable characters, and great voice-acting! A ton of effort was put into this game, and it feels like a complete experience – something other games often have trouble accomplishing. Check it out!