The Longest Five Minutes

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Longest Five Minutes Game Poster Image
Disjointed bite-sized adventures trip down memory lane.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

General theme of good vs. evil, helping those in need. But there are also comments and missions that focus on campy humor aimed at women that's lewd, suggestive.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Interesting trip through hero's life that breaks down how events shaped him, turned him into hero he is today. While there are other characters that share his heroism, there are also characters that are less than honorable, even borderline perverted.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Players fight against all manner of monsters, creatures using variety of medieval weapons, magic attacks. Retro, pixelated style of game, though, keeps any violence from being visceral in nature. Instead, damage is represented through special effects, flashes of light, pixels flying away.

Sex

Surprising amount of sexual innuendo, lewd comments in game, including an entire sequence of male characters peeping on female characters while they're bathing.

Language

Aside from innuendo and sexual comments, dialogue also makes occasional use of mild profanity, including "ass," "bastard."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters shown to be drinking alcohol, talking about drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Longest Five Minutes is a role-playing game (RPG) for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, and Windows PC. Players go through the key moments of an adventurer's life, regaining his lost memory via flashbacks over the course of a large boss fight. The game is a throwback to classic RPG games, with a retro 8-bit style. While there's a lot of fighting in the game, the classic style means there's no blood or gore to worry about. While the main hero is generally an honorable person, some of the other characters he deals with cover the spectrum of personalities. The game's dialogue includes references to drinking, occasional mild profanity like "ass" and "bastard," and a number of lewd and suggestive comments.

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What's it about?

In THE LONGEST FIVE MINUTES, it's the final battle against the ultimate evil with the fate of the world at stake ... only you can't remember how you wound up here. Players take on the role of Flash Back, a hero who has dedicated his life to fighting against the forces of darkness. At least, he thinks that's the case. Flash seems to have gotten an inconvenient bout of amnesia at an even more inconvenient time -- when he's in his final battle with the notorious Demon King. In the five minutes he has left to fight, Flash must search out his memories and relive his past, struggling to remember his true identity, how he wound up in the current situation, and what he must do to defeat the Demon King once and for all. It may not take more than five minutes for your life to flash before your eyes, but in the end, should that time come, those will be the world's longest five minutes.

Is it any good?

This role-playing game has a clever game premise, but the disjointed nature of the gameplay and overpowered characters make this only playable and fun in small doses. If your life were to flash before your eyes, what would the highlights be? Which moments would be the ones that changed the course of your life? That's the premise behind The Longest Five Minutes, only in this case, those flashbacks also hold the key to saving the world. It's a unique concept, both from a story and a gameplay perspective. By breaking things up into key memories, players wind up with a sort of anthology of shorter adventures, seeking out the common threads that connect them. It also means that players get a series of fresh starts with each memory, opening up more freedom to use items, gold, gear, etc. The game also doesn't take itself too seriously. Each memory is filled with its own tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, though more than a few of the jokes fall a bit flat after a while. For example, there's one sequence in which the player's party has a goal of spying on a group of females taking a bath. This goes on a bit too long and starts to feel a little uncomfortable. In fact, there are a number of odd bits like this that just feel a bit off and disconnected from other parts of the adventure.

While it's easy to appreciate the old-school look and feel of The Longest Five Minutes, the game simply doesn't offer much challenge. Combat is about as basic as it comes, and the player's party usually starts out overpowered in comparison to the monstrous minions. After a while, it all starts to feel a bit monotonous. Thankfully, this is broken up a bit by some of the mini-games scattered throughout the adventure, most of which are actually more entertaining and challenging than the main combat. All in all, the game isn't necessarily bad, and there's some fun to be had in its bite-sized chunks. It's just a little disappointing that the game has so much potential but seems to come up short of ever realizing it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about positive and negative behaviors in games. What are the traits of positive characters in games like The Longest Five Minutes? What sort of behavior might be considered unacceptable in the real world?

  • Talk about how experiences shape lives. How did certain events in your past help to shape the person you are today? What are some elements of your life today that may influence your future?

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