Night mode

Event [0] – Review

Event [0] - Review

Event [0] – Review

I truly enjoyed Event [0] and would recommend it to any player who is looking for a game that is anything but ordinary


Written by on

Developed by


Genre: Adventure
Release date: September 14, 2016

2016: A Space Odyssey

Ocelot Society is a Paris-based group of young, independent developers. Event [0] is Ocelot’s first game, and it began as a student project. After the original demo won several indie gaming awards, the team formed Ocelot in 2015 and began working to release Event [0] as a full title.

The story takes place in what is described as a “retro future.” It is the year 2012 and inter-galactic travel is a common occurrence. You’ve joined the space program and are now traveling 390 million miles to Jupiter’s moon of Europa. As you approach your destination, systems malfunction and you find yourself adrift in an escape pod as the lone survivor of the mission. Time passes in deep space. Just as you think all is lost, an abandoned 1980’s era spaceship comes into view. You dock with the ship and, upon boarding, encounter Kaizen — the ship’s AI entity who is eager to chat. Thus, begins a relationship that charts the course of your adventure.

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

As with HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kaizen has evolved beyond what programmers envisioned. It has personality, wit, and charm. Kaizen also has a personal agenda which may or may not be in alignment with your desire to return safely to Earth. Early on you’re advised that you’re not able to do anything by yourself. The AI has been keeping the ship running, sans humans, and it is designed to assist you and to keep you safe. This means that the only way to make anything happen on the ship is to communicate with Kaizen via a terminal keyboard. For example, doors have no handles and the elevator has no buttons. Both can only be operated by typing a command such as “open door” or “elevator up.”

Insert 1

The spaceship is filled with items to read and examine, many of which provide descriptions when your cursor hovers over them. Some provide necessary clues and others are simply part of the environment and build a picture of the history of the ship and its previous occupants. Nothing can be collected and used, as you’re not equipped with an inventory in Event [0].

Insert 2

The interface is very simple. While communicating with Kaizen requires a keyboard for typing, navigation and movement are accomplished with the mouse and/or the WASD keys. The game is auto-saved at key junctures and on exit. Ocelot Society has shown real insight when picking save points that benefit the player and requires virtually no backtracking. For once, this reviewer has no complaints regarding the lack of an explicit save function!

Event [0] is rendered in beautiful detail using with the Unity engine and is fully 3D. You can move around and between objects and view each room from an unlimited number of angles. The soundtrack is a mix of mechanical background noise, electronic chords, and Kaizen’s simulated voice.  A special audio treat is provided by the inclusion of the original song “Hey Judy” that is performed by Julie Robert and will be on your mind long after the game is finished. All-in-all, it’s a very immersive environment and you have the sense of “being there” as you explore.

Early in the game, Kaizen tasks you with a mission that can only be accomplished from the ship’s bridge. This sounds simple until you discover that the bridge requires an access code which is not easily obtained. The majority of the game is spent identifying and executing a series of complicated prerequisite tasks. While finding the access code is your ultimate goal, Event [0] is really about your relationship with the AI and how you interact to accomplish this objective.

“I’m floating in the most unusual way.”

I solved one of the early puzzles and was feeling pretty smug until a sudden explosion depressurized the room I was exploring. In an instant, I was sucked out of the ship into deep space. Luckily, I was wearing a suit with a limited air supply and a jetpack. My current emergency was to get back into the ship before running out of oxygen. To put it simply, I am not Tony Stark. While he whizzes around with purpose, I was like a Wham-O Super Ball bouncing into objects, overshooting my targets, and tumbling about in zero gravity. When I finally made it back to an airlock, I had to convince Kaizen that I was, in fact, Cindy and had not died in the accident. This was a stressful interchange, as I was facing suffocation as I typed.

There are several required jaunts outside the ship and these were a real challenge for me. While others may be able to zip out and multi-task, I wasn’t capable of taking care of business without running out of air. I ended up doing successive trips, focusing on one action with each spacewalk and then returning to safety and oxygen. Once my air supply was restored, I headed out for the next action. Needless to say, NASA will not be recruiting me anytime soon.

“Communication is important, even to computers.”

Over the years, there’ve been many lost-in-space adventures. What distinguishes Event [0] from other games and makes it so engaging is Kaizen. This AI has a fully developed personality and is quite the conversationalist. It has a sense of humor, resorts to sarcasm at times, and drops some interesting cultural references. No matter what you type, it responds. Your relationship with Kaizen changes based on how you interact. If you’re rude, you’ll elicit a much sharper response than if you’re polite. In some cases, you’ll be asked to justify your actions and the AI is quick to tell you when you’re getting sidetracked. If you get stuck, Kaizen will provide a gentle nudge in a new direction. It is also a wealth of knowledge, revealing much of the ship’s history when asked.  Anyone who worked on mainframes in the 1990s will recognize and be comfortable with the terminal interface. Event [0] does an admirable job of emulating this old technology!  As a result, typing is a natural part of the story rather than being contrived to drive gameplay.

I truly enjoyed Event [0] and would recommend it to any player who is looking for a game that is anything but ordinary. I found the excursions outside of the ship to be frustrating and stressful, but this was vastly outweighed by my enchantment with building a relationship with Kaizen and working, in tandem, towards an unknown outcome. The game is fairly short and can be completed in 2 to 3 hours. However, Kaizen’s advanced intelligence and alternate endings make this one of the few adventures that I am apt to replay just for the fun of it.

Grade: A-
Realistic 3D graphics, coupled with an immersive sound track, puts you on the spaceship. Zero gravity scenes are amazing.
+ Forming a relationship with Kaizen is an engaging exercise that provides a unique gaming experience.
+ Alternate endings and a truly intelligent AI make this a game to be played more than once
Space walks require serious hand/eye coordination
Gamers who don’t like to type may not appreciate Event [0].  While puzzles and actions are a part of the story, the focus of this game is on conversation


System Requirements
OS: Windows 7 or higher, 64bits
Processor: Intel i5 2.4Ghz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650
Storage: 10 GB available space


OS: El Capitan

Processor: i5 2.5Ghz

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M370X

Storage: 10 GB available space
Additional Notes: Not compatible with Intel Integrated Graphics, OpenGL 3 required


Cindy Kyser

Cindy Kyser

Cindy’s love affair with gaming began when she opened a mailbox in front of a white house and took the first step in a long series of adventures. ‘Back in the day,’ Cindy was a regular contributor to JA and an active member of the online gaming community. She has attended several E3s and has had the pleasure of spending time in person with both Ray and Randy. Her all- time favorite adventures include the Tex Murphy series, the Gabriel Knight series, and The Longest Journey. She also enjoys RPGs and her list of ‘best ever’ includes Fallout, Asheron’s Call, and Planescape Torment. Â Frustrated with the cost of rising PC system requirements, Cindy decided to switch to console and tablet gaming. Although you can teach some old dogs new tricks, she discovered that console controller dexterity is a skill set that she is lacking. Her results with tablet gaming were not much better. With the exception of a few gems such as The Room and Forever Lost, there is a limit to how much one can play Candy Crush and Hidden Object Adventures. Having proved that pure escapism is worth the investment, she has a new gaming laptop and is back to her search for the perfect adventure. Â After spending most of her life in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Cindy escaped the stress of urban life and moved to rural Arkansas. To show that she has become a true Arkansan, she has taken up deer hunting, wears pink camo, and put a chicken coop in her backyard. On a stressful day, she can be heard yelling ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ when all else fails.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.