Sometimes you want to know everything you possibly can about a game before you buy it. And sometimes you don’t — a little bit goes a long way. That’s the philosophy behind The Escapist’s 3 Minute Reviews, a series that I’ve come to look forward to for every new YouTube episode. The videos are short, efficient, and entertaining…all the more so because they buck the annoying YouTube trend of spreading everything out to ten or twenty minutes.
The Escapist has made a name for itself as a more cerebral and contemplative place for gaming content, less focused on the minute-to-minute breaking news than deeper looks at culture, trends, and business. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because of Zero Punctuation, the foul-mouthed animated show that’s been running weekly episodes for [glance at the calendar, holy crap] fifteen years now.
3 Minute Reviews give that same bite-sized glance at a new game, but sans Yahtzee Croshaw’s abrasive acerbity (I’m a fan, but not everyone is!) and with a more holistic approach. The reviewers tend to narrate their own works, making them personal and opinionated as all reviews should be. They give just enough details on a game’s structure and story to sink your teeth into.
Perhaps the best part of the series is that it avoids covering huge, AAA games, and gives some much-needed attention to games that are smaller, shorter, or just from lesser-known developers. Often I’ll click on a new entry never having heard of the game before, even though I keep a pretty close eye on the industry. It makes the playlist an informative and broad collection of opinions on games that you might not be exposed to otherwise.
In the spirit of 3 Minute Reviews, I’ll keep my recommendation brief. Check out the series — nearly 500 episodes strong now! — if you want concise, informative takes on indies and oddities, that you can finish before your Hot Pocket is done in the microwave.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.