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Video Game / 86 (2020)

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This grub is doomed.

86 is a peculiar little indie video game that was released exclusively to Steam on September 3rd 2020. It features a creature called Sluggle, who must discover and solve a specific set of puzzles in order to, well, not die after 86 seconds. Fortunately, Death Is a Slap on the Wrist when you get to keep your memories and can try over and over. The game's objective is to actually explore the world 86 seconds at a time and figure out the rules behind the game's many obscure puzzles. Once confident that you've mastered how everything works, you can go for a run and try to reach the game's end within the strict time limit.


86 provides examples of:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: A variant; while the game does not grant you with new abilities per se, some areas are pretty much impossible to pass if you haven't learned the rules required to do so from areas on alternate routes.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Sluggle has a dog's tail, despite otherwise being, well... a slug.
  • Big "NO!": An achievement is awarded for dying in the very last area; the artwork depicts Sluggle yelling, "Noooooo!" to the sky.
  • Block Puzzle: Some areas are very sokoban-inspired.
  • Cartoon Creature: Sluggle is a green slug-like animal with a fluffy dog tail and a large nose, who sleeps in a nest.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Lots of rules to learn and keep track of, and then pay attention to how they are implemented in each area.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying and restarting over and over is pretty much what the game is all about, so the game doesn't make a big deal about you getting killed. In fact, there are three different achievements that are awarded by dying!
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  • Exact Time to Failure: The 86 seconds are counted up to in the corner of the screen. To accompany this, the music becomes more dramatic and Sluggle's body language changes as time runs out.
  • Fill It with Flowers: The grass textures.
  • Press X to Die: Pressing Esc causes you to die instantly.
  • Secret Level: Some areas of the game are actually impossible to get to within the time limit. To reach them you must first finish the game, which eliminates the time limit for the rest of that run (until you return to your nest).
  • Timed Mission: While you can die and restart as often as you'd like, to actually beat the game, you must do all necessary rooms leading to the exit within 86 seconds.
  • Title by Number: But it's basically Running Time in the Title, because Sluggle's Exact Time to Failure is 86 seconds.

Alternative Title(s): Eighty Six