blog by rae

First in... Line? Manual

May 15th, 2024   •   first in... line?

First in… Line?


“It’s opening night, and our lead star dropped out! Can you memorize these lines REALLY quickly?”

This play is running super behind schedule, and to make it even worse, the lead had to bail! You’re the back-up actor, so you’ve gotta step in and perform in his place. Problem is, You Forgot Something… YOUR LINES!! No time to rehearse, just memorize them as well as you can and get out there! The show must go on!

In this endless game featuring multiple modes, pass and “play” between 2 people, and more, take to the stage and try not to anger the crowd too much as you fill in for the lead role, only finding out the lines as you go! Compete for a high score, and break a leg while you shoot for the prestige spot in back-up actor stardom!

Gameplay Basics


The D-pad and A and B buttons are required to play this game. These buttons are used to navigate menus, and are mandatory in main gameplay.

During gameplay, there are additional control methods you can enable, to be used randomly:

You can toggle any of these input methods via the in-game Settings menu.

Playing the game

When you start a new game, you’ll be presented with a page of lines — a sequence of buttons. Memorize ‘em, and memorize ‘em good! When you think you have your lines down, press the A button to begin the round.

As the round starts, you’ll walk on-stage from frame left. When the spotlight turns on over your head, that’s your cue to speak your line! Repeat the sequence of buttons you just memorized, and try not to make any mistakes.

If you complete the sequence of lines without losing, take a bow — you just delivered a great performance! But there’s not much time to celebrate, because you’ve gotta get ready for the next act! You’ll be presented with a new set of lines, and the game repeats until you lose.


Arcade Mode

Arcade Mode is the basic gameplay mode in First in… Line?.

In this mode, you have a maximum of three Misses per round before you lose the game. A Miss is added to your total whenever you press an incorrect button. When you make it through a round successfully, your Miss total is reset for the next round.

Multi Mode

Multi Mode is a variant of Arcade Mode, adjusted to best optimize pass and “play” local multiplayer with 2 people.

Multi Mode plays similarly to Arcade Mode. However, two players take turns completing rounds, back and forth. Each player will get an attempt at the same line before the game progresses. The last player to get caned off-stage is the winner!

⚠️ Scores are not saved in Multi Mode.

One-Shot Mode

💡 This Mode is only unlocked after playing Arcade Mode ten times in total.

One-Shot Mode plays similarly to Arcade Mode, with a couple key differences. Hints are not allowed in this mode, and — crucially — you’re only permitted one miss before losing in this mode. This is the ultimate test of your back-up acting skills! See how far you can go without making a single mistake.



Easy is the default difficulty in the game, and is unlocked from the start.

In Easy difficulty…

💡 †You’ll only receive a hint if you’ve just completed a successful input.


💡 This difficulty is only unlocked after reaching a score of 24 in Arcade Mode.

If you manage to complete an entire page of lines without flubbing it majorly, you’ve proven that you’re the ultimate back-up actor! It’s time for an extreme challenge. Relative to Easy, Hard difficulty features a lot of changes to punch up the challenge.

In Hard difficulty…

💡 †You’ll only receive a heckle if you’ve just completed a successful input. You also won’t be heckled if you’re only one Miss away from losing.


Additional Notes

This game was originally made for PlayJam 5, hosted by PossiblyAxolotl.

The original version was completed in just a weekend, being first published on itch.io on April 21st, 2024; and wound up winning 4th place overall in the jam.

It was super fun being able to prove to myself that I can actually complete and release a quality game that I feel confident people will enjoy, let alone under such a strict timeframe. I hope to participate in more jams in the future!

From me to you, thanks for playing, and break a leg! 💖

Buy First in… Line? on Itch.io