Neo Cab is a tale of emotional survival in a dying industry

Neo Cab

Survival in games has become synonymous with simplistic managing of resources in order to stave off the entropic forces that come for all of us. Neo Cab, from Californian studio Chance Agency looks to put a much more human and relatable spin on the concept.

Neo Cab is a game about being one of the last cab drivers. In the not-too-distant future, you play as Lina, one of the last human members of a business long since taken over by AI in the city of Los Ojos. Players are tasked with balancing money, reputation and emotional health, while navigating both the streets of the city, and the conversations that the job brings.

Neo Cab strikes a personal chord, in my case. Before finally finding regular work writing, I made ends meet as a night-shift cab driver. While hardly a threatened industry in my quiet Welsh neck of the woods, there was this ever-present sense that the writing was on the wall. If it wasn’t ride-sharing companies moving in from the cities, it would be automation, and turnover was already high, in part from dealing with the increasingly drunk, despondent and desperate locals.

Neo Cab

While Neo Cab will undoubtedly be telling a vastly different story from mine, I can’t help but be deeply curious as to what kind of tales will be told both by the protagonist and their long, nightly procession of fares. It’s also the latest in what seems to be a growing genre exploring the more mundane, human side of neon-slaked cyberpunk; games such asĀ VA-11 Hall-A, The Red Strings Club, and 2064: Read Only Memories.

The crew behind Neo Cab have some seriously impressive credentials between them, especially regarding non-standard, narrative-driven designs. Among the team are writers Leigh Alexander (Reigns: Her Majesty) and Patrick Ewing (Firewatch). Art director Vincent Perea from Where’s My Water and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, and sound designer Joe Burke was composer on mobile puzzle hit Monument Valley.

Neo Cab will eventually be available via Itch.io and Steam, and you can get on the mailing list here, to be informed of changes in development.

Disclosure: Former RPS contributor Leigh Alexander is one of the lead writers on Neo Cab.

16 Comments

  1. Michael Fogg says:

    Yes, also, when are we getting this Quarantine remake?

  2. causticnl says:

    cant wait for this, love Leigh’s previous work (and miss her writing here).

    • April March says:

      Weirdly, I didn’t really like her writing, but knowing she’s lead writer on this game made me interested. It seems a perfect fit for her style.

  3. Servicemaster says:

    I hate the fact that being born in 86 for some reason makes me addicted to pink thru purple color schemes. I wish I could get an implant that’d let me see ultraviolet.

  4. Use Your Stick says:

    Ah man, Cyberpunk game where your job is driving, all the while the threat of Automation taking away your livelihood, was my big game idea! An idea I would never have the time or the skill to pull off, but still…

    All bitterness aside, I look forwards to seeing where this goes. I loved the unique gameplay and atmosphere of tending a bar in VA-11 Hall-A.

  5. Ex Lion Tamer says:

    Yep, this sounds fantastic.

  6. Kollega says:

    What we see here is indeed a rare creature: a cyberpunk game that has a social message, instead of just being a glorified excuse to shoot things and wear sunglasses at night. I approve.

    I would, of course, approve even more if it had ideas about alternate, positive social transformations – but that’s details. Even the fact that it’s a socially aware cyberpunk game already means quite a lot.

  7. jusplathemus says:

    I loved VA-11 Hall-A (the other ones not so much, though they’re also nice), and this sounds right up my alley – an instant buy even. Thanks for the heads-up!

  8. Henke says:

    So will there be any actual cab driving gameplay in this, or is it more of a narrative-focused thing?

  9. Shazbut says:

    It is also, it would seem, beautiful to look at. Excited to see it in motion

  10. LennyLeonardo says:

    “Take me to the irradiated baseball stadium”.

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