Alt-Frequencies, the strange time-looping audio adventure from Accidental Queens (the folks behind A Normal Lost Phone), is out today. It’s an oddball puzzle, set entirely in the comfort of your own home, listening to the radio. Problem is, the world (minus you) is repeating the same three minutes over and over again, and you’ve got to somehow break out by recording messages from the airwaves, and sending them in as a caller. A coffee-break Groundhog Day scenario, then. Have a listen at the audio-heavy trailer below, although the game itself is fully and helpfully subtitled.
While the narrative conceit of Alt-Frequencies seems to be very Groundhog Day (by way of British daytime radio), I can’t help but feel a bit of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney inspiration here. Similar to the cross-examination segments, you’re listening to stories and choosing what particular lines can be used as evidence to disprove or otherwise influence the flow of the story. You’re not trying to point out contradictions, though, just nudge the timeline a little bit at a time, often by taking info from one station and bringing it early to another.
It seems like – as with any good time-loop story – there’s some room for fun and antics in there, with an achievements list (likely spoiler-filled, so don’t go looking for yourself) full of weird and wonderful things to try. Shows can be derailed, characters can be confused, and paradoxes can be intentionally started. As for why the player, just sitting at their radio, is the sole character not repeating these few minutes again and again? That’s presumably a mystery to be answered by the game itself.
Alt Frequencies is out now on Steam for £5.21/€7.19/$7.19, and published by Plug In Digital.