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Voight-Kampff 'Em Up: Between The City And The Needle

Conversation simulation

Between The City and The Needle is a "conversation simulation game" about detecting terrifying aliens in human form. Under the guise of psychological testing, you will interview forty suspects who may or may not be creatures from another planet. You will decide whether they are allowed to leave the interview alive or whether they will be executed so that their skin-suit can be peeled back revealing...well, hopefully there'll be an alien tucked inside because otherwise you are just the worst. Trailer below.

Watch on YouTube

I love the idea of a whole game based around conversations and deception. If the writing is strong, Between The City and The Needle could be quite a harrowing and disturbing thing, not just because of the alien threat but because of the psychological setting. The player is attempting to discern whether these people are human but is doing so from a position of power, having brought the interviewees to a government facility to undergo psychological analysis. It'll be interesting to see if the game explores the difficulties of distinguishing between extraordinary human behaviour and alien subterfuge. Will the aliens be recognisably alien because of their refusal to deviate from established social norms?

The two people behind the game are planning a crowdfunding campaign in the near future and we should learn more about the workings of the conversation system then. Beyond the actual interviews, there are colleagues to interact with and secrets to uncover in the facility itself.

Use the electronic messaging system at your terminal to communicate with co-workers. As your personality is defined by how you play, expect NPCs who act similarly to yourself to reach out to you.

Experience the innerworkings of the facility. Can you uncover its secrets, decrypt documents and hack into hidden files?

Feel the ramifications of your actions in 1 of 9 different endings determined by your choices and approach to handling the crisis.

I am intrigued.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.