Robots but with feelings is a good media genre, so I’m intrigued by upcoming point and click game Encodya. Set in the world of newspaper cartoonists’ worst nightmares, where “cyberspace has supplanted human connection,” protagonist Tina and robot pal Sam are off on an adventure where they’ll presumably rediscover the wonder of the world outside the internet. Unfortunately, if you want to see the trailer or try the demo that’s currently available, you won’t be able to log off yourself.
The demo is a pretty standard point and click following as Tina (who really looks like an alternate universe kid Wattson off of Apex Legends) and Sam try to find a bus ticket to take them home. Investigate objects, talk to people, and use items in the right places to make it out of the dark and rain.
It’s pretty tongue in cheek – try to walk too far and Tina will tell you that the road ahead looks interesting, “but the developers need funds to finish the game.” Top marks for honesty.
This fourth-wall leaning also answers a question that the trailer brought up: is that mixture of English, Russian, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese neon signs addressed in the game, or is it just an aesthetic “Asian” mashup? The answer is sort of both; an old lady “Fatemancer” explains that Neo-Berlin is a very multicultural place but that this is motivated by the developers’ desire to recreate the classic cyberpunk look. Still, that sets up a nice opportunity for the full game to dig into what that kind of immigration and cultural exchange could mean for a place.
The Fatemancer also “predicts” Tina’s upcoming adventure, which is a neat way to slot another trailer into a demo.
The game is based on a short film appropriately named Robot Will Protect You, and you can download the demo for free if you sign up for their newsletter via their Facebook.