There’s a BOGOF on neon negronis. At least, that would be the glowing sign I’d hang outside, were I in charge of the hot pink bar of upcoming cyberpunk adventure The Red Strings Club. It’s a game of social engineering, body-hacking and clandestine mixology from Deconstructeam, the makers of Gods Will Be Watching. They’ve sent electronic words to say it’s coming out on January 22.
It’s about a big nasty corp doing big nasty things. Sure, they say they’re eliminating depression and anxiety from the populace with their “Social Psyche Welfare” but that sounds like suss corpspeak to the protagonists – a shady bartender, a freelance hacker and a rogue android. They’re putting together a plan to flummox the corp and stop this new lifestyle product from hitting the… shelves? Brains? From hitting whatever it is they’ll be hitting.
It’s also a bit of a cocktail itself. Two freebies from the same developers make up the basis for some scenes. Supercontinent Ltd is about manipulating people’s trust over the phone (Alice liked that one) and Zen and the Art of Transhumanism is about performing chilled-out cyberpottery to create enhancements that you shove into people’s bodies (I played that one for a free games roundup, although fair warning, there are some incidental willies in this article). In Zen, you sculpt the enhancements yourself, and they make your patient-customers more sexually attractive or better at social media. I think there’s also an implant that erases their sense of morality. So, you know, watch out for that.
I didn’t like Gods Will Be Watching, however, despite it looking just as striking. I gave up early, during a torture sequence in which you had to navigate a rigidly correct path of dialogue so the story could progress past various ‘game over’ alleyways. John spoke of similar problems in his review. But judging from the freebies the creators have made since, they seem to have taken a slightly new direction. Here’s hopin’.
It's coming out on Steam for £11.39.