Ever the cyber punk and indie game aficionado, Tom gave the Devolver Digital game, The Red Strings Club a go. Here’s his review of the game.
The Red Strings Club is a cyber punk, narrative experience set in the distant future where you, the player, mostly play as the bartender/information broker, Donovan, who uses his drink mixing skills to get his customers to feel a certain way and then attempt to pry information out of them. One night, an incident occurs revealing to Donovan and his friend, Brandeis, that a giant corporation is attempting to brainwash and mind control everyone. Thus the game begins.
This game reminds me of Ace Attorney mixed with Papers Please and a dash of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. Every choice you make in the game will affect something somewhere within the game, leading you to question every decision you make.
The main gameplay loop is that someone walks into your bar, The Red Strings Club, you ask/answer a couple questions and you offer to make them a drink. A screen appears with 4 bottles of drink, a glass and a silhouette of your customer with some circles representing different emotions or feelings. As you pour drinks, an indicator moves towards an emotion, and once it’s over the top of one, you can serve your drink. You then proceed to ask your customer some questions and take advantage of your client’s ’emotional state’ to hopefully uncover more of this conspiracy to brainwash humankind.
Some other tasks you’ll take on include shaping genetic implants, pottery style, and engaging in corporate espionage by assuming the ‘voice’ of important figures over phone calls.
All of these ‘mini-games’ will have you questioning your inner morals and beliefs. In this game, are you the good guy or the bad guy? There’s always two sides to every coin.
Visually, the game looks awesome. The pixel graphics and the neon future colours all blend perfectly together. The soundtrack fits each setting perfectly. I could definitely see myself listening to these sweet tunes while chilling in a fancy bar.
Overall, The Red Strings Club has a refreshing take on the ‘point and click’ genre, which is amplified by it’s impressive visuals. However, you may find the story a bit cliche if you’ve watched/read some futuristic-dystopian movies/novels.
If you’re looking for a game that you can play at your own pace and listen to some good music while you do it, this game is for you. But be warned, you may be questioning your own morals by the end of the game.