Review: Technobabylon

TechnobabylonI picked up Technobablyon after my stint with the ‘triple-A’ game Mass Effect 4. I was due some old-school point-and-click adventuring. Here’s what I thought.

The story

In a cyberpunk future, the city of Newton is run by an AI called Central. It provides well for its citizens, but there is trouble afoot in the city.

I can’t explain much without spoiling the game. Let’s just say the main characters are confronted with a string of murders by parties unknown.

The eventual conclusion of the game was a bit underwhelming. It was sort of surprising, but I also found the motivation of the antagonits a bit… easy.

The characters

You start the game as Latha, a Trance (VR internet) addict. She’s an unemployed citizen of Newton living in assigned housing and never going outdoors because she’s constantly in the Trance. At the start of the game, she’s locked in her apartment and her Trance connection just went down.

The second character you play is Dr. Charlie Regis, an ex-gengineer (genetic engineer) who has become a cop in Newton. He’s hunting a mindjacker, a person wired to steal a person’s memories using sophisticated hardware. The process is fatal to the person being jacked.

Finally there’s Dr. Max Lao, Regis’s partner. Where Regis hates Central and the Trance, Max is wired up the wazoo. She provides the hacking skills to help Regis, who mostly just uses his investigative skills.

All of the main characters are interesting, and well rounded, although I felt not enough was done with the characters of Latha and Max. The story focuses mostly on Regis, and lets the rest slide a bit, which is a shame.

The atmosphere

The game paints a disturbing picture of a near-future world ruled by AIs and filled with dark technologies. One of the main characters is a VR addict living in a slum apartment. In other words: it’s cyberpunk.

The game manages to give the atmosphere some nice twists, with some very disturbing ideas. On the other hand, it isn’t the most original of games.

The verdict

Technobabylon isn’t the greatest point-and-click adventure ever. It’s well-made, has some interesting-but-not-world-shattering puzzles, and the plot is fine. Basically, if you like point-and-click adventures and cyberpunk, you probably won’t go wrong with this one.

Author: Martin Stellinga

I'm a science fiction and fantasy writer from the Netherlands