System: PC | Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Deconstructeam | Reviewed On: PC
I first stumbled upon this game during my annual return to gaming, whereby each year I log in and boot up the imagination machine that is Steam and see what tickles the left side of my brain. By no means was I expecting to be absorbed by anything worthy of my precious, limited time, but as it would seem, the Point & Click genre had made a tremendously profound return to the gaming scene in my absence. For this, I am entirely grateful.
Right, down to business.
The Red Strings Club is everything you can imagine from a Point & Click game and is also something entirely unexpected with its unique concept. Set in a Cyberpunk-esque world, the narrative is completely unlike anything you will have played before in this genre with the nostalgic Point & Click visuals to accompany it (reminiscent of an early Monkey Island). Its story is tightly wound around a small environment which somehow manages to envelop an expansive set as you casually work to expose and take down a corporate conspiracy, without ever having to leave your exclusive bar.
The story itself is a work of art and the way it’s delivered is nothing short of astounding, although, this only becomes apparent as the story unfolds. Through the power of conversation with familiar customers, you are absorbed into the impending, human-rights-infringing, workings of Supercontinent Ltd. under the guise of curing humanity of its damaging emotional tendencies, but which threatens to eliminate all that makes us human. You are superimposed onto the backdrop of the narrative, working to take down the company before it releases this psychological warfare on the populace, and what’s more, as a bartender, with only the tools-at-hand to work with…..alcohol.
As surprising as it may sound, that is enough.
Psychological bartending is a concept not explored by any game in my extensive rap sheet of Point & Click endeavors and is a technique that is delivered with complete fluidity by Deconstructeam. The idea is both innovative and unique, and a pleasant change in format for navigation through this type of storyline. More than that, it is well received.
Standing at a solid 9/10 on Gamespot and 8/10 on Game Informer, this game is revered by players and reviewers across the board, for its ability to portray depth in character personality and it’s inventive means of bringing the theme to its fruition point. I, myself, was utterly immersed in the story at the ending and found my attachment to the main protagonist and his close acquaintances, substantial. For me, it’s up there with the great deities of the Point & Click realm, Broken Sword, and the likes, for this attribute alone.
Throughout, you are able to make decisions that affect the direction of the game to an ultimate end – this, the game allows you to see after a decision is made with a RAD vector visual.
The game hits hard with the rhetoric and brings home some solid truths about how conversation and communication alone can have a palpable effect on the reality surrounding it. I, for one, found myself engrossed by this meaningful theme and praise the writers on their creativity and ingenuity.
If you’re looking for something fresh off the press, conceptual, innovative, and fantastically immersive, then this is the game you should dedicate some of your time to. At only 4 hours playing time, the game is profoundly effective at drawing you into its narrative and blowing your socks off with the execution of the plot in such a small time period – it’s remarkable.
Okay, …enough of the hype. Go find out for yourself.