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The Red Strings Club

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The Red Strings Club (2018) is a futuristic narrative game where you prescribe implants and drinks to people who visit your bar. You talk to patrons, prepare them drinks and coax information out of them to advance the espionage story. It's a unique game that uses its futuristic setting, puzzles and visual narrative to explore complex themes in a thought-provoking and nuanced light.

In a vast cyberpunk-style metropolis you play as both the bartender at the Red Strings Club, and local hacker. They must work together to uncover the plans of a huge corporation that wants to eliminate depression, anger, and anxiety from society. It sounds like a good aim, but they soon discover the price the world will pay for this idealised vision of humanity.

As the bartender, you talk to the people who visit your bar and complete mini-games to prepare drinks designed to heighten certain emotions and tease out vital information. As the hacker, you create genetic implants at a high-tech lathe to alter the emotions of the executives of the corporation. You then assume the voices of company executives in phone calls as you attempt to bring it down.

While most of the game plays like a text adventure, often with little player input, the drink-crafting and implant-creation mini-games keep things varied. The result is a uniquely philosophical and thoughtful game that looks at the nature of happiness and the importance of untamed emotions.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked The Red Strings Club 23 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 12 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to The Red Strings Club. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Narrative and Puzzle game with Communication, Creative and Sequencing elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for Strong Violence and Nudity.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Mature Accompanied (MA 15+) for Strong Nudity and Strong Coarse Language.

Skill Level

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The high age rating isn't due to the game's mechanics (simple puzzles and reading), but rather the heavy and complex themes, subject matter, and associated imagery and language.

CostsCosts

The Red Strings Club usually costs £12.79 to £13.49.
 

The Red Strings Club

Switch Store Switch £13.49
Steam Store PC £12.79
Steam Store Mac £12.79
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 22/01/2018, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle (Communication, Creative and Sequencing)

Accessibility: 17 features

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Developer: Deconstructeam (@Deconstructeam)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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