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Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked The Red Strings Club 12 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 11 weeks ago.
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.
Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Mature Accompanied (MA 15+) for Strong Nudity and Strong Coarse Language.
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.
Release Date: 22/01/2018, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Content Rating: PEGI 18
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Accessibility: 17 features
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
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