Technobabylon (PC) Review

By Adam Riley 21.05.2015

Review for Technobabylon on PC

Cubed3 was mightily impressed with Technobabylon when it went hands-on with Technocrat's point-and-click adventure back in April. The dystopian world that had become over reliant on technology was intriguing to work through, switching between different characters and trying to piece together what exactly was going on, watching as various threads intertwined before a gripping conclusion. That was only a taster. Now the exciting project has been unveiled in all its glory, given a bit of guidance from WadjetEye Games, the folk behind the excellent Blackwell series. Does the rest of the adventure live up to the enthralling start?

There are three main characters at play in Technobabylon - an off-the-grid young lady called Latha Sesame who is addicted to the Trance, an online world that creates a whole new reality for those not satisfied with real life; Max Lao, a former criminal-turned-agent working at a police organisation called CEL to right the wrongs she did in the past; and Charles Regis, another officer of CEL, but one that has resisted the urge to be wired to the computer networks everyone else relies on, instead relying on his gut instincts and experience to solve crimes. The mix works perfectly, scenes switching between Latha and the duo of Lao and Regis together at first, then other characters being drawn into the adventure, with control switching to even some of the supporting cast at appropriate moments to help draw players deeper into the yarn being spun, all set against a sometimes laidback and melodic, other times chilling soundtrack that exudes a futuristic vibe and complemented by extremely strong voice work throughout.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on PC

Standard point-and-click adventure controls apply, and the Adventure Game Studio's interface shines through once more, making it easy enough for anyone to jump right in without confusion, and whilst some may bemoan the lack of interactive hotspots for those that do not relish hovering the mouse cursor over everything in the vicinity, it is honestly a lazy trait that has slipped into the genre and is not personally missed. After all, with smart design, it is impossible to miss the key areas that need to be used, and half of the fun is breaking the code and cracking the brainteasers, anyway. Another omission is the lack of double-click to exit scenes, but this is countered by a handy speed of movement adjustment option, so there are never any excruciating moments of slow trekking around - something that plagued the first episode of Supreme League of Patriots so much that a patch was released to sort it.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on PC

Sometimes the script can be a little too wordy for its own good, but not all avenues of conversation need to be explored if so desired. However, it is encouraged that anyone working their way through does take the time to fully absorb everything possible in order to truly appreciate the depth of the story and the struggles its characters face. This is a tormented world and there are tough decisions to be made, and, speaking of which, there are choices for those at the reins to make. Although it may not have a bearing on the ending sequence, there are different reactions received from those around depending on what selections were chosen.

Unlike another recent release that lost its way thanks to unclear puzzles and too much illogical character switching, Technobabylon works more in confined spaces, with intricate puzzles that will indeed have people scratching their heads at times, but as there is not too much back-and-forth involved, it becomes more a case of focusing the mind on how the limited items currently available can be utilised with the various interactive pieces of scenery in that instance. Sure, being built using the Adventure Game Studio means that the visuals are very basic (and given the gruesome nature of some scenes, it is actually a blessing at times not being able to see intricate details, something Dead Synchronicity's team could have considered for the more squeamish out there), but the core is what matters, and it is where Technocrat and WadjetEye easily beat out the 'prettier' competition. Only one real example springs to mind where the habit acquired through the adventure of needing to stringently analyse situations led to over-thinking a conundrum and getting stuck when the solution was actually incredibly basic. Honing thought processes too much is hardly a major slight, though, right?

Screenshot for Technobabylon on PC

The wonderful thing is that all this puzzle goodness and gripping story is neither rushed, nor stretched too thin. Carried out across ten chunky parts, with each section varying in length, but possibly reaching up to an hour and a half at times, there is so much packed in that despite no reason to return post-credits, there will not be any sense of dissatisfaction upon completion - only a thirst for more. Thankfully, Technocrat was given the chance to finish what had previously been rough-and-ready individual chapter releases, and working together with WadjetEye Games has definitely been of benefit to the final product. Those that love eye candy may turn their nose up at Technobabylon, but more fool them as they will be missing out on one of the most refreshing point-and-click adventures in ages.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, Technobabylon is a breath of fresh air in the world of point-and-click adventures. Perhaps a little too rough around the edges for some in terms of visuals, looking past this reveals a truly splendid core product filled to the brim with an emotive soundtrack, stellar voice work, a gripping and sometimes even disturbing storyline, as well as - imperatively - extremely smart puzzle construction.

Developer

Technocrat

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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