Technobabylon (iOS) Review

By André Eriksson 17.08.2017 1

Review for Technobabylon on iOS

It is the 2080s, a world in which VR has flourished, food can be 3D printed, most social taboo's legalised. However, at the opposite end of all of these accomplishments, huge AI have started to gain more and more power and humanity is getting more or less reliant on them. Technobabylon has painted the beautiful dystopian picture that has became so beloved by the sci-fi and cyberpunk fan-base. Does it offer an interesting story in the city? After impressing on PC a couple of years ago, Cubed3 now trances deep into Newton City in iOS format to find out.

Dystopian and sci-fi are two words/phrases that together in the same sentence always, no matter how many times it has been done, get a certain group of people to turn their interest towards it. Technobabylon gets the setting down to a tee using almost every trope in the book, and does manage to make great use of them.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on iOS

The world in which Technobabylon takes place in has everything fans of the genre have grown accustomed to. There is heavy focus on a VR system called trance that to some has come to be a drug to keep their sanity in the society that, despite solving many of the most urgent social issues such as food and lodging, still leaves much to desire for the growing number of people who live outside of the system, and a huge city managing AI that some support while others would rather see go down. To further spice things up, there is also a huge dash of conspiracies and thriller elements added to the experience.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on iOS

There is a lot in the package that is Technobabylon, and the team has managed to pack all of this into a relatively short experience in an elegant way by having three separate protagonists that have widely different backgrounds and views on the world around them. First, there is Lathas who grew up as an orphan and is stuck in poverty and deep trance addiction. She is an extremely proficient trance user who has huge problems with authorities. Then there is Dr. Regis, who is a cop who is a very, in the setting, conservative individual in the sense that he believes that humanity should solve its own problems and not rely on, nor be supervised, by AI and machines 24/7. Finally, there is his assistant, Dr. Lao. She is very open to the world and its progress, and especially the city-ruling AI Central thanks to it pulling her out of her previous life of crime and into law enforcement.

This trio of protagonists give very different and nuanced views on the world around them, which Technobabylon uses to its fullest to portray all of the different aspects of the world. Where Dr. Lao, for example, sees safety and progress, Dr. Regis sees privacy problems and jobs getting taken away from people, while Lathas sees an authority to defy. This leads to some great contrasts that really make the player themselves able to form their own opinion on the world.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on iOS

The story itself is extremely well written, with plenty of wonderful twists and really heartwarming and heartbreaking looks into the trio of protagonists, their desires, and fears. While the story is great, it sadly feels a little dry during the first couple of parts and takes a while to really kick off. Thankfully, the dry parts have been sprinkled with very colourful side characters, such as the wonderful purple haired, overly cheerful anime chef, AI Cheffie, to keep people entertained. It is obvious that the developer of Technobabylon knows exactly what tools to use and when to use them to keep players' attention.

The only weakness rests in its graphics style that looks like something made in the '90s. While it has its charm, it certainly does not look or feel like a game from the 2010s. It is a classic point-and-click game in its purest sense. Fans of the genre are going to love it, and it is a title that is sure to pull in new fans for the genre, if they can look past the graphics that are very aged in appearance, limited by the engine used.

Screenshot for Technobabylon on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Technocrat knew exactly what it was doing when writing Technobabylon, using a lot of clever tools, both general and genre specific, to great use to craft a wonderful story with few lows, but many highs. The few lows it has are compensated for by very strong side characters that make players both laugh and further understand the world that keeps drawing them deeper and deeper in. This makes Technobabylon a great adventure for both fans of the genre and, more importantly, a wonderful entry point for newcomers.

Developer

Technocrat

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

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   

Comments

Really pleased to see this made the transition better than some of WadjetEye's releases. Shardlight suffered, from what I read in our review, but this is such an enjoyable experience so I'm really happy to see it hasn't suffered.

I'm really hoping Technocrat makes another one as there's so much scope to expand the story.

Thanks for the review, André!

EDIT: By the way, this uses the Adventure Game Studio engine, which is why the visuals are so retro. It's a great - if visually limited - system for devs to easily make great point and click adventures.

( Edited 21.08.2017 23:25 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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