Neo Cab (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 10.11.2019 4

Review for Neo Cab on Nintendo Switch

This reviewer has been fascinated by the cyber style of this mystery virtual novel ever since the first gameplay screens were released - drooling over the 'Tron had a baby with Vice City' visuals, and the variation in the characters occupying the back seat. After a few night shifts working the stick shift, Neo Cab proves itself to be a compelling ride well worth the fare. Here's a look at the Switch version.

Lina is introduced as a solemn loner leaving her old life to make amends with her former best friend Savy. After some harsh words on both sides, bridges have been mended, and their relationship expands upon through the opening minutes. These initial interactions set the basis for the rest of the experience, describing an Orwellian AI-run state with little human interactions for day to day tasks. Police forces are faceless robotic shells; streets are empty bar the soaring neon lit skyscrapers; and company Yes Men frequent pickups relentlessly hit their questionnaire quota by asking for opinions on the corporate machine as they take their journey.

The main focus of progression is determining what has happened to Savy after her disappearance on the first night of crazy taxi-ing. Clues are drip-fed through the interactions with each fare, and nights are based around balancing the amount of fares taken and keeping the electric charge high enough to take on more passengers. A bountiful night will provide much needed information to help find out the truth about your lost roommate.

A rating system determines the enjoyment of the ride for each customer and a 4/5 rating must be achieved each night. Interactions are made easy through multiple dialogue options, and the excellent Feelgrid system. Introduced brilliantly through being given a bracelet as a gift, the Feelgrid operates in four colours representing the distinct moods Lina can experience. Darker hues represent the most extreme of those emotions and can lock out dialogue choices if lingered in.

Screenshot for Neo Cab on Nintendo Switch

One of the first experiences for this reviewer was a fare who instantly threw up in the taxi. Complaining that it was there on entry, he instantly commented that sitting in a pool of (his own) sick would result in a 1 star rating whatever happened during the duration of the journey. On hearing this, Lina's Bracelet instantly flashed red, the Feelgrid moved to the outer blood red edges, and all dialogue options that didn't involve calling 'Alex' on his blatant flaunting of the facts became locked. Most interactions can be steered back into acceptable territory by paying close attention to what is being said and acting appropriately, although after a few journeys sucking up to the Los Ojos hierarchy, it is refreshing to let loose on someone deserving of tongue lashing.

It's through these interactions that Neo Cab shines and keeps it firmly on the top of a must-play list. Every customer reeks of character, which can lead to founding yourself being less and less interested in what had happened to the supposed 'best friend,' and more in hoping to run into a familiar face from a past night, just to see how their date went, to flirt a little, or even stick it to the man again with any objections to the Capra Machine running the city. Sure, the emotional cues are obvious in most cases (an anxious person will shift uncomfortably in their seat, and a happy fare will beam with at any response), sometimes reaching L.A Noire levels of absurdity with mouths grimacing and eyes bulging, but this only adds to the style of the experience. All character models are reminiscent of the cel-shaded brilliance of Fear Effect, and music fits accordingly to the situation, with sombre '80s synthwave that would suit those weird romantic parts in Stranger Things, to New Order sublime tunes for the more tense sequences.

There is a lot of reason to return to the cyberpunk city of Los Ojos after the initial completion. With several different endings are available (After a two-hour play-through it's hard to believe what was presented was anywhere near a 'good' outcome), and the enjoyment of dropping off, grabbing the Rating PDA, and seeing what comment has been left on the service never dims. The thrill of the rating likens to filling a quiet evening by filtering Trip Advisor just to get a kick out of reading how awful the local restaurants are through irate customers. It's worth experimenting in-game just to see how low or high is possible, although this never really end ups on a game over.

Screenshot for Neo Cab on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It's completely understandable why Neo Cab wouldn't be for everyone. A completely unique experience of this kind could alienate, and make it difficult to justify taking a punt without an in-depth examination of what to expect. Take the chance however, and an immersive, fascinating commentary on the evils of technology interspersed with a murder-mystery novel, are delivered. If excellent pacing and a character driven narrative are the major plus points when handing over the cash, sit back, strap in, and enjoy the journey. With the multiple endings on offer, and only a few hours needed to go from start to finish, the Switch feels like the perfect place to meet new people, embroil yourself in their lives, and appreciate the highs and lows of cyberpunk couriering.

Developer

Chance Agency

Publisher

Fellow Traveller

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Love the visual style

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

Ofisil said:
Love the visual style

Loved Reviewing this one, Can't wait to explore all the possibilities available. Have you played it? Enjoyed?

Lukezeppo

lukezeppo said:

Ofisil said:
Love the visual style

Loved Reviewing this one, Can't wait to explore all the possibilities available. Have you played it? Enjoyed?

Had my eyes on it. Judging from how I game these days, it will sit in my wishlist for a couple of centuries, though Smilie

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

So much to get through these days, well worth a dabble though. Let me know if you do and how your ending turned out Smilie

Lukezeppo

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