Buddy Simulator 1984 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 07.06.2023

Review for Buddy Simulator 1984 on Nintendo Switch

The beauty of video games is that they can be immersive. Any genre is capable of engrossing the player deeper into its scenario, but the way Buddy Simulator 1984 does it is truly commendable. Computer games in the 1980s were very different than they are today. Back in the day, typical software relied on a command line where the user would manually type out commands as opposed to clicking on icons or doing a search. Text adventure games from this era fully embraced this system, and clever developers would come up with all kinds of reactions to anything that gamers would type. Buddy Simulator 1984 taps into this nostalgic phenomenon and has a horror-meta spin on the genre. What is there to expect from this totally unique adventure game?

Buddy Simulator 1984 is not a game for everyone. It requires an appreciation for retro text-based adventures and a love for creepy pasta. The premise is that the player is interacting with computer software that becomes aware, and it wants to become friends. The only issue is just how far things will go and how uncomfortable it can get.

The "Buddy" in Buddy Simulator 1984 feels like a real person. There are some raw moments where it can feel like an abusive relationship. The game asks a simple yet penetrating question that is rarely explored: "What is a friend?". The answer is not so simple, and the various endings to earn encourage replays.

There are a lot of simple minigames that flesh out the experience and add flavour. Buddy Simulator 1984 is a bit of a slow burn at first. To get the most out of it, expect to have to endure some lengthy build up that is intended to make the software feel more authentic. The issue in this Nintendo Switch port of Buddy Simulator 1984 is that the genre it is emulating does not work at all on the console. The game requires frequent manual typing of words and phrases, or commands that are very specific. Buddy Simulator 1984 ends up being a chore to play with a controller and is almost unplayable in handheld mode due to the microscopic font.

Screenshot for Buddy Simulator 1984 on Nintendo Switch

Measures were taken to make the command line less tedious. There is an auto-fill feature that makes the game flow more fluidly. This almost works, but for some reason not all available commands are automatically detected. It begs the question "Why bother?" if Buddy Simulator 1984's entire concept fails in execution. At this point, the developers may as well have scrapped the command line entirely and just allowed players to select commands from a menu.

Anyone who is able to get past these annoyances will find that Buddy Simulator 1984 is a very immersive thriller that has enough variety in it to keep itself fresh. The range of emotional sequences run a wide gamut from unnerving to downright sad. The writing is at a perfect pitch of manipulation, and all the effort to tug at the player's heartstrings is earned due to the gradual build up.

Like a good video game creepy pasta, Buddy Simulator 1984 has fake glitches and fake crashes. There is almost no telling what might happen at times. While a lot of what it does wouldn't make sense on Nintendo Switch, anyone who is willing to suspend their disbelief will be enthralled by the ever-changing gameplay and tons of choices. The traditional "game" aspects can be anything from a 16-bit style platformer, overhead RPG, to even a 3D first-person game. It is like experiencing a twisted history of the evolution of video games.

Screenshot for Buddy Simulator 1984 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For a game called Buddy Simulator 1984, the "1984" part is not as crucial an aspect as one would think. The game transforms and reinvents itself several times over as the story unfolds, and a majority of these are nowhere near as crude as actual computer software from the mid 1980s. There are some genuinely fun scares to compliment a clingy and abusive AI friend. The command line mechanic may not work as intended on a console controller, but at least the soundtrack is incredible.


Not A Sailor Studios







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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   


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