The first part of the Technobabylon series is a fantastic short game!

Despite the fact that only one (physical) location is shown, it completely succeeds at building an atmosphere of a decaying and socially degenerating world of the future, where many people choose to barricade themselves in cheap state-provided rooms, spending all their time connected to a virtual reality network nihilistically referred to as Trance. As the game starts off one of such careless escapists – a young woman called Latha Sesame – loses her cyberspace connection with the outside world and, even worse, becomes trapped in her apartment. Is this a mere technical malfunction, or a larger conspiracy? – you’ll have to find out.

Deceivingly minimalistic in its presentation the one-room Technobabylon episode manages to deliver quite an adventure. All thanks to strong puzzle design and writing. The game’s effective pixel art graphics and moody music make the experience even better. All aspects taken together (but in particular the VR puzzles), it’s very reminiscent of the famous, dystopian sci-fi game Beneath a Steel Sky by Revolution.  Too bad there are some noticeable technical glitches and shortcuts in Technobabylon’s code – the consequence of the game being made in just 9 days! Nothing too serious though and it will possibly all get fixed in time.

Bigger complaints? Personally I thought one of the puzzles (the “metal-feeding” one) could have benefited from an additional hint, but on the other hand the confined setting creates some reasonable space for experimenting. And one more thing – storywise the game feels sufficiently stand-alone, except for lack of resolution. Consequently, I couldn’t grasp how is the plot supposed to develop in future episodes. However, Technobabylon’s creator revealed an interesting concept behind this… Namely, in the next episode the action will move to an entirely different area of the city and focus on another character (now that seems exactly like how they do it in the movies! :O ).

Technobabylon Part 2 is supposed to come out even before the end of the year. And on a somewhat related note the long-awaited Gemini Rue will be coming out pretty soon as well. Great times for cyberpunk (adventure) games’ fans, I say!

Igor’s Score: 4 of 5 starks

Note: You can download the entire Technobabylon for free right here.