[dropcap size=big]D[/dropcap]ave Gilbert’s Wadjet Eye Games is well known for its point-and-click adventure games that use Adventure Game Studios (AGS) and they just recently released their latest title. Technobabylon is a Cyberpunk adventure developed by Technocrat Games set in the not-too-distant future in a fictitious city known as Newton where pretty much anything goes. So, if you’re a fan of retro-style pixelated adventures set in a dark sci-fi world then read on.
It is the late 21st century and humanity has reached a new technological high. The world is basically divided into two experiences: our reality and the virtual (known as the Trance). For some the Trance is home and for others they’d rather keep it real. Latha Sesame is a Trance addict. She is forcefully booted from one of her online sessions and finds herself locked in her dingy apartment. As she finds a way to escape the building shakes in an explosion. Welcome to the world of Technobabylon.
Aside from Latha, the other two playable characters in Technobabylon are Charlie Regis and Max Lao. Both are agents of CEL and are basically the city of Newton’s cops. They are on the trail of a “Mindjacker”, or someone who uses their wiring to forcefully extract the mind of their victim. They arrive too late on more than one occasion but they get close to their mark every time.
The three protagonists in Technobabylon find themselves working in parallel with each other at times. While Latha’s path is purely survival, Regis and Lao have their careers to think of. Even if Regis skirts the law he still believes that he’s doing the right thing, even if it is often at a cross-purpose with Central, the governing AI of the city. And Lao is almost always by the book. In a way, this brings up some parallels with Wadjet Eye Games’ other published title Resonance. Both deal with multiple playable characters with differing but similar goals bringing them together.
There’s a lot more to Technobabylon than just jacking in and apprehending perps. Oh my, no. It wouldn’t be much of a Wadjet Eye game if there weren’t some deep connections between the characters and those they meet. In fact, there are plenty of flashbacks regarding Charlie and his dearly departed wife. There are also plenty of little tidbits we discover here and there about everyone, even important secondary characters.
As a minor spoiler, Regis is forced to perform questionable acts for shady people but he does so reluctantly. They hold an ace to make him do their bidding but in the end he makes right on these deeds. Even so, his past comes back to haunt him several times throughout Technobabylon. Which I believe makes him more than a cookie cutter cop. Even Lao proves her loyalty to her partner by helping him, even if it means going against training.
Technobabylon doesn’t necessarily break the mold set forth in the ’90s by point-and-click adventure games but it does hold true to the spirit. Which means fans of the genre should find this one more than worth picking up. Assuming you haven’t already played it.