We’re seeing a return to cyberpunk as of late, in both indie and AAA studios alike. Tales of the Neon Sea is the perfect example of cyberpunk done right – the epitome of neon noir, the Kickstarter game is an homage to sci-fi classics new and old.
Developed by Palm Pioneer and published by Zodiac Interactive, Tales of the Neon Sea is a retro sidescrolling adventure game with a healthy dash of puzzle-solving. Set in a sprawling neon cityscape where humans and robots uneasily co-exists, you play as a world-weary private detective as you uncover the truth that lurks in the depths of the Neon Sea.
As you contend with the mounting tension between man and machine, you spend your days, like most fictional detectives, drinking and taking on odd jobs. Your downward spiral is brought to a halt when you find yourself dragged into a missing persons case.
This leads to a hunt for a ruthless killer who escaped justice long ago. The more you delve, the more of your own memories are unlocked and the closer you get to the root of deeper conspiracies.
Light and Dark
The vibrant visuals of this game are a huge selling point, where the city’s blinding neon belies its dark, corrupt underbelly. The retro pixel art style only intensifies the fluorescent color palette and even the animations are bursting with personality.
There are numerous puzzles throughout the labyrinthine city and you’ll have to rely on your wits to find your way around. Use observation, reasoning and deduction as you explore crime scenes, examine objects and question witnesses. As capable as you are there are some places you just can’t get to. This is where you take control of your “assistant”, William the cat, to get to those hard to reach places and find vital clues.
The game is over 50% complete and its framework and main systems have been finalised. It’s received a lot of positive buzz from press and has already made its way to PAX East. Should it meet its funding, Tales of the Neon Sea will be releasing for Windows only on Steam.