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Neo Cab is a short but altogether engrossing and clever game that offers players a lot of replayability. Neo Cab’s controls are fluid and easy to pick up, and I didn’t notice any typos in the English language version of the script.

Neo Cab is one of the few games that relentlessly speaks to these experiences and uses this truth to its advantage to provide a realistic, intriguing and cathartic experience. Even within this framework, your choices can be further limited.

It’s similar to a visual novel in which your choices affect dialogue and, at times, your ending. It fails to shine as brightly with its central mystery, for it’s relatively uninteresting, feels redundant and has a dissatisfying resolution. At least I have Neo Cab. Of course it had to be giant spiders. The update also features a new ride with everyone’s least favourite Capra employee, Charlie.

Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he's willing to admit. And while your playthrough won’t take too long, there’s some repetition involved – especially once you realize that money is practically irrelevant.

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Overall, my largest complaint with Neo Cab is its auto-save feature. Mechanically, though, it means you can’t just pick whatever conversation options you like. It is also available for PC.

Auto-save feature isn't well utilized, Lina's mood could negatively impact gameplay. If Lina’s feeling sad, then she’ll be too withdrawn to pick any angry, confrontational responses.

Beyond simply trying to please Los Ojos’ pax and help them through their own stories, Lina also has to be aware of the amount of Coin she has on her person. Neo Cab.

Many of us are fascinated by the short human interactions found in taxis, and Neo Cab lets us view them through a dystopian cyberpunk lens.

Coffee helps keep her world going round. Its several systems gracefully combine to create a cog that you want to keep turning until you reach the end.

Perhaps there’s so much care behind the writing of these characters because Neo Cab also understands that, in a world that defines people’s worth through their capital and contributions to the preservation of capitalist systems, a key part to the survival of the underprivileged is the human connections we make.

RPGFan is a gaming website focused on roleplaying games and related genres such as graphic adventures, visual novels, and roguelikes.

Gamers easily get the sense that they’re the ones driving down Los Ojos’ roads as the story plays out. I’ve got a nagging sense it could be a little more than it is, but complaining feels a little churlish when what’s here is as enjoyable as it is.

At times, I couldn’t say something I really wanted to because my previous choices had resulted in a specific emotional state. In Neo Cab, you play as Lina, a human driver-for-hire trying to hold onto your humanity in the automated world of Los Ojos.

They let you do all sorts of things you can’t or won’t do in real life.

But watch what you say—you’ll need to maintain your star rating to stay on the road. Capra, a mega-corporation, is pushing hard for driverless cabs.

How well your conversations go will impact your Neo Cab rating, which has to stay above a specific number for you to drive. It might not be as common in gaming as gunfights, but from Crazy Taxi to GTA sidequests, we do like our taxis. Because each pax has their own vastly distinct stories and goals, Lina’s approach to keeping them happy (and therefore making sure that her oh-so-important star rating doesn’t decrease) will be quite different depending on just who is in the backseat.

We cover franchises, creators, fandom, and everything inbetween. I wish I could say the same for everything else about it, but there are bits that annoy me.

Still, the FeelGrid system is what makes the conversation system really interesting.

He's also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man's only professional games journalist. It’s got a deliciously moody look, all dark streets and neon signs, while pulsing synth alternately soothes the nerves or drives the tension. Neo Cab is a futuristic point-and-click game where you play as Lina, one of the only human cab drivers left in a world overcome by automation. It’s not a complex system but it adds a lovely bit of nuance: Choices you make in one conversation have a (literally) visible effect and will impact every other conversation.

Coin is used to do pretty much anything in Los Ojos: from charging up Lina’s car in order to ensure you can actually pick up passengers to making donations to using a bed-finding app cleverly called Crashr for a good night’s sleep at the end of a shift (which is vital to boosting Lina’s starting mood the next day).

When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random.

On my good ending playthrough, I was close enough with just two of my pax to potentially have a final ride with one of them, and that’s only a tiny fraction of the characters you get to know while traversing Los Ojos. Cyberpunk taxicab confessions. Animation is minimal but effective: subtle shifts of the faces or side glances as the streets roll by. I didn’t even meet a few of them in my playthroughs due to the different routes I took.

To make matters worse and add some more personal stakes, Lina’s friend goes missing shortly after the pair reunite, and there are hints that Savy might be connected to both Capra and Radix. Nobody chooses to live paycheck to paycheck, nor do they truly choose to decide whether to skip a meal to save money or eat but risk not having enough for the bills. Neo Cab is a single-player branching narrative game about humanity… And the pitfalls that come with it. You’ll encounter a bizarre cultist obsessed with a god worm, a non-binary anti-car zealot, a disarmingly friendly back-alley doctor, and a tween star locked in a mech suit for “protection.” Depending on who’s riding, the conversations can be hilarious, insightful, or weird.

Ultimately, most of us are just cogs in a larger machine operated by those at the top. From the Neo Cab app, you’ll choose your passengers and navigate the city grid.

Neo Cab’s characters are colorful and diverse, and I loved learning more about Lina’s pax and seeing how their stories developed as I accepted their returning ride offers. Lina is a driver for the titular Neo Cab, one of the few taxi services that still employs human drivers. Ultimately, the auto-save feature is a minor annoyance in an era when saving at any time has pretty much become the norm, particularly in visual novel/narrative adventure games such as this. The camera cleverly pans around to give either a clear view of Lina and her pax during their drive, or the pax is displayed over Lina’s shoulder in the rearview mirror.

© 2020 Emerald Shield Media LLC | Designed by Valkyrie Studio and MPT Creative. Choices in a capitalist world are often just illusions, much as in videogames. Audra Bowling is a reviewer for RPGFan. As with the money system, I feel like more could’ve been done with it, but it’s still a really interesting twist on the standard dialogue tree. Each pax varies greatly in terms of personality and design, and your job as Lina is to not only drive them but also serve as a confidant.

She’s described as a “quantum witch” capable of figuring things out based on alternate realities, albeit through science. Those who crave an original cyberpunk setting might find this creative, independent title worth playing. Instead, the gameplay focus is on the conversations you have with your passengers, who are a wild and varied bunch at the best of times. Monomals. You can see how much car charge a ride will take, but not how much money you earn. It’s most definitely an indie game, but one that uses its resources extremely well. A short but entertaining and beautiful look at cyberpunk dystopia, through the unlikely lens of a gig economy taxi driver. Lina wears a Feelgrid, a mood bracelet that puts her emotions on display to others. Neo Cab has players take the mantle of Lina Romero, a woman who just moved to the nearly fully automated city of Los Ojos at the request of her best friend Savy. Racism and classism are still very much a thing, and at least one mega-corporation is absurdly powerful, invasive, and seemingly above the law.

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