Genre:   Adventure

Developer:  Technocrat

Publisher:  WadjetEye

Released:  May 2015

PC Requirements:  

  • OS: Windows ME or higher
  • Processor: Pentium or higher
  • Memory: 64 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 640x400, 32-bit colour: 700 Mhz system minimum
  • DirectX: Version 5.2
  • HardDrive: 3 GB available space

Additional screenshots



by flotsam


Technobabylon: A Cyberpunk Adventure Game


They had me at cyberpunk, and WadjetEye sealed the deal.

Anyone familiar with WadjetEye will recognise the style and no one does pixelly retro better. Anyone else might be a little surprised by the graphics, but will most likely get sucked into the events, and forget all about the “look”. It’s a sum of the parts thing – the characterisation, the story, the score, the puzzling, the detail in the blocky graphics, and all the other bits and pieces come together to create something much more than it may at first appear to be. 

Technobabylon takes place in Newton in 2087, a city run, or at least overseen, by a Central artificial intelligence. It’s a future in which a Trance state between minds can be preferred to living in the real world, and in which police are trained scientists in order to function in the bioengineered environment which has been created.

We meet two such police, Drs Max Lao and Charlie Regis, but not before we spend some time with Latha Sesame, a refugee who came to Newton as a refugee from some South Asian conflict. Supported by the state, she prefers the Trance, which is probably not surprising given the squalid state of the public housing apartment. However a glitch has dumped her out of the Trance and locked her in the apartment, something she need to rectify and which occupies the first short part of the game. The Trance itself is an interesting puzzle adjunct, and will be utilised in order to move things forward.

Then we meet the good Drs, on a case involving a mindjacker who is stealing knowledge directly from people’s brains, the result of which is death. Dispatched downtown to follow a lead, a surprising interaction with a car leads to a further victim, and an unsuccessful rooftop pursuit of the perpetrator . Then it’s onto a train bomber, and then a grisly double murder with a less than helpful synthetic maid.

You play Latha in the first part, and while Lao and Regis are partners in pursuit of crime, you at first only play Regis, although there is very much a sense of both of them being involved. Eventually you get to play as Lao, and while most of the game determines who you play at what time, towards the end you get to choose between them.

The third person perspective doesn’t lock you into “being” any particular character; rather you play with them. The two Drs are good foils for each other, in much the same way that Joey and Rosa were. They are different too, Charlie shunning some of the technological implants common to the world and preferring to be “off the grid”; Max being very much the model police person. Neither though are afraid to bend protocol when the circumstances require it.

In my “first look” I mentioned that Technobabylon had a many layered plot, and I wasn’t wrong. So many layers in fact that I confess I got a little confused, and found it difficult to keep everything in order (in fact, I failed). While a second play through will undoubtedly help, and the promise of some different endings based on choices will assist that likelihood, I did think it was too convoluted for its own good.

While I enjoyed the main characters, I didn’t really warm to them. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just that there was nothing about them that made me want to root for them as people. Lao came closest, providing a ray of sunshine that helped compensate for the somewhat gloomy Regis and the even gloomier world.  I did have some sympathy for how Regis had come to be how he was, but it didn’t make me like him. I did however have a grudging admiration for them both. Latha I am not sure about; I will be interested to see how I feel next time through with the benefit of the whole game behind me.

Which is not to say that the characterisation was lacking; rather, for me they were people I respected rather than befriended.

Technobabylon is pure point and click, and by and large the plentiful conundrums are logical and woven into the game, although as always in these types of games (always for me at any rate) I did have to engage in some old fashioned try everything with everything to make progress.

The environments are many and the detail quite remarkable for such a pixelly product, but on a number of occasions the lack of definition meant I did have trouble discerning an item against the background. Hotspots are generally decently sized which helps, but I can’t point at what I actually can’t “see”, so the capacity to reveal hotspots would have been nice now and then.

I thought the voice acting was a little mixed, but nothing too contentious or distracting, but the words themselves were well crafted. Writing has always been a strong part of WadjetEye products, and it’s the same here. I think it took me about 8 – 10 hours to complete, and I was well pleased. If you like their earlier products, I suspect you will be too.

Grade B+

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB



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