Read Only Memories: Neurodivers revels in the corrupted past

March 3, 2021
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2064: Read Only Memories might have my favourite opening of any game ever. I’m thinking specifically about the bit you can play in a demo on Steam. You’re a writer, sat in your tiny apartment, procrastinating about writing a review of some fancy new headphones. You manage to power through the review and go to sleep after flicking eyes across the local news, and then you wake up in the middle of the night when a polite robot breaks in and tidies up.

2064 is the work of MidBoss, a studio based in Berkeley, California, and which specialises in games with a LGBTQIA+ focus and a strong sense of diversity and inclusivity. The game is an adventure affair set in a future poised on the brink of three singularities, and in the opening ten minutes there’s a brilliant joke about being a writer and an excellent discussion of Asimov’s laws of robotics. I’ve spent the morning playing the demo for Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, the studio’s follow-up. It’s every bit as good as 2064. It might be love.

The Neurodiver in question is a genetically-engineered lifeform that allows Espers to move through other people’s memories. In the demo, which is short but filled with details and conversations and possibilities, it allows you to travel back in time to a client’s missing memories of a long-ago bar transaction that may or may not have gone awry.

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