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Neo Cab Thoughts

Neo Cab Thoughts

When ‘indie’ comes to mind, you probably think of pixels, 8-bit music, and a dimly-lit room with too minimum a staff and too maximum a workload. But for the past several years, indie games have been gradually becoming less of memes-in-waiting and more must-buys. Why? Because those devs are busting their humps to deliver games that can go toe-to-toe with gaming giants like Nintendo or Sony. What indie games tend to lack in big bang presentation or the pizzazz we’re used to of more mainstream development, they have heart. Energy. And above all, drive. And talking of drive, you’re gonna wanna buckle up for this upcoming title about a car, a human, a missing friend, and lots and lots of neon. I’m talking about Neo Cab.

subliminal

It’s not a dystopia without subliminal messaging.

This narrative-centric game puts you behind the wheel of Lina, one of the last human Neo Cab drivers in the neon-soaked metropolis of LA-inspired Los Ojos. In the game, you meet a wildly vibrant and diverse cast of characters as you make your routes, engage in conversation, and manage your money and battery. All against the backdrop of finding out what happened to your missing friend, Savy, who’s become quite familiar with the front of a wanted poster…

spam

Some of your fares are sousveillance [French for ‘surveillance from underground’], nosy parkers who receive a wage from Capra in exchange for capturing everything they see, do, or hear.

Story-driven games have been coming into the forefront more and more recently. We’ve seen what can be done with them from the acclaimed Life is Strange (and its sequel) and the praised Firewatch, the former of which is also now on Switch. Sometimes, between the fighting, catching, or hack-and-slashing, you just want to kick back and relax with a good story. And so far, Neo Cab seems intent on delivering that.

Much of the meat of the game is in how you manage your conversations with your fares, maintaining a good emotional level, and keeping the ever present Capra off your back as you try and figure out what happened to your friend. The story also has routes that’re procedurally generated, so while the fare you pick up is auto-traveled, it’s likely to be different every time for every player. The mechanics presented also force you to really consider how to spend your time. Drive too many passengers and Lina’s mood dampens, putting her five-star ratings at risk. The lower your score dips, the bigger the potential consequences…

lifesfare

The streets are your home, and a fare is a fare...

rating

Do all you can to keep your rating high and stay clear of Capra.

Neo Cab has a bit of pedigree behind it; Patrick Ewing of Firewatch fame lends his creative direction, along with Vincent Perea, a former Disney Interactive art director, and Paula Rogers, for whom this is her writing game debut, coming off of 10 plus years of writing experience in creative and advertising. Already it seems like we have quite the crew to make this game a breakout hit, but time and release will tell us for sure. Neo Cab is due out spring 2019, and we’ll keep eye/ear out and grins wide in anticipation.

stayhuman

Arc words, or something more?

Shayne Brown

Shayne Brown

Staff Writer

Loves writing, food, and Pokémon more than legally allowed. Can be found playing RPGs or not shutting up about his girlfriend.

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