Read Only Memory is a game that includes LGBT characters. Its developer MidBoss runs the GaymerX convention. If you live in a retrograde country or village, Read Only Memory might just be the game for you! Aside from the fact that Read Only Memory features some LGBT characters, the game has actually little to do with LGBT topical issues. In the year 2064, you play the role of a struggling journalist, dreaming of the big book deal. Neo- San Francisco seems to be as unaffordable as present day SF, and you’re stuck writing headphone reviews to pay the rent. When your friend Hayden mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a sapient robot named Turing, you’re quickly thrown into a web of technological intrigue…
Playability: Exploratory clicking
Read Only Memories’ rich lore is only gradually introduced scenery after scenery, which doesn’t overwhelm you and lets you assimilate the cultural fabric of a fascinating 2064 San Francisco at your own pace. Old school pointing and clicking on objects, robots and people is intuitive. It is easy to put stuff in your bagpack for later use on other objects or people. Puzzles are just about right and there are usually enough hints to get the story moving.
Annoyance: Patient reading of a slowly evolving thriller
Read Only Memories sometimes meanders around, forcing you to retrace steps. A relatively copious amount of text calls for the occasional skim through… Patient gamers will eventually be rewarded as the nefarious plot gradually takes shape. Read Only Memories is rarely annoying: even if Turing rambles a little too much, the congenial little machine conceals a big heart.
Beauty: Don’t look too close
Read Only Memories has old style blocky graphics albeit funky and colourful. Even on a laptop, you’ll want to move back a little to soften the jagged lines. The groovy soundtrack is similarly fake old gaming electro pop. The pixel animations are generally neat but a little more resolution would have been more eye pleasing.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: An imaginative and well crafted futuristic adventure 7/10
Read Only Memories packs a surprisingly well crafted game at barely 200 kilobytes. The light hearted tongue in cheek humour, retro pixels and soundtrack hide a deep point and click adventure game about prejudice, sentience and self determination. Higher resolution graphics and voice over dialogues would have made the journey more pleasant but Read Only Memory is overall a good yarn and an imaginative experience.