This game is rated PEGI 18
Our review includes potentially triggering words:
Anxiety, Depression, Drug and Nudity.
Ignore All Content Warnings
Posted: 3 months ago, last updated 10 weeks ago.
In a vast cyberpunk-style metropolis you play as both the bartender at the Red Strings Club, and local hacker. They must work together to uncover the plans of a huge corporation that wants to eliminate depression, anger, and anxiety from society. It sounds like a good aim, but they soon discover the price the world will pay for this idealised vision of humanity.
As the bartender, you talk to the people who visit your bar and complete mini-games to prepare drinks designed to heighten certain emotions and tease out vital information. As the hacker, you create genetic implants at a high-tech lathe to alter the emotions of the executives of the corporation. You then assume the voices of company executives in phone calls as you attempt to bring it down.
While most of the game plays like a text adventure, often with little player input, the drink-crafting and implant-creation mini-games keep things varied. The result is a uniquely philosophical and thoughtful game that looks at the nature of happiness and the importance of untamed emotions.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Mature Accompanied (MA 15+) for Strong Nudity and Strong Coarse Language.
12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The high age rating isn't due to the game's mechanics (simple puzzles and reading), but rather the heavy and complex themes, subject matter, and associated imagery and language.
You can't change the controls, but you never have to press more than one button at once, rapidly press buttons, or hold buttons down. In addition, there are never any time limits to your actions. During the genetic implant creation minigame, you need to use tools to create the correct shaped chip, similar to woodturning in real life. On the Nintendo Switch, this can occasionally be quite tricky as the controls are quite sensitive, but you can undo any mistakes you make.
The text throughout the game, including subtitles (which include the speaker name), is all high contrast but is also fairly small. In addition, the pixelated style can make the text difficult to read at times.
In the drink preparation minigame, you need to shake the drink to mix it. This is accompanied by a screen-shake effect that can't be turned off. Also in that minigame, the different liquids available to pour are all different colours, but the bottles are different shapes as well, so they can be differentiated by something other than colour for colourblind players.
In some scenarios, there are lightning flashes in the background.
Diversity and Inclusion
Gender and Sexuality:
Gender Representation: The gender representation of the pre-defined characters you can play in the game.
- Play as Non-binary Character: The game’s protagonist is non-binary (someone who does not identify as just masculine or just feminine at all times).
Sexual Orientation Representation: The sexual and romantic orientation of characters you can play in the game.
- Play as Gay Character: The game’s protagonist is a man, masculine presenting person, or non-binary person who is gay (attracted to men, masculine-presenting people, or non-binary people).
Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to The Red Strings Club in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to The Red Strings Club, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 18 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games.