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Buddy Simulator 1984 Review

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Posted: 7 weeks ago.

Author: Ben Kendall and @GeekDadGamer.


Buddy Simulator 1984 is an adventure horror game. What starts as a retro-themed set of mini-games soon evolves into a tale of anxiety, friendship and depression as your buddy makes new games for you to play each with creepy anomalies and glitches. It's an evolving experience that entirely depends on your choices, even down to the ending.

You are introduced to your buddy (called Buddy) at the start of the game. You initially play several old fashioned games with them, such as hangman and guess the number. After quickly tiring of these, the Buddy character creates a set of new games for you to play. It's here that you uncover strange anomalies, from creepy, out of character dialogue to sudden, loud glitches that show strange scenes.

As you progress, these anomalies get more frequent and intense, and Buddy seems more and more desperate to please you and keep you playing, and also seems to want you to choose certain activities and options. Finally, when the whole thing seems on the brink of collapse, you confront Buddy and decide whether your friendship will survive or whether the damage has already been done.

In the first few sections, you type responses and commands, and although you can type anything the game only recognises certain responses. Soon after the introductory phase, the gameplay shifts to resemble early 2D, then 3D, RPGs where you move about the world and occasionally fight enemies in a combat system that relies on precise timing of random keys that briefly flash across the screen.

It's a novel game with a unique way of telling a thematically rich story that, when combined with its blend of genres, make it a compelling choice for both novice and experienced players.

DetailsGame Details

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @Not_Sailor


Duration: This game will take between 4 hours and 6 and a half hours to complete.
Players: This is a single player game.


Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. You can get the free demo if you want to try the game out first, and you can also buy the game in a bundle with the soundtrack.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

On the game's steam page, the developer says: "This game contains themes of emotional manipulation as well as themes of depression and anxiety, and as a result, may not be suitable for all audiences."
This game has not yet been rated, but we anticipate it is likely to be rated PEGI 16.
This game has not yet been rated, but we anticipate it is likely to be rated ESRB TEEN.

Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 15+ year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity. As well as dealing with some complex themes, the gameplay sometimes requires some intuition from the player that may make it inaccessible for younger or less experienced players.


When first opening the game, you need to "boot up" the buddy simulator from inside the faux operating system. This requires at least a bit of prior knowledge about how to do such things, or the willingness to look up a tutorial.

As a large portion of the game is told through (non-adjustable) text, you'll need to be prepared to do a large amount of reading. The text is often quite small, and if you are making choices that your buddy doesn't like the text may become unreadable In some sections, the colour of the text changes, depending on your favourite colour, which is previously inputted, but generally the text is a high-contrast white on black.

For some of the combat sections in the game, you'll need to be able to quickly respond to in screen cues indicating specific buttons to press. However, there is a mode called "One Key Mode" which disables the random key element of this.

The game is mostly black and white or monochrome, which makes it easy to distinguish between different elements. For effect, dramatic or otherwise, this is sometimes not the case, but the game remains overall high-contrast throughout.
Our Buddy Simulator 1984 Accessibility Report details 17 accessibility features:

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Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Buddy Simulator 1984 or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Buddy Simulator 1984, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB TEEN games.

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