A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Technobabylon is a downloadable adventure that tells an adult-themed story involving murder, betrayal, addiction, and political intrigue. There are multiple instances of intense violence, and characters are shown doing drugs and drinking. Though none of this is gratuitous and is rendered in abstract pixel art, it could still be more than younger kids can handle.
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What's it about?
TECHNOBABYLON is about a near-future city where people and processes are monitored by a massive AI. In this technically advanced environment, the gap between rich and poor is ever-increasing, genetic modification is commonplace, and people from all walks of life are succumbing to full-scale Internet addiction. Players take on the role of detective-like investigators Charlie Regis; his tech-savvy partner, Max Lao; and terminally unemployed hacker/Internet addict, Latha. Players gather clues trying to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the entire world.
Is it any good?
Technobabylon is a rare example of the serious, thought-provoking video game. This skillfully executed and poignantly written point-and-click adventure manages to examine a range of socially relevant themes while being thoroughly entertaining. The story woven is a clever mix of humor and grit that asks more than one morally difficult question. Better yet, its visionary, sometimes brutal concepts remind us of The Matrix-like excitement of '90s-era cyberpunk.
Apropos of a game created in the Internet age, most of Technobabylon's gameplay involves information gathering. Whether gathering clues as a detective or hacking a security system as a genius slacker, this process is both challenging and exciting. Puzzles and item usage are cleverly designed, and solving puzzles requires as much technological manipulation as conversational finesse. On top of the great gameplay (and regardless of the retro pixel graphics), the strength of the writing, music, and vocal performances gives the game the emotional weight of a well-written cop drama. But It's important to note that it also contains the moral ambivalence and violence of those kinds of shows. Technobabylon is not only a well-made video game; it's proof that video games can transcend their medium to rival books and movies in terms of thematic depth and emotional resonance. For anyone who loves experiencing an edgy, intricate story, this is a game you shouldn't miss.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Internet addiction. How much Internet time is too much, and why is it unhealthy?
Discuss genetic traits. What kinds of things did you inherit from your mother? From your father?
Think about technology in government. Is it a good thing for the government to be able to monitor everything we do?
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