Neofeud Review
Neofeud Review
Unless you want to be preached to about the evils of power and wealth, I’d skip this one
Posted: 10/24/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Silver Spook Games | Platform: Windows

Genre: Dystopic Cyberpunk Adventure 
Release date: September 19, 2017

Neofeud is a game about the haves and have-nots. It is a story about political revolution in a cyberpunk setting with floating cities, gritty arcades, robots who can think for themselves, and the ability to rewrite reality.

The Story
 

The story starts small. Step into the shoes of Karl Carbon, an ex-cop turned social worker. He is just running to his office to fill out some paperwork. Karl is a human with a cybernetic arm. You can use Karl’s cybernetic arm attachments to solve many of the puzzles, which I think is cool. Karl is trying to do his job and help some of the downtrodden Eugenics get the support they need to survive. Eugenics are the robot-human crossbreeds who have disappointed their creators and been discarded. They want jobs and access to health care and the ability to provide for their families.

Karl does an on-site visit to check in with one of his clients, Proto-J, and things start to go haywire. Karl ends up teaming up with Proto-J, a Princess, and the Princess's mysterious companion. The pacing of this story progression is impressively well-done. The story starts out with Karl going about his day, but slowly expanding to a grander scale.

The Production
 

The production of this game is a mess. The voice acting is terrible. The art style is all over the place. The characters look like clip art cobbled together from different pieces. The writing and dialog are full of political commentary and inane pop culture references.

This game sucks!

Let’s start with the writing. The game is an allegory for the well-to-do 1% and the downtrodden 99%. The game repeatedly drills the evil of the 1% and how they only care about putting everyone else down. The 1% rule everything and consist of dynasties. One is the Clington-Busch family, a direct parallel to the Clinton and Bush families from US Politics. A rival dynasty is the Coch-Jobbs, a parallel to Steve Jobs and the Koch brothers, two big names in business.

The dialog is steeped with bitterness and bile. Sometimes the message is repeated multiple times in the same dialog tree. It’s never a succinct way, often we have extended diatribes from characters about how evil the 1% is. I can’t imagine the life experience that would cause someone to write this, and I’m thankful for that.

When not being political, the game is loaded with references from the 80s, 90s, and adventure games.  Proto-J will often call Karl “Bruce Willis” and Karl will respond with the “yippee ki yay” quote from Die Hard. The game takes a stab at the infamous moustache puzzle from Gabriel Knight. The old Konami Code is even part of the game. References such as these are all over the place. Unfortunately, the references feel unnatural. Instead of adding bits of humor to serious political commentary, they just float on by, emotionless.

Let’s talk about voice acting. Karl, the Princess and Proto-J deliver their lines like an NPR host, devoid of emotion. Perhaps they just don’t have the internalized bitterness to make the speech really come through. Proto-J is designed to be the drug dealing gang banger, and he is always written in slang. It’s hard to listen to and hard to read, especially when he starts swearing a lot.

The game is not all bad. I will give the author credit for fantastic character portraits. A big surprise about this game is that a lot of this production was done by a single person. That makes the inconsistent art style surprising. The puzzles follow a standard inventory puzzle paradigm of many point-and-click games. They are well-done and that is a bright spot on such a poor production. In a few places, the interface felt clunky because I couldn’t find hotspots. If you get stuck, look carefully for the hotspot you’re missing. It is there. As one example, early in the game I had to fix Karl’s cybernetic arm. I had to switch between three items, but the items were so big and the hotspots so small it was tough to get through this sequence.

The game is longer than most adventure games I play these days. It is not of Thimbleweed Park length by any stretch, but you can expect to devote more than one afternoon to it.

Final Thoughts
 

Unfortunately, this game never truly really finds a balance. It is a sarcastic allegory for today’s world of the 99% verse the 1% and the point is drive home ad nauseum. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any insight or new thought on the topic. Unless you want to be preached to about the evils of power and wealth, I’d skip this one.

 
Grade: C-
 
Good story pacing
Good length
 
Inconsistent graphic direction
- Preachy story 
 
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 

 
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows 98
Processor: Pentium
Memory: 256 MB RAM
Graphics: Any DirectX-compatible video card
Storage: 3GB available space
Sound card: Any
 
Specials from Digital Download
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