The Red Strings Club

Devolver Digital is an Austin, TX based video game publishing company many titles of which I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Such titles include Mother Russia Bleeds, BroForce, Hotline Miami, Reigns, Okhlos, and Enter The Gungeon.

I was quite intrigued by their latest publication, produced by the Spanish game developer Deconstructeam, The Red Strings Club.

Released Jan. 22 , The Red Strings Club is, in the words of the developer Deconstructeam, “a cyberpunk narrative experience about fate and happiness featuring the extensive use of pottery, bartending and impersonating people on the phone to take down a corporate conspiracy.”

Throughout the game, you sculpt implants to improve the lives of clients seeking relief through cybernetics, mix drinks to the liking of bar patrons to stimulate conversation, and imitate voices to socially engineer your way through high rise offices, all in the service of uncovering and thwarting a sinister corporate conspiracy.

It’s a very simple game to the extent that it barely qualifies as one from a mechanical standpoint.

It’s essentially a point-and-click pixel-art graphic novel packaged with a couple of mini-games.

This is however by no means a knock against it in the least bit.

The simplicity of its execution is sublimely undergirded by the music, storyline, and writing which carries the game far more than the mechanics clearly ever intended to the credit of the game and its developers.

The Red Strings Club not a pretentious work, with no sign I could detect of it pretending to be something it’s not.

Particularly with regard to the music, it fit perfectly the theme of difficult decisions surrounding free will, many of which gave me great pause.

Spoilers aside, the ending is most definitely emotionally charged in a way I can’t recall any pixel-art game I’ve ever played capable of pulling off, which left me both satisfied with the game while also wanting more to the story.

This is by no means a deficiency — the manner in which The Red Strings Club ended felt like a good stopping point as it was, and very well could double as a splendid stepping off  should Deconstructeam wish to make a sequel/followup, which I wouldn’t hesitate at this point to buy.