2064: Read Only Memories is an interesting game that asks questions about ourselves and the future we're preparing for the world. This pixel art adventure draws parallels from real-world scenarios currently happening, as well as other pop culture (X-Men, anyone?). The futuristic and fantastic world of Neo-San Francisco is filled with technological marvels and speaks to the future success of humanity. However, with the rise of genetic engineering and ROMs, virtual intelligence machines, and a connective MeshNet bringing it all together, this bright and cheery looking future still contains some of the well known Cyberpunk and Dystopian tropes we all love. Hybrids especially, genetically modified humans choosing to change their appearance and move beyond your basic Homo Sapiens, as well as the onset of true Artificial Intelligence, leaves some concerned about the future of Mankind. This is where you and your connection to the leading developer on AI and tech come into play - he's missing, and it's up to you and his creation to find him.
Being a point-and-click adventure game on a PC makes sense. You've got your mouse to select and manipulate objects to further the plot. It mostly works the same on the Xbox, but players are given the option of either using the D-Pad to select objects or using the left stick to move a cursor around (slowly and clumsily) to choose your next object. Once you've found what you want to interact with, you can bring up a context menu - look, act, talk, and use an item. Looking will provide a brief description, Act will have you act upon the object (or awkwardly touch someone you weirdo), Talk will have you either initiate a conversation or talk to an inanimate object, or Use an Item will have you combine an item from your inventory to see if it solves the puzzle at hand.
Additionally, it's possible to navigate over to the menu options on the far right of the screen to travel to another area or bring up the menu/save. I found using the D-Pad to be the simplest and less annoying way of navigating through the game. But that didn't fix everything. I had challenges as the contrast between what you had "highlighted," and the overall brightness and backgrounds of the game sometimes made it hard to know what was being selected. There were more than a few times I either ended up picking the same object/person, or I was inadvertently on the menu option without realizing it. Small annoyances, but this one started to add up at times.
The best aspects of the game itself are the wide-ranging cast of characters and the voice acting helping shape them into memorable people. The people you run into are widely diverse and represent a very different future than modern times. Throw in the inclusion of people purposefully modifying themselves to have items like cat ears or lizard-like skin, and you've got a whole slew of social commentary built into the game. It's neat to talk with everyone, and your responses and personality will dictate how they react to you. Considering the excellent voice acting, I'd love to hear some of the other possible exchanges. Topping this off with the beautiful pixel art juxtaposing a bright and cheerful future with some nasty underlying concerns.
2064: Read Only Memories draws its inspirations from the greats of the old-school adventure games like Grim Fandango, Myst, and Monkey Island. This point-and-click adventure title has all of the trappings of games made upwards of 20 years ago contained in a beautifully rendered pixel art world with a fun, quirky cast of characters behind it. For fans of slower, puzzle-based games, this will be a must-have on their consoles. However, it is better suited for the PC and feels a little sluggish and off-putting using an Xbox controller when trying to manipulate objects. Plus, with how the game is slower paced and requires a lot of backtracking and managing of objects to help fill out the game's world and provide humor, those seeking faster and more direct gameplay/humor will turn away quickly.Note: 2064: Read Only Memories was reviewed on Xbox One. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.