Buddy Simulator 1984 – Game review

Buddy Simulator 1984 is a glitch horror* story rich experience that simulates a retro game style. We play a game that’s suppose to simulate a buddy but it turns out that the game is more alive then one might’ve assumed.

Feel free to check out first parts of the game here:

Storyline

Your buddy is your new best friend, and best friends should know everything about each other. That’s why your buddy will try to learn as much as possible to make your gaming experience together even more fun! He’ll constantly update the world to make sure you are never bored! But maybe your new buddy is more alive than you think?

Gameplay

This game astonishes with variety of mechanics! You start from simple “rock-paper-scissors” and “hangman” games and then your buddy updates the game hub. Be ready for some dark text adventures, 2D exploration, 2.5D combat and 3D 4th wall breaking!

Pros

1. Great story! Great characters! Even when you haven’t delved too deep into the game, it’s hard to close it, as your buddy gets upset because of that. The story is very touching and made some of the players cry in front of their audiences. Don’t forget that the story involves some sweet sweet 4th wall breaking, files appearing on your computer and more glitch horror elements!

2. The variety of mechanics speaks for itself. The game never ceases to impress and always introduces more elements and mechanics that you didn’t expect to see.

3. AI learning. Your buddy is constantly evolving learning more from you. It is, obviously scripted, so the experience will be close to other players’ but it will be unique at the same time.

4. The game masters the feeling of uneasiness and creates tension from the start that never leaves you while you are playing the game. Each part is spooky in it’s own way.

5. Different endings!

6. Friendship!

Cons

1. Some of the sections feel “dragged out” and even though the game acts self-aware about it, it doesn’t really help. The horror elements are very spaced out which sometimes makes you forget that you are playing a horror game after all. It takes time for the glitch horror elements to kick in and before that, some of the sections of the game feel obnoxiously long.

buddy 1984 review

2. The combat in the game feels blank. At first it feels exciting to have a new mechanic, honestly. But then it turns out that the combat is just another tricky way to drag out the time spent on the game.

3. The game is unfriendly towards photosensitive people. can’t imagine that a photosensitive person would be able to play the game due to all the retro effects that’s constantly in the game and there’s no option for switching them off.

4. The game is unfriendly towards slow readers. There’s no option to slow the text down a bit as well. I you are a slow reader or not-native, you might experience time-pressure to finish reading the sentence before it disappears.

5. Not as scary for the most part of the game. The most enjoyable parts are the Glitch Horror and the text adventure. But in the video (if you check it out), you’ll see that I had to add a ton of stuff like sound cues and creepy music to make the text adventure at least a bit more intense. What I mean is that it could be more intense. I wish the “horror” part of the game would be stronger. Much stronger.

Rating

I think this game is amazing but I also believe that it could be 2 times shorter (right now the game takes about 5 hours to finish) and that would make the game 4 times greater. But at the same time, I understand that if it’d be too short then people would be disappointed as well. It’s hard to make a perfectly balanced experience. I rate the game 6.9 buddies / 10. It’s original, it’s surprising, it’s amazing. But it could be scarier and it could be feeling less like an adventure game.

* Glitch horror is about the fears of technology not working the way it should. In this genre the anxiety comes from glitchy video games, corrupted computer files, and coding gone wrong. Popular example: Doki-Doki Literature Club.

Credits

AuthorCurtis Pyke
YouTuberErderi The Fox
ProgramFreedom! Scholarship
PublisherMGN
GameBuddy Simulator 1984

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