[Review] Neo Cab – Nintendo Switch

Written by Ch3llybun

Reviewed by Chelsea

  • Developer: Chance Agency
  • Publisher: Fellow Traveller
  • Release Date:  03/10/2019
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by Fellow Traveller

What Does the Future Hold?

In a World overcome by automation, how can you possibly hold on to your humanity? In Neo Cab, that’s exactly what you must do. You play as Lina, new to the city of Los Ojos, you are a Neo Cab driver – one of the very last human taxi drivers available in this city run by Capra; the enemy – or so you are led to believe.

Lina has come to Los Ojos with the hope of moving in with her best friend, Savy, the only person she knows in this neo-noir city. Unfortunately, things turn sour pretty quickly and Savy is missing. With no money and nowhere to go, your only option is to stay in your cab and work, in the hope of coming across someone that may know something about Savy’s suspicious disappearance.

As you journey through Neo Cab you, the player, will choose what passengers you pick up, how you interact with them and most importantly, uncover their stories. Careful though, you’re still at work. Let your personal feelings interfere too much and your driver rating may see you fired; no job, no money, no life.

Taxi Rides Are Awkward

Most of your time in Neo Cab will play out with you behind the wheel of your cab, but you’re not actually driving. Rather than choosing destinations to go to, you choose your passengers. You sort of fast travel to pick them up and at that point, your task is to get them to talk to you. Find out if they have any information regarding Savy whilst also being a good cab driver to earn maximum stars.

Having a choice of how you speak to each ‘Pax’ really helps to make you feel more connected with Lina as a person. Each character has their own story and how you interact with them depicts how much of that story you will uncover, as well as how many stars they will give you. There are certain ‘Prime’ members who will only take a ride with you if you have 5 stars – which can be tough to maintain as your rating is based on an average of the last 3 rides you had, not on the overall score – and some give you low scores just to be awkward.

Choosing your next passenger is easily done from the Neo Cab app. From the world map, you will be given a few choices of ‘Pax’ to pick up, only seeing how far from you they are and a small image. Sometimes, not even of them. From the Neo Cab app, you can also view your Journal entries – which are mainly just some sort of image from something you have recently discovered, you can also see your Feelgrid status (more on thtat shortly) and how much Capra Cash you have.

Feel Good Inc.

Your emotions are a huge part of Neo Cab so much so that it can alter the way you communicate with the people you come into contact with. Keeping track of your emotions can be hard work, that’s why you have the Feelgrid! A device that changes colour depending on the way Lina is feeling and it will also say how intense that feeling is.

If Lina is feeling good, the Feelgrid will be a nice green, if she’s angry it will be red, if Lina is feeling blue well, you get the idea. When Lina is in these ‘zones’ it will change the way she can interact, if she’s in a good mood, she won’t be able to choose an aggressive response. It’s a really cool feature but then sometimes I just wanted to be able to shout at somebody for something they said…

Money Makes the World Go Round

Unfortunately, the above statement is true. Especially in Los Ojos. Capra Cash is what you’re working for but what purpose does it have? Well, your cab doesn’t run on air… it doesn’t run on fuel either. In fact, it runs on energy. In order to continue working the night shift, you need to charge up your vehicle which costs Capra Cash. Just like in real life, each charging station you go to is a different price but you won’t pay more than a fiver for a full charge, which is pretty good.

As well as paying to charge your vehicle, you also need to find somewhere to sleep for the night – with Savy being missing, you can’t go there as strangely, you don’t know where her address actually is. Again, different places have different costs – and some have better beds. Some even have their own stories.

Final Thoughts

Neo Cab is a narrative game at heart and although it doesn’t last very long it’s still incredibly charming and unique. The futuristic theme alongside the neo-noir visuals make for pleasant viewing and the games characters and their stories are worth experiencing.

Pros

  • Unique take on a narrative adventure
  • Engaging characters and story
  • Feelgrid is a cool idea
  • Charming Visuals

Cons

  • A little short

Verdict

I didn’t know how much fun being a cab driver could be until playing Neo Cab.

4/5

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