Buddy Simulator 1984 (Switch) Review

Buddy Simulator 1984 is a uniquely weird game. For the first hour, you’ll be entering simple text prompts from an old timey green monitor interface, playing simple games like rock/paper/scissors or “guess the number.”  Eventually the game opens to new experiences which I don’t wish to spoil here as it would ruin the entire point of this retro AI buddy-sim.

It is difficult explain what this AI interacting sim is since there really isn’t anything quite like it. There is a classic text parser akin to adventure games of yesteryear but the overall tone and feel is slyly eerie and somewhat creepy.  While it never reaches a true horror experience, there are moments that will make you do a questionable double take especially if you answer the AI’s questions honestly.

Although the experience is unique and captivating, there are some huddles to overcome to get to the good stuff.  Using the virtual keyboard to type answers by flicking the analog stick isn’t the most intuitive and the game knows this which is why it auto-fills the responses as best as it can. The opening text segment is also slower paced and a little tedious. I personally had to power through the opening 20 minutes as I didn’t understand what was happening but ultimately glad I did as everything starts to change in time.  

And that is just it. It isn’t so much of a game as it is more of an experience. An experience of talking with a machine that is listening to every detail you give it and then regurgitates it all back to you in a creepy, non-human, unsettling sort of way. This is the gimmick of Buddy Simulator 1984. You are talking to a computer who is trying to be your friend but in the end, winds up making you realize John Connor was on to something.

SCORE: 8/10

Also Try: the computer hacking in Fallout 3

Better Than: playing original text only adventure games from the early PC days

Wait For It: Girlfriend Simulator 1992

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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