In a world filled with high definition graphics, it’s nice to have a change of pace. Usually, we write how graphics blow us away or how visual impairments can affect the overall quality of a game. But in the case of Alt-Frequencies, we don’t have to talk about graphics. This puzzle game makes use of auditory clues to help you solve the mysterious circumstances behind the story. So how does Alt-Frequencies turn out? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
The core premise behind Alt-Frequencies is the use of pirated radio signals to solve what I describe as an evil political agenda. In the game, you come across a pirated signal on your radio. This owner of the signal, Winston, tells of government corruption in regards to an upcoming vote. Or rather, a vote that doesn’t matter because the higher-ups already implemented the thing that was supposed to be voted on. If you love government conspiracies, you’ll enjoy this story.
Now the story technically dives into sci-fi territory, as the object in question is a time loop. As you can imagine, time loops are tricky and could obviously be used for nefarious purposes. It’s bad enough that the government implemented something that should have been voted on. But it makes things worse knowing that time loops are involved. Winston gives you the task of getting information to the right sources via radio recordings.
The gameplay is ultimately very simple. You can browse radio stations and record audio clips. These clips can then be sent to other stations. The challenge with this game is to find the right information and send it to the right people. And remember that time loop? It plays a role in the game by repeating news segments until you find the right information to record. If you miss information, or if you send it to the wrong people, then the time loop takes effect and lets you try again.
In a way, the time loop makes things rather easy, especially if you don’t mind trial and error. You can record pretty much anything and send it to a number of radio stations. If they discuss the news, then you know you made the right step towards stopping the conspiracy. If they decide not to discuss it, then you will need to try another station or record different information. The time loop is basically infinite, so you have time to listen carefully and record anything.
I think the biggest complaint you can make about Alt-Frequencies is it is fairly simple. It takes anywhere between 2-3 hours to complete, and the time loop lets you try over and over without consequence. But honestly, I rather enjoyed listening and problem-solving, so I didn’t mind the simplicity of the gameplay. If the game was longer than a few hours, then I would have probably found it tedious. But the length of time works in its favor, and it’s rather enjoyable to just use your listening skills for once.
Another enjoyable aspect is the voice acting. I liked the mix of radio personalities and they fit well with their respective station. The voices of the news anchor and the shock jock, for example, fit well with the tone of their channels. I also appreciated the audio and visual cues that came with solving a puzzle. Kudos to Accidental Queens for adding some nice flair to the visuals, even though the audio is more important.
Overall, Alt-Frequencies has some nice puzzles and a great change of pace from your typical puzzle game. The gameplay may be too simple for some, but I think it works thanks to the short run time. I would be excited to see what the team does next with the concept because I would like more auditory games like this one to hit the market.
Note: A digital code was provided from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
Auditory puzzle solving
Good voice acting
Short game length
Simple concept and puzzles