Neo Cab is a visual novel made by developer Chance Agency and publisher Fellow Traveller. It released on October 3rd of 2019 for PC (Steam) and Nintendo switch. Is this ride worth the fare or will you find yourself wishing you picked a different driver on this trip to an enjoyable experience? Hop on in and find out!
The story of Neo Cab is one of how a society might handle handing off autonomy to a corporation and a more physical manifestation of taking social media data mining to the world outside the internet. You will tackle issues of A.I., robotics and automation, quantum statistics, and the more generic but satisfying overtones of classism and “techism”. Your perspective on this road is of a Neo Cab driver named Lina who packed up all her stuff to move in with a friend in the big city. When Lina arrives however, it turns out her friend ends up missing and it’s up to Lina to find her friend and of course, finally get a roof over her head.
The Story itself is enjoyable if not sometimes dry. The replayability in choosing your clientele and how you respond to them is what sets Neo Cab apart from other visual novels and feels like an organic evolution to the genre.
Gameplay in Neo Cab is simple but satisfying. You essentially play out each night by grabbing some clients, take them to thier destination, and strike up conversations along the way. Choices you make translate to what info your client gives you as well as the rating/money you receive. Wrong choices can really mess with you as you need a 4 star rating to not loose your ability to cab people around. Choices will also change the story in certain ways so don’t be afraid to grab familiar clients or worry too much if you bombed a ride. In fact sometimes you don’t have a choice in what you say. A red block will bar that choice giving an illusion of freedom when your emotional state is too swayed in a certain direction so be aware of that.
You will also need to spend money to refuel your vehicle as well as spend the night somewhere. It’s not much to do but given the genre it’s more complex than the norm. Heck they even auto save every ride and stop you make to make things easier for you.
Music and Art:
Music and the artistic design is Lo-fi aesthetic to drive to. The muted, cool and easy on the eyes and ears atmosphere gives you a calm yet focused mind to flow your experience effortlessly. The rare bright lights and colors will peak your interest and remind you of the juxtaposition between the seemingly cold, sterile outside world and the warm and emotive world inside your cab. Neo Cab is just a real treat to soak in and get absorbed in it’s world.
Neo Cab is a wonderfully experimental and depth filled visual novel full of charm and emotion. You’ll find yourself enjoying this ride to it’s end and more than willing to have paid the fare.
- Great music
- Good use of art direction
- Replayability and full of depth for a VN
- Main character Lina has thoughts that can take you out of immersion from time to time during periods where there are no choices to be made