Release Date: Jan 30 2020
Developer: Affable Games
Publisher: Affable Games
Music: Dan Sugars & Andrew Curnock
Genre: Party game, Simulator
Platforms: Switch, Windows, Mac
Speaking Simulator is a hilarious experience focused around the simple art of speaking. The game follows an anxious robot who is trying to infiltrate human society by doing his best to fit in by doing everything ‘human’ from going on dates, getting promotions at work and having conversations with co-workers. However this robot has not fully mastered the art of social interactions, which feels surprisingly familiar while playing. The robot stumbles on words, struggles with eye contact and does it’s best to act normal however, things tend to spiral out of control!
Speaking Simulator features an experience that really immerses you in the awkwardness of social interactions. It really shows off many elements from the day to day interactions we have that we tend to gloss over. The game focuses on these situations whilst playing host to a solid experience that challenges the player and never makes you feel stupid for failing. At the start of the game, the player is given control over two elements of the social interactions. These being the tongue which is shown by a live footage box on the side and controlled by one of the joysticks. The other one is the lips, where the player can extend or retract them both horizontally and vertically.
The game guides the player on what to do with green arrows and lights making the experience feel like a lock picking experience or a pattern matching mechanic. This creates a stressful, multi-tasking party where you can’t do anything but laugh at the ridiculousness going on. This is only enhanced as you progress through the game, gaining access to more and more features. For example one of them gives you control over the eyes, forcing you to be aware of the time you’re having eye contact with the NPC in front of you.
One of the key parts in Speaking Simulator is without a doubt the sounds. Speaking Simulator takes this very ‘seriously.’ While you definitely understand what is being said, you are still left laughing at the hilarious sounds that come from the robot’s mouth no matter what. This being partially thanks to the amazing dialogue that has been crafted. The music goes hand in hand with this lighthearted experience. There are nice tracks consistently playing in the background making me reminisce on older comedic titles and their silliness.
Speaking Simulator features solid game play that left me feeling both challenged and aware of all the little things I do in my day to day interactions. While being grateful for that, the Zed Games Crew and myself were laughing hysterically at the pure silliness of it all. The game play is nice and simple but quickly ramps up in difficulty, the best way I can think of describing it would be. Having a drink platter starting with one beer, then, half way through balancing 10 shots, a wine bottle and 20 beers. In general the in game audio and sound effects all feel silly and lighthearted easing me into the fact that I shouldn’t take this game seriously and just enjoy the goofiness.
Reviewed by William Haumann @William_Haumann on March 1st 2020