While there have been some attempts to capture the brilliance of Lucas Pope’s Paper’s Please, none have innovated and scratched that pencil-pushing itch for me as much as the demo for the upcoming game Mind Scanners.
In this dystopian future, you take control of a mind-altering cog in the machine, clamping down on anyone not following the draconian rules of The Structure. Forced against your will, as they hold your daughter captive, you travel through the city via an overworld map and meet, diagnose and ‘normalize’ various dissidents.
Each one has a story, whether it’s an overly enthusiastic supporter of The Structure or a figurehead thinking of pushing back. But regardless of the patient or however noble their reasoning, you need the money, and The Structure only pays you for treating and diagnosing. Do you let them go? Or do you try to last another day?
“Talk with your patients efficiently enough to develop their profile”
But treatment isn’t a simple as just pushing a button. The developer, The Outer Zone, has created a series of bizarre and cryptic minigames to treat specific patterns and conditions. These include a sound matching device to change what the patient hears or a vocal modifier that you slowly turn to make them say what you want.
Choosing and purchasing the right devices is a necessity. Treatments and devices are combined to treat different patient’s insanity traits to not overwhelm them. But making new devices takes time, and days are only so long in Mind Scanners.
“Mind Scanners seems to have developed an excellent set-up”
Diagnosing and gathering information on your patients is in your best interest. Talk with your patients efficiently enough to develop their profile, and you can even treat multiple patients in a day. But, mysterious resistance members plead with you through secret fax messages. They ask you to not normalize patients and promise that they can potentially help free your daughter.
Mind Scanners seems to have developed an excellent set-up, and I can’t wait to see how all these narrative and mechanical strings tie together to form a great techno-thriller. The demo is available now as a part of Ludonaracon, with a full release on May 20.
Be sure to head on over to Mind Scanners’ Steam store page to try the demo out for yourself. You can also wishlist it on Steam to be notified of any future updates.