|a game by||The Outer Zone|
|Editor Rating:||10/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Simulator Games, RPGs, Games Like Orwell|
Developed by The Outer Zone, Mind Scanners is a dystopian psychology simulator that seems to be an eerie representation of a future where not even thoughts are private. Facing the player with tough choices every step of the way, every decision you make in this game is a moral conundrum, as players slowly grow attached to the unsettling reality that the developers envisioned.
Is it Stockholm syndrome? We’re not sure, but the truth is that Mind Scanners is as addictive as it is fascinating. An indie game with a unique premise and a distinctive art style, and it’s certainly one to keep in your sights if you like psychology or unnerving experiences.
Welcome to 1984
As previously mentioned, Mind Scanners is set in a retrofuturistic dystopia: one where citizens of The Structure must keep their minds strictly controlled. Your job is to diagnose any possible mental disturbances among the populace, using minigames to check the citizen’s states of mind.
At its core, Mind Scanners shares many of its design choices and thematic elements with Papers, Please, another game set in a heavily monitored dystopia. Much like that game, players will face many complicated moral scenarios as they play Mind Scanners: should they denounce any instance of “insane” civilians? Even those who are clearly sane people living in an insane world? The choices you make influence the game’s story and make the difference if you want to end The Structure’s iron grip over its residents.
To diagnose patients, players will have to play through a variety of arcade-style minigames. As each citizen’s minds are different, so are their games. Players will have to use their intuition and skills to determine which treatment suits which citizens, and successfully diagnosing them will give you money to develop new devices.
That’s the basic gameplay loop of Mind Scanners: diagnose a patient; get more points to unlock a new device; diagnose more patients with more devices. Although it might sound repetitive, the truth is anything but. Almost every patient has their own, fascinating life story, allowing players to really grow attached to these 8-bit human characters.
At the start of each session, players will have to determine which treatment to administer through a Rorschach test. Depending on their results, they might pass judgment, determining if a character needs to have their brains scanned or not. Much like Papers, Please, some opportunities might arise from time to time to “look the other way,” even if that means evading your responsibilities.
It’s all in the writing
Mind Scanners is a very text-heavy game. While the minigames can be a fun distraction, the real charm can be found in the game’s quirky writing. Each character feels unique, or even weird, for lack of a better word; yet, this weirdness feels entirely adequate, considering the game’s strange setting.
The retro-futuristic aesthetic and the unique color palette give Mind Scanners a distinctive look and feel. This is something that developers The Outer Zone have previously excelled at. What’s even more impressive is just how different this game is compared to their previous title, Yes, Your Grace.
Odd, intriguing, and uniquely fascinating, the dystopian society of Mind Scanners will haunt you and keep you hooked for days. Its engaging gameplay mechanics and interesting plot make it one of the most unique indie games of recent years, and it’s definitely one to keep on your radar if you like your games to be a bit weird.
- Intriguing plot
- Entertaining minigames
- Unique visual aesthetic
- Some of the mental issues can get a bit disturbing
Download Mind Scanners
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP