Towards the end of my first day on the E3 show floor, I took a tour of the Indiecade booth. I went hands-on with a variety of games from smaller publishers, and one caught my attention more than others: Neo Cab.
Neo Cab: Stay human
Neo Cab is set in a dystopian future where tech reigns supreme. Humans are augmented in every imaginable way, and bright neon lights expose a sinister underbelly to civilization. No, I’m not talking about Cyberpunk2077. You play as a cab driver named Lina, and you’re one of the last ones around. A tech monopoly with an army of self-driving cars has put everyone out of business. As the world grows increasingly cold and mechanical, ordinary people are struggling with what it means to be human.
Neo Cab is a narrative-driven adventure with a focus on human emotion and introspection. You have a variety of dialogue options when dealing with riders, and your choices (including who you pick up and how you treat them) impact the story. A bracelet monitors your vitals and displays your color-coded emotional state at all times, and an inner monologue fills in the blanks. Sometimes you’ll even find you’re unable to choose certain dialogue options because they’re in conflict with your emotional state.
Early on, you’ll be trying to keep your wallet and your car’s battery full while earning positive reviews. That’s tricky enough, but things really escalate when your best friend goes missing under shady circumstances. I only got to play Neo Cab for around 20 minutes, but it left me craving more.