August 31, 2015 12:45 PM | John Bridgman
Conflict exists at the heart of most video games, and the resolution of these conflicts are the focal point of most game experiences. More often than not, these conflicts are resolved through the application of force or will upon that which resists you. Far less frequent are games where conflict is resolved through dialogue and reasoning, and this is where Between The City And The Needle finds itself. The self-labeled "conversation simulator" by Nightmarea Games asks you to use your words to covertly uncover and defeat a significant threat.
Put in the role of a psychologist as a cover for your real task, you are set out to interview a group of people who may or may not be imposter human being. These alien invaders are a secret threat to the world, and only through your intuition and deduction will you be able to determine who is and isn't one of the unknown mimics. You will be forced to decide on the fates of each possible imposter, and will only find out the truth after sentencing them to their deaths and eventually an autopsy.
In addition, you will be able to interact with your co-workers via text-message in game. These interactions will be defined by the way you play through, so expect that your colleagues will react to you appropriately based on your decisions and actions at work. Those who act in a similar way to you are likely to reach out to you too, and I think this may in fact be an interesting way of providing the player with feedback as to how the game is progressing.
Your decisions will lead to one of several endings based on your conversational and deductive skills. Both in regards to the people (or perhaps aliens) that you are encountering, as well as the Honest Minds facility itself. You will be able to eventually deduce and discover the secrets behind the government front that you have found yourself working in, as you can attempt to decrypt documents and hack files as you seek to uncover more hidden truths.
Between the trailer and the newly released early screenshots, Between The City And The Needle looks to be progressing well. If it is able to live up to its ambition of being a game about conversation and interaction, I think it will be a fascinating title, and one that will appeal to people eager to try their hand at unraveling secrets and puzzles of the world the game sets out. Those who like puzzle games or adventure games may also tangentially want to keep this title in their sights as it develops.