Game Review: Mind Scanners Demo

Mind Scanners is the latest game from developers The Outer Zone and published by Brave At Night. The retro-futuristic management RPG will be coming to PC this Spring! It is part of this year’s LudoNarraCon online event. The team behind the game also reached out to me to let me know a little more about the game prior to LudoNarraCon starting.

I was kindly sent a Steam Key for the Mind Scanners demo by Fellow Traveller as part of the LudoNarraCon Press Pass.

“Mind Scanners is a retro-futuristic management game about diagnosing and treating anomaly citizens. Meet peculiar characters, analyze their personalities and decide whether they need your help. Use arcade-style treatment devices and manage your resources to keep The Structure in harmony. Remember, you take full responsibility for your patients.” – The Outer Zone/Brave At Night

The game includes three main narratives as well as additional side stories, branching narratives that vary depending on your choices, over fifty patients to treat with one of twenty treatments and approximately seven hours of gameplay plus replayability.

Key Features

  • Manage your time and resources to aid the residents of The Structure
  • Deduce citizen’s personality type by carefully analyzing their views of the world
  • Operate and master different arcade-style devices to treat your patients
  • Spend your Kapok and science points to develop new devices
  • Make decisions in the face of challenging ethical dilemmas

After successfully becoming a Mind Scanner, you are tasked with treating a number of citizens who live in The Structure who have been acting rather peculiar lately. For each treatment you complete you will be paid 10 Kapok however, you need to ensure you have enough Kapok to pay maintenance. If you fail to have enough money then you will be removed from The Structure and thrown into The Outerzone instead.

As you progress through the demo, you get to experience treating a number of The Structure Citizens. Some you can treat straight away while others you need to perform a Mind Scan first to help decide the best course of treatment. The Mind Scan contains a series of questions that you need to answer to help diagnose what is wrong with that person. For each question you are given three possible answers. If you get it right, that’s great, you’re one step closer to figuring out what is wrong. If you answer the question incorrectly then it will cost you some Kapok. As for the treatment, there are a number of ways that these can be approached. There are a number of different puzzles that help you cure the citizens. Once you have cured your citizen, you will be able to go on and treat others if there are any, or you will proceed to the next day.

Mind Scanners is one of many games that stood out to me when I was looking at the exhibitors for LudoNarraCon 2021. There was something about its art style, the colours, the dystopian like themes and the game overall stood out from other games being showcased. When I first jumped into the demo, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, and it did take a bit of trial and error to finally start understanding the games’ mechanics. From there I hit the ground running. I found myself questioning every choice I was making and wondering what would happen had I chosen another option instead. Yet despite the moments where I felt I had failed my Citizen I surprisingly passed and fully treated.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the demo, and I’d love to see how the story and game turns out overall. I still have questions that need answers! Luckily there isn’t long to wait as Mind Scanners is planned to launch on 20th May 2021.

To find out more about Mind Scanners, you can check out the Steam page here!

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