Games of the Year

State of Mind

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Berlin, 2048 – The world is on the brink. Lack of resources, illnesses caused by polluted air and water, crime on the rise, war. Governments and companies promise remedies through technological progress. Drones and humanoid robots replace humans in the public sector, everything is interconnected, surveillance has become omnipresent. Richard Nolan is one of the few journalists openly criticizing this development. When he wakes up in hospital after an explosion and finds that his wife and son have mysteriously vanished, Richard realizes: he and his family have become more than just bystanders in a storm of rivaling ideas pertaining humankind’s salvation between dystopian reality and digital utopia. Instead, they find themselves right at the center of it.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Now this was an amazing surprising hidden gem!
Nothing personal, but I rarely enjoyed games from Daedalic Entertainment, with a few exceptions of course. But I never expected this one to be such a great one! Definitely underrated.
Maybe it's my nostalgia that will be hardly be filled after I finished Detroit: Becoming Human almost a year a go, and I consider it one of the best story-rich and PROPER choices matters game, and it was definitely mind-blowing under all aspects.
But I don't think so - State of Mind deserves proper credits. I really don't care about the gfx of a game, in fact avid story-rich games players knows that even a 16bit game (talking about Freebird Games studio) could deliver an emotional blow.
State of Mind IMO was close to be a proper masterpiece. Because it managed to give a lot of inputs to think about our not-so-distant future, mankind, machines, and Transhumanism. And it's doing it in a great way, with a story that was really enjoyable, with a proper Climax rising until the end. The characters traits even if they don't get developed particularly deep, they can be felt after a few scenes, and the voice acting really suits all characters!
Even if choices during the game are not really relevant (except for achievements), it's interesting to see the different reactions. The story was not so predictable, and I liked the twists and how it unfolded.
The atmosphere of the game can be definitely felt, and despite a simply gfx, it was really immersive to me. Additionally, they managed to add several elements during the entire game, a mix between a puzzle or "mini games" or anyway other perks instead of making it just a walking simulator with QTE, that I find pretty refreshing as well.
If only there was more meaningful impacts on the decisions spreading across the chapters, and the would have put more efforts regarding the endings - yes, there are multiple endings, but they are visually all the same with just minor difference - this was probably the most negative aspect of the game - after such a great work, it seems that the last part (and I really mean just the ending, because the rest of the game was really enjoyable to me) - would be probably get a place on the top best games to play before you die ;)
Regardless, if you want to enjoy a story rich game with great characters and something more than just a walking simulator, and you like such kind of distopian topics, State of Mind is definitely not to be missed - the game worth its full price!
I really hope to see more game from this publisher in the future heading in this direction and adding more dynamic elements to allow an even greater immersion / replay values, because the core and the formula is definitely already on the table!
Thanks for the great experience ;)

Review from Steam

Midlife crisis simulator but it makes you question Elon Musk.

Review from Steam

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the intro of state of mind sets the scene perfectly. we're in berlin, the year is 2048, everything looks crap, neon, chaos and pandemonium everywhere. one of the protagonists, richard, is a journalist for a major publication. he just had an accident, has some memory issues, but his ar chip or whatever remained intact, so no need for a hotspot indicator, everything of interest is highlighted. welcome to the future. richard doesn't come off as somebody to root for, he clearly has family problems, he's anti-robot and pro-side piece.
the other protagonist, adam, was also in an accident, he has a wife and son as well. a much more likeable group, living in a much nicer area called city5, though they have their issues too. it's not all family drama, you'll find the usual themes of robots good or bad, terrorism, etc. sprinkled all over.
great graphics and voice work, it's all very cinematic, lots of cutscenes interrupting the exploration, but there's also less busywork, which I didn't mind. the world is pretty cool, great attention to detail, a bedtime story here, a holo-tv segment there. you can even publish an article by deciding each paragraph's tone, and the more you drink, the more aggressive it gets. most dialog choices don't make a difference and there aren't many puzzles to speak of, they're more like mini-games. I liked or didn't mind most of them, but there were a few annoying ones.
movement can be a bit clunky but controls work well overall and they are rebindable. two sets of keys to walk around, bring up the inventory and navigate menus, plus the mouse for looking around and interacting, though the latter can be done with hotkeys as well. right click to skip dialog sentence by sentence, actual cutscenes can't be skipped. gamepads are also supported, movement speed is decent and there's a sprint button too. I would've liked to zoom out, get the camera off my back, sadly it's not an option.
commendable amount and quality of settings otherwise. separate volume sliders, resolutions, windowed mode, brightness, some graphics settings, optional subtitles and a bunch of languages for them and voiceovers, plus in-game representation of achievements. only autosaving after each scene, but it happens over multiple slots, so much so that not only are 5 autosaves rotated, just in case, but by the end you'll have a bunch of 'story saves', much better than chapter select, which would've meant only 5 jumping-in points. I would've still liked a save & exit option, because without skippable cutscenes continuing the game later meant watching the opening of the current section again.
gotta say, I really enjoyed the whole thing, found it hard to stop playing when I had to, but also didn't want to binge it in two sittings. just enough exploration and fluff to mix up an otherwise linear game without becoming overwhelming, plus a decent story presented really well. it reminded me of omikron: the nomad soul and remember me but without too many shitty arcade/combat sequences. I finished it in about 10 hours, took my time, walked around, read everything, that's the whole point, but it should be doable in 8 hours at a steady pace. without any major issues to speak of, it's an easy recommendation if you want a non-challenging near-future experience.

Review from Steam

I was hooked from start to finish... I STRONGLY RECOMMEND State Of Mind if you enjoy narrative games.
You will feel like you are watching a good sci-fi thriller.
Despite a few weaknesses, the game is quite ambitious, has a very original plot idea, well-written dialogues, unique graphics in cohesion with the world in which we are immersed, and a Blade Runner / Dreamfall atmospheric setting with good ambient music. State Of Mind will stimulate your imagination...
I think this game is underrated.

Review from Steam

Richard Nolan awakens in a hospital bed after bad car accident… or was he actually in a building that got sabotaged by a bomb explosion... nothing is certain. Quick check up doesn't reveal any serious injuries except for a slight memory loss and confusion so he is released. Back home he misses his wife and son. At first he believes they are at his wife's parents place, but as they don't come back the next day, he begins to truly worry. Where are they? What happened to them? Are they safe? His search for his family will lead him through a rabbit hole where he's gonna face unpleasant memories and facts about his life so far. To make things worse he finds himself in the middle of struggle for power over the future world between the global tech corporation and the regime's opponents / terrorists.
I don't want to spoil the story much, but the fitting description would be a futuristic slice of life - the topics are serious as the whole atmosphere, dystopia and utopia clashes against each other in an extreme depiction of both opposites. First playthrough of State of Mind was really intriguing and I wanted to know more as the story twisted with its progression and there were a lot of questions laid down before us. The tension of what is exactly going to happen was built well, even though you can guess some of the story development soon. The final climax though was rather weak and without a proper closure. Also neither of the two endings is a happy end, which was pretty sad as you are left without some kind of optimism. I don't know, but I expected something more from it.
I liked the graphic design of the game as it really suited it, and the soundtrack was also fitting. Except for our main hero, Richard, you are gonna play as four other characters and see the present, past or future world from their perspective. It works well for creating your own opinion of the world, sadly you can't change it much. All you can do is select how you are gonna react in conversations which will at the most cause what achievements you are gonna open, but the end will remain the same (except for the two three choices on which depends what kind of ending you get). This influencing impossibility is best seen on our main protagonist Richard. I have once said that the main character of Someday You'll Return is the most unappealing hero I have ever seen. Well, Richard actually wins the prize. The worst part about him is that he doesn't undergo any real development even if you willingly try for it. Nothing moves with him and it was hard to connect with him because of it. Playing as Richard wasn't very enjoyable...
State of Mind has interesting design and is dealing with difficult moral questions concerning the future of humankind. Although it can lose its breath in some moments, the story is interesting till the end. I recommend it to fans of sci-fi, dystopian / utopian stories with a touch of existentialism.

Review from Steam

boring beginning, but the way the story accelerates is very catchy.
everything is mixed in the best traditions - bladerunner, detroit, cyberpunk, etc.
not a fan of the polygonal style, but I liked the puzzles, I wouldn’t say that they were difficult, but at some moments I got stuck for 5-10 minutes
story 8/10
style 5/10
gameplay 6/10
overall i would give 7/10
money spent on the game paid off 100%

Review from Steam

Don't let the low-poly visuals fool you - behind these simplistic esthetics lies a remarkable story, one that makes the player question the relationship between humanity and technology and how much progress is too much. It also discusses whether virtual reality is any less real than the real world, a topic that's slowly becoming more interesting as VR technology is developed.
The main and almost only focus of State of Mind is storytelling. Apart from a few simple puzzles there's nothing in the gameplay to challenge the player, but do not worry - the plot will do that for you. If you love mind-bending stories and don't mind the choppy visuals, I highly recommend State of Mind. It's a work of art that'll keep you wanting more.

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