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Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review | A Wonderful Return to the Future

90
Story
10
Gameplay
8
Visuals
10
Audio
9
Value for Money
8
Price:
$ 15
Clear Time:
7 Hours
Neurodiver is a mesmerizing sequel that brings you back to another captivating cyberpunk adventure through the vibrant world of Neo-San Francisco. With unforgettable new characters and a rich expansion of its lore, every choice you make in this engaging point-and-click visual novel shapes your journey and end. The breathtaking pixel art and exceptional synth soundtrack pull you, and immerse you deeper into the world, creating an immersive experience so profound it might just move you to tears by the end.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a story-rich point-and-click cyberpunk adventure game and a sequel to the beloved MidBoss, LLC game, 2064: Read Only Memories. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review Overview

What is Read Only Memories: Neurodiver?

In Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER, you play as ES88, a young psychic agent employed by the powerful organization MINERVA. Your mission is to track down Golden Butterfly, a mysterious psychic entity causing havoc in Neo-San Francisco by fragmenting citizens' memories. With the help of Neurodiver, a bioengineered psychic creature, you'll delve into memories to gather clues and thoughts, ultimately stopping Golden Butterfly. This game offers a fresh story set in the vibrant sci-fi world of Neo-San Francisco, welcoming both new players and fans of the original game with familiar faces making a return.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver features:
 ⚫︎ Point-and-Click Interactive Visual Novel
 ⚫︎ Retro-Future Pixel Graphics and Aesthetics
 ⚫︎ Cyberpunk Setting
 ⚫︎ Story-Rich Sci-Fi Adventure Game
 ⚫︎ Retro FM Synth Music
 ⚫︎ All New Cast with Returning Characters

For more gameplay details, read everything we know about Read Only Memories: Neurodiver's gameplay and story.


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Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Pros & Cons

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Pros Cons
Checkmark A Compelling Story and Memorable Cast
Checkmark Beautiful Pixel Art Style
Checkmark Relaxing and Nostalgic Music
Checkmark Slow Narrative Start
Checkmark Gameplay can at times be Repetitive

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Overall Score - 90/100

Neurodiver is a mesmerizing sequel that brings you back to another captivating cyberpunk adventure through the vibrant world of Neo-San Francisco. With unforgettable new characters and a rich expansion of its lore, every choice you make in this engaging point-and-click visual novel shapes your journey and end. The breathtaking pixel art and exceptional synth soundtrack pull you, and immerse you deeper into the world, creating an immersive experience so profound it might just move you to tears by the end.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Story - 10/10

The storytelling in this game is simply outstanding. Although it might take a little while to delve into the main plot, it expertly immerses you in its world and characters. Each character is incredibly memorable, and the writing is brilliantly witty, especially when embodying Luna, who is an absolutely lovable character. Luna is basically a shoujo protagonist trapped in a Cyberpunk universe. It's a cyberpunk adventure that breaks the mold by being refreshingly charming, fun, and an utterly captivating quirky sci-fi tale.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Gameplay - 8/10

If you haven't guessed from the title, get ready to dive into a world of reading because this game is a visual novel with point-and-click elements. But don't worry, the writing is top-notch and there's plenty of interactivity throughout each chapter. And your dialogue choices? They're either hilarious or genuinely impactful. I might not have psychic abilities, but it's clear to me that this gameplay won't be everyone's cup of tea. Sure, it can feel a bit repetitive at times, but mark my words, this game has a way of reeling you in. Give it a chance—you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised!

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Visuals - 10/10

The visuals in this game are absolutely stunning. The blend of retro-future aesthetics with pixel art brings the world to life. It's a significant step up from its predecessor, managing to evoke nostalgia while also feeling refreshingly modern. The use of color and lighting is particularly impressive, adding depth and vibrancy to every scene.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Audio - 9/10

The voice acting and music in this game are simply outstanding. I was completely swept away by the vibes, and each voice felt perfectly cast. The retro-future music, in particular, really enhanced the gameplay. However, there were moments when the mixing was a bit off, and I struggled to hear the voice acting clearly. Despite that, it's still a fantastic audio experience overall.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Value for Money - 8/10

The one drawback of recommending this game is that it might not appeal to everyone. With its focus on point-and-click gameplay and heavy reliance on reading, it may not satisfy those looking for high-octane action. However, if you're open-minded or a fan of this genre, it's definitely worth trying out. At just $15, it's a steal for the experience it offers. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review: A Wonderful Return to the Future

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Neurodiver easily secures a spot among my top favorite video game stories this year—it's just that good. What sets it apart isn't merely its intricately woven narrative, but rather the compelling writing and characters. But before I delve too deep, let me give you a brief overview of the game, highlighting what I didn't like and what I did.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a point-and-click visual novel, so don't anticipate flashy gameplay. Much of your time will be spent reading and engaging with dialogue and clicking on characters or objects. If you're not typically a fan of this genre, this game might not sway your opinion. However, I can assure you that you'd be missing out if you didn't at least give it a chance.

Having experienced some parts of its predecessor, I had a sense of what to expect. However, in my opinion, Neurodiver truly surpasses the first game right from the start. The game thrusts you into Luna's room, the character you control. Initially appearing mundane, it gradually introduces its concepts in a quirky and enjoyable manner.

Essentially, Luna is preparing for her Neurodiving licensure exam. Neurodiving grants the ability to enter and view memories from another's perspective.

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This skill is exclusive to Espers and Neurodivers. Luckily, Luna is an Esper herself, but Espers alone can only read minds. To delve into memories, they require a trusted partner known as a Neurodiver—strange blob-like creatures created by scientists for this very purpose.

You're promptly introduced to some side characters: GATE, your coworker assigned to protect the Neurodiver, and Crow, a cat-male hybrid whom you may recognize if you played the previous game. Crow seeks your assistance in recalling a foggy memory, prompting you to dive into it. This is where the story takes an even more intriguing turn.

When you dive into someone's memories, you essentially inhabit their body and experience the world from their perspective as they relive their past. Your objective is always to search for clues, but not everyone has a sharp memory, leading to blurred or fractured recollections of things and people.

I adore this approach because of how intricately the game delves into each person's psyche. Individuals have different ways of remembering or coping, as seen when diving into Crow's memory.

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Ten years ago, he sat next to his former comrades, engaged in a sketchy job. However, he struggles to recall the specifics, prompting you to use objects to piece together his memories. Items that elude their memory take shape from their psyche or other memories. For Crow, the bartender in Busan morphs into a giant baby, reflecting his nurturing nature.

Moreover, your dialogue choices can significantly impact interactions. While some choices may not alter the outcome, others can sway characters' willingness to assist you. This transforms the point-and-click game into an interactive experience that encourages understanding people and their personalities.

The game's writing is exceptionally witty and remarkable, although sifting through extensive dialogue and point-and-click interactions can occasionally feel repetitive. Nonetheless, the majority of interactions are engaging, and I often find myself chuckling at just how funny our protagonist is.

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Each memory's storyline is compelling, whether unraveling a botched job in Korea or searching for an item aboard a luxurious train. The game immerses you in various scenarios reminiscent of the movie Mindscape.

The game's story really deserves some applause. It's this cool mix of noir detective and sci-fi, or as they call it, psy-fi, which fits perfectly with its futuristic cyberpunk setting. What's great is how it balances out the dark stuff with moments of brightness and humor—it's a rollercoaster of emotions that you can’t really get anywhere else.

A big part of why it works so well is Luka, or ES88, our main character. She's not your typical cyberpunk protagonist, and her journey really drives the whole story forward, affecting everyone around her.

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Watching her grow throughout the game is pretty captivating, and yeah, I'll admit, the ending hit me right in the feels. I won't spoil anything, but I gotta say, the bad guy's appearances always keep things interesting. The writers did an awesome job expanding the world and lore, making it even richer. Here's hoping for a sequel—I'd love to dive back into Neo-San Francisco for another adventure.

The game's beautiful story is truly elevated by its stunning visuals, captivating soundtrack, and top-notch voice acting. Every member of the cast, especially Daisy Guevera as Luna, delivers an outstanding performance. I don't know how they did it, but every character in this game is likable. At times, it feels like watching a sci-fi anime with just how captivating these performances were.

The music further immerses you in the game's world, and honestly, I'd often find myself getting lost in the beautifully orchestrated synth retro vibes. I can't wait to listen to this soundtrack outside of the game.

However, what truly sets the game apart, aside from its story, is its visuals. The sprite and pixel art aesthetic are breathtakingly gorgeous. It's astonishing how expressive and lifelike they are, breathing vibrant life into the world around you. The creativity behind the art direction is evident, and I appreciate how it avoids overusing neon colors typically seen in futuristic settings.

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Instead, Neo-San Francisco feels lived-in and inviting, rather than dystopian and bleak like most futuristic games. The art team deserves immense credit for making this world feel more alive than many AAA games do nowadays.

I can't emphasize enough how much I believe in this game, but I truly hope you'll take a chance on it if you still doubt it. It's honestly one of the best games available right now. I get that gameplay might not always hit the mark for everyone, but I promise you'll fall in love with this game. Give it a shot, dive right into it and I promise you won't regret it!

Pros of Read Only Memories: Neurodiver

Things Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Got Right
Checkmark A Compelling Story and Memorable Cast
Checkmark Beautiful Pixel Art Style
Checkmark Relaxing and Nostalgic Music

A Compelling Story and Memorable Cast

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The story in Neurodiver is absolutely incredible, and I don't want to spoil too much because it's best experienced with fresh eyes. Essentially, it follows ES88, a young esper working for MINERVA, a major science corporation. ES88 has the ability to read minds and dive into memories, aided by the peculiar Neurodiver. Her latest task? To locate the elusive Golden Butterfly within various memories. While the story starts off slow, it quickly becomes intriguing, drawing you into the mystery and characters. Despite its darker moments, what sets this cyberpunk tale apart is its uplifting tone, largely thanks to the immensely likable main character. I'm particularly fond of the new side characters, especially GATE, ES88's coworker, who serves as a fantastic foil.

Beautiful Pixel Art Style

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The art style in this game is absolutely stunning. I'm in awe of how well it captures the aesthetics of the PC-8800 series and other retro consoles. The sprites are incredibly expressive and surprisingly lifelike, particularly Luna, who brims with emotions and personality. From the backgrounds to the character designs, each piece of art feels meticulously crafted and bursting with creativity. Personally, I'm drawn to the hybrid characters, humans with animal features due to gene therapy, which serves as a powerful metaphor for gender transition.

Relaxing and Nostalgic Music

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The soundtrack in this game can be summed up in one word: vibe. As a fan of city-pop, I adore how Neurodiver's soundtrack channels the same synths and waves. It's incredibly relaxing and strangely nostalgic, transporting me to a time and place I've never experienced firsthand. The music truly immerses me in the game's world and I can’t wait to listen to it outside of the game.

Cons of Read Only Memories: Neurodiver

Things That Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Can Improve
Checkmark Slow Narrative Start
Checkmark Gameplay can at times be Repetitive

Slow Narrative Start

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The game starts off on a slow note as you literally find yourself reading alongside Luna, delving into her studies. Before delving into the main plot, you'll explore memories from various characters, which, while engaging, might feel like a detour for some players. It takes its time, gradually piecing together the puzzle of the narrative. While I personally enjoy this approach, there were moments when I felt the urge to push the game forward to continue the main storyline—not because it was lacking, but because the plot is just that compelling.

Gameplay can at times be Repetitive

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It's important to note that this isn't a flaw with the game itself, but rather a characteristic of the point-and-click adventure genre. The gameplay is the same from beginning to end. While I do appreciate the immersive nature of point-and-click games, where you listen to dialogue, read text, and search for clues, it can feel repetitive at times. This is especially true when you're constantly searching for clues to activate memories, which is a recurring task throughout the game.

Is Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Worth It?

Yes! It’s a Game Worth Diving Into!

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While Neurodiver might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this game absolutely deserves to be played as it has an engaging story that will keep you hooked and the point-and-click gameplay while nothing special, really is enhanced by its beautiful visuals and soundtrack that really immerses you and with a price tag of $15, its definitely a steal. Although, I still do understand that this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, its still worth trying.

Learn about what others have had to say about Animal Well in our review round-up linked below!


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PRICE: $14.99


Read Only Memories: Neurodiver FAQ

Do You Need to Play 2064: Read Only Memories to Play this Game?

You don't need to have played the predecessor to enjoy this game—it's a completely standalone story with a fresh cast. While there are some characters from previous games who make appearances, they aren't the main focus of the story, so you won't miss out on anything crucial.

What is Neurodiver’s Soundtrack’s Music Genre?

According to their website, "NEURODIVER’s soundtrack is inspired by the OPNA/YM2608 sounds of the PC-8801 and PC-9801 series of computers, brought to you by Scarlet Moon composer and sound designer, Ken “coda” Snyder (Tree of Knowledge)!"

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Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Product Information

Read Only Memories Neurodiver Cover
Title READ ONLY MEMORIES: NEURODIVER
Release Date May 16, 2024
Developer MidBoss, LLC.
Publisher Chorus Worldwide Games
Supported Platforms Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Genre Casual Adventure, Indie
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating T
Official Website Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Website

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