Some people claim to see the future; others can simply hear it.
I stopped listening to the radio a long time ago, because whenever I tried to find a clear station and frequency signal, my ears tended to only be met with disruptive static instead. But then today I got to thinking: what kinds of fascinating words and stories were actually being told under all that noise? What if they were being sent from another place, or even another time? FREEQ is a unique audio adventure game from Psychic Bunny, where players learn that the radio frequencies we pick up here in 2013 are really cries for help from the inhabitants of a distant world in the future.
In the game’s trailer, which looks more like a well-produced short film than an ad for a video game, we see a young woman using her mobile device as a portable antenna, and hijacking radio signals from the last civilization on Earth. Using graffiti that’s written on the city walls in the background of the video, Psychic Bunny invites players to “Eavesdrop on the future,” and try to solve the mystery of what ended the world. Judging from that giant red maelstrom that appears in the sky, it can’t be anything good.
As you might have guessed by now, FREEQ is a game that’s heavily focused on narrative storytelling, and players can actually influence the way the story unfolds by choosing which character speaks to whom, and what kinds of information are shared between them. Inspired by the style of old radio dramas from the early twentieth century, the game is fully voiced and performed in the same vein, to make for an incredibly immersive auditory experience.
From the look of things, the actual gameplay of FREEQ will involve moving around a little game icon, and using it to discover and strategically connect found frequencies like “Radio Tuner” and “Vincent’s broadcast.” We also don’t know if the game will actually require you to change your physical location in order to pick up new signals as depicted in the trailer, but I am fully prepared to wander around my neighborhood like a madman with a tinfoil hat on my head if it comes to that.
FREEQ is expected to launch sometime soon for iOS and Android devices, which gives me just enough time to dig out my old radio and start messing around with all the knobs and dials, just in case there’s someone from the future who’s hoping I listen in.