Master Reboot had been in my backlog for several months but I finally took the time over the past few days to play through and even 100% the achievements.
The game was not flawless by any means but to my mind the warts are just about what one should expect from such an ambitious indie project. Missing things like a key/controller config, multiple save slots (or a persistent way to view ducky and animated memories), borderless window, etc. are all minor quibbles that at worst I'd appreciate seeing in future projects.
But the game so masterfully tells its story that the technical deficiencies don't really diminish my opinion of it, in the end. While there are no major plot twists or unexpected turns, the revelation of the plot as well as exposition on the settings and characters are all slowly dripped to the player in an epistolary style, primarily via documents and photos unlocked by finding the blue duckies in each level. The bits and pieces found reveal just enough to the player that unlocking a new one feels like satisfying detective work.
Further, the setting and plot serve one another well and like all good sci-fi, they form a sort of feedback loop to make a greater whole than either aspect alone. The concept of the Soul Cloud and all of its implications are borne from the mundane human stories, and the regular lives of the characters are made extraordinary by the cyberpunk setup. Yes, cyberpunk. The game is set in a much nearer future than most cyberpunk sf but the concept of the Soul Cloud would be right at home in Ghost in the Shell - it's essentially one big shell for many many ghosts. The near-future setting helped rather than hindered my disbelief and I could believe that this sort of tech would exist in "tomorrow's tomorrow".
The only criticism I might lodge at the plot and setting is that there's absolutely no falling action or an epilogue of any sorts, so the end feels just a bit abrupt. This very well could have been intentional as it leaves the player to consider what might happen next, and the ultimate outcome of a "happy" or "sad" ending depends on their own perspective and conclusions drawn. I understand a sequel is also in the works, which at this juncture I am quite looking forward to.
A quick note about the audio/visual aspects, since I feel a review is incomplete without SOME words on that front. The flat-shaded, low-poly look was very effective in cooridination with the shader and lighting effects. I don't have much more to say on this front, but I mean- I took a couple of dozen screenshots (http://steamcommunity.com/id/Junon/screenshots/?appid=251850
). The game looks good! As far as audio, I have even less to say here. The soundtrack is largely ambient and the sound effects did their job - I ran into no technical issues or points of aural annoyance.
All told, Master Reboot is a diamond in the rough. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who can look around a few technical and gameplay frustrations to find an exceptional story. Games like Master Reboot are why I carry a torch for indies.