In Neo-San Francisco, a vibrant city of low life and high tech, you will witness the world’s first sapient robot learning to grow and live as you become embroiled in the darkest scandal of 2064.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (251 reviews) - 91% of the 251 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 6, 2015

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Buy Read Only Memories - Sights and Sounds of Neo-SF

Includes 3 items: Read Only Memories, Read Only Memories - Sights of Neo-SF, Read Only Memories - Sounds of Neo-SF

 

Recent updates View all (25)

August 9

Announcement on Read Only Memories Playstion Launch

Hey ROMantics,

We've got some news on our blog about the Playstation Announcement

http://midboss.com/2016/08/2064-read-memories-playstation-
launch/

2 comments Read more

June 23

2064: Read Only Memories Gameplay Trailer & Cast Announcement



Hey ROMantics!

We just announced our entire cast of Voice Actors for 2064: Read Only Memories!

We have Austin Creed, Melissa Hutchison, Jeff Lupetin and so many more! Check them out!

http://midboss.com/2016/06/2064-read-memories-gameplay-trailer-cast-announcement/

28 comments Read more

Reviews

“It's like a Telltale game, Phoenix Wright, and Snatcher had some sort of millennial cyberpunk baby.”
4/5 – The Escapist

“ROM is a resounding success and one of the most affecting adventures I've ever had.”
8/10 – GameSpot

“A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others... inclusive and accessible to just about everyone.”
8/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

Neo-San Francisco, 2064 AD. Your life as a struggling journalist is interrupted by the world's first sapient machine, a ROM (Relationship and Organizational Manager) named Turing. Together, you and the quirky robot will encounter a colorful cast of locals and overcome challenges as you uncover the city’s secrets behind the overlapping futures of technology and humanity.

Read Only Memories is a new cyberpunk adventure that will take you on a journey of puzzle-solving and exploring as you investigate the mysterious world and characters of Neo-San Francisco. Inspired by classics like Gabriel Knight and Snatcher, ROM is a retrofuturistic take on the point and click adventure genre that features a rich mature narrative and unique gameplay challenges hidden within the beautiful interactive pixel scenes. The deeper you delve into the life of your missing friend, the further you get entangled into this tale about the dark side of technology.

Can you survive in Neo-SF? Or will the mystery go unsolved?

Key Features:

  • Dynamic narrative defined by player choices, with over 10 hours of dialogue, exploration, and gameplay challenges with multiple solutions.
  • BAFTA-nominated voice actors Adam Harrington and Dave Fennoy guide immersion in the aesthetics along with the exclusive synth-driven original soundtrack by 2 Mello and the retro futuristic pixel art style of JJSignal.
  • A vibrant cast of characters populate the world, as the rich interactive encounters with allies and enemies alike will unearth world-changing revelations.

Note: Cloud Saves currently only support same platform. Multi-platform support coming soon!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz with SSE2 instruction support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Direct X or Open GL 2.0 compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: one that goes boop and beep
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz with SSE2 instruction support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: beep boop bop
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.9
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz with SSE2 instruction support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: blip
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (251 reviews)
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242 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
aenaylor
0.8 hrs
Posted: September 23
Just a bit dull.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pablomakaveli
6.4 hrs
Posted: September 22
TL:DR A pretty good visual novel adventure with great retro style graphics. Its very dialogue heavy so if you fancy something with more gameplay avoid this, otherwise its worth picking up.

Read Only Memories is a retro visual novel. It has you playing a journalist in the San Francisco of the future. In Neo SF, as its called in the game, there are lots of ROMs which are basically robots that perform all sort of menial jobs. The story starts with a ROM called Turing breaking into your apartment. It turns out Turing is the first sentient robot, built by an old friend called Hayden who is now missing. You and Turing set out to find him and the story goes from there.

The game is pretty dialogue heavy as you have to travel between different locations in Neo SF speading to characters as you investigate Haydens disappearance. There are some basic puzzles, mostly using the right item on a person or object, and a few mini games. Overall its a pretty good game if you dont mind the fact that it is mostly reading dialogue and conversations.

Good points:
- the retro pixel graphics are excellent and the soundtrack is also pretty good
-The game has multiple endings depending on choices you make and how you interact with the characters you meet along the way
-The story was good enough to make me want to reach the end

Bad points:
- the small few mini games you have to do arent great and are all pretty similar
-the games underlying message of being tolerant of different people while good in intent is executed quite clumsily. Most characters are homosexual or trans in an alost sterotypical way and it all feels a bit ham fisted
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cwispy
2.2 hrs
Posted: September 20
This game can get a little preachy at times, even for me being a trans girl.
But this game definitely makes me nostalgic from the times I played Snatcher and
various other games. The small jokes it makes to other games (the PT one gave me a good chuckle)
gives a nice charm to it. What I laughed more is when I went "Is everyone gay in this town?, which is a
funny realization knowing that this game definitely embraces the LGBT community.
You can definitely incorporate a game that embraces the LGBT, but if you make the game just for that,
it crashes hard and becomes forgettable. ROM just barely passes and what makes it stand out for me is it's
music, artwork, characters (my favorite is Tomcat), and the story. The gameplay can be a bit stale as it
depends on what previous games did, like the arcade shooting scene which is an exact copy of Snatchers.

Aside all that, ROM is a wonderful game, definitely keeping it on my hard drive. :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Angry Jedi
7.1 hrs
Posted: September 19
Read Only Memories is an adventure game in the '90s mould, seeming to draw specific inspiration from titles like Snatcher and Rise of the Dragon, and set in the same world as the (later, and wonderful) VA-11 HALL-A.

On the whole, it's a great experience. The pixel art aesthetic really works for the game and has clearly been designed by people who know what good pixel art looks like. Everything about the interface, including the font, is well-designed to look like a retro adventure game, and the FM-synthesis soundtrack complements it nicely.

Puzzles are relatively thin on the ground but in a couple of cases are more interesting than "use the thing on the thing", which is worthy of note, though the final puzzle in the game seems to play by some inconsistent rules that can lead to failure seemingly by no fault of your own.

The story is well-written and filled with interesting characters, plus deserves note for having a number of possible solutions to various situations, though not all will lead to the "best" ending. The game encourages you to consider the consequences of your actions and the things that you choose to say, even though those consequences may not become apparent until much later. I very much liked that your behaviour over the course of the whole game affected some later events rather than choices having an immediate impact on what was going on.

The overall plot is one of tolerance and understanding, and strikes a good balance between casting the player (whom you can name and gender as you desire, since you never see them) as an "everyman" sort of character prone to putting their foot in their mouth when confronted by groups they don't quite understand, and presenting a solid message about acceptance, learning to trust one another and personal growth.

The only real criticism I'd level at the game is that its handling of gay and transgender characters feels a little ham-fisted, with their presence and the "reveals" of their identity seemingly being calculated to go "SURPRISE!" rather than simply blending them into the setting. Big burly, manly bartender dude? SURPRISE! Next time you meet him, he has another big hairy dude all over him calling him "hon" at every opportunity (though that said, I couldn't help but like Gus). Meet an eccentric, long-haired, bearded TV producer? SURPRISE! They're a lady! That and the presence of a non gender-specific character demonstrates just how awkward using singular "they" as a pronoun is in dialogue.

Ultimately it doesn't hurt the overall plot at all, but these instances stick out like sore thumbs when they happen as they just don't quite feel like they're in keeping with the tone: the implication elsewhere in the plot is that society has moved beyond discrimination by gender and sexuality, and instead onto discrimination against those who are "augmented" in some way, either through cybernetics or genetic hybridisation. To specifically draw attention to gay and transgender characters in this way as the game does feels counter to this implication, which is otherwise well handled.

This game's spiritual successor VA-11 HALL-A handles gay characters much more elegantly by them simply... just being there, no big deal, no big fuss about who they are, no sense that the game is holding you down and urging you to admire how progressive its views are.

I played this game before the big update that adds voice acting, and if you're interested in this game, I'd encourage you to do the same. The few parts of the game that do already have voice acting (just the intro and epilogue at present) are immensely jarring with the rest of the game's presentation, and the delightful beepityboopityboop noise that dialogue makes throughout the rest of the game is a much more powerful stimulus to the imagination than a voice actor whose interpretation of the character may not match the one you have in your head after reading the text.

Overall, Read Only Memories is a game I give a solid thumbs up. The issues I mentioned above are minor in the grand scheme of things, but hopefully the team will learn from them -- and from the things VA-11 HALL-A did better, despite being produced by a different team -- and produce even greater works in the future.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ndwolfwood988
5.3 hrs
Posted: September 15
Beautiful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
whimsicalrogue
7.0 hrs
Posted: September 11
Nice cyberpunk interactive story. At times, it plays like an adventure game with puzzles, but they are mostly easy. An exception is Chapter 6, which has a randomly-generated maze. It's best to make a save ahead of time in case you need to reload to get an easier maze.

It seems very linear (with one major exception) but it looks like there are multiple endings and that you can indeed influence how people feel about you.

The writing and animation is great. It feels like a real cyberpunk novel. It even made me jump a couple of times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
I don't quite know what to think about this one. I'm putting this review down as a "Yes" because I'm pretty sure I liked it. Mostly. Just, uh, not for $20. I got it for like five in a Humble Bundle.

Oh, and ignore my playtime. There's an acheivement for reaching an ending without loading a save, and so I left the program running in the background for a night and most of a day.

I'm really surprised by how much I liked this game, considering how much of it I didn't like.
- The inconsistent pseudo-retro look bugged me at multiple points. The art is nice, most of the time, but where it breaks aesthetic it's extremely jarring.
- The robot-protagonist's name is Turing. This is just below Asimov on the list of things never to name your robot character, and right above "Waifu".
- The most difficult puzzle in the game is literally a game of Mastermind.
- The game gives you very little agency as a player.
- The player character has just enough characterization to have an identity, but not quite enough to have a personality, and because of my lack of agency, came off as a bit spineless.
- Much of the cast is standoffish to the point of being entirely unlikeable (And pieces of the story hinge on you liking or at least respecting these characters).
- Large chunks of dialogue consist of berating the player character with your only response options boiling down to either "God in Heaven, I beg your forgiveness!" or "Gosh, sorry."
- It being advertized so heavily as a cyberpunk game (The word's in the game's title, for heaven's sake!) when, really, it's more of a peripheral element of the story. One brief section of the game will remind you that cyberpunk was a thing that existed, and for a moment you'll feel a ray of hope that, maybe, this will be "A Cyberpunk Adventure." Then the cool cyborg man will literally be pushed off screen and it's right back to the bright and cheerful landscapes of Neo-SF for you. And then cyberpunk will come back and punch you in the ♥♥♥♥ for a couple seconds right at the ending for kicking out the cool cyborg man.
- This game is not Snatcher. Please stop telling me it's Snatcher. Please stop referencing Snatcher in the game. Please stop comparing yourself to Snatcher, game. You will never be Snatcher. Where Snatcher will be referenced, my reaction will always be "I wanna play Snatcher." Don't make me want to play Snatcher while I'm playing your game, please.
- They carried over Snatcher's shooting mechanics for two sections of this game. You have a mouse instead of a lightgun. If I don't have to aim blind with a lightgun or by rapidly pressing the d-pad, I just win. Why do this at all?
- Stop referencing things at all, actually. Especially when the game takes place fifty years in the future, don't reference things barely relevant or known today.
- Neo San Francisco. Tech hub of the world by 2030, where crime is on the rise and the police are corporate-owned, yet still a brightly-colored paradise for the majority of the populance made up primarily of insulting gay stereotypes, and fursecution is the greatest social issue faced.
- How am I down on my luck and poor living in a San Francisco apartment?

It's a laundry list of issues I have with this game. But I still enjoyed it.
The Soundtrack is solid.
The characters who aren't terrible are mostly endearing.
Despite most of the backstory making little sense when all the little pieces they give you are jammed together, the actual plot of the game is pretty compelling.
The puzzles are simplistic, but I was only really bothered by one. The rest are quick and benign enough that they don't halt the story or feel like a chore.
The character portrait animations are a treat, even if the game does break aesthetic every so often.

How much you enjoy this game hinges entirely on how much youi enjoy the plot... and how much you can stomach San Francisco ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s. Mileage will vary.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
This game was recommended to me by a curator for being a prime example of meaningful "choice and consequence" in video games. I played for a few hours (ignore my recorded playtime; Steam freaks out when I play offline, which I usually do) and never encountered a single meaningful choice. Nor did I encounter an interesting puzzle. Nor did I encounter an interesting character, nor even a single interesting idea.

That last item is where I seem to differ the most with other reviewers, who found Turing's growth over time to be funny, endearing, and intriguing. While I can't say I was immune to his charms, I've seen every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Turing (in the few chapters I played) only retreaded the same old ground Data and a million other robots-who-want-to-be-a-real-boy have walked before. And cyberpunk? This promises William Gibson and Stephenson's Snow Crash and 21st-century noir; what I got was the bog-standard Evil Corporation That Must Be Stopped and Bad Video Game Apartheid (which were already lazy when Deus Ex: Human Revolution did them, but were handled worse here), a dimwit lead who was, shall we say, no Sam Spade, and a super-saturated color palette that clashes with everything the game alleged it was trying to evoke.

I would be remiss not to mention the gender and sexuality elements, since a few reviewers seem to assume that any negative feelings about the game arise from a lack of progressivism. The game does work very hard to normalize what remains, even today, a radical notion: an ideology of total gender deconstruction. I don't mind this -- I play games to be exposed to new ideas, and this was the game's only one. However, rather than explore this concept of a world where biological gender no longer matters, R.O.M. just thrusts it at you and dares you to call it an SJW. This is a poor approach to politics in gaming: I was willing to go deeper to get a fresh perspective, but, rather than being challenged (and perhaps even upset, and perhaps even convinced), I got more and more bored.

And so I put down R.O.M. after spending $10 on it because I was simply too bored to finish it; the thought of turning it back on filled me with dread, so I started replaying L.A. Noire instead (which has a much more interesting critique of patriarchy embedded inside it).
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
The art style is great, the soundtrack is great, the UI and story mechanics are great

however the preachy style got to me. . . I like stories that are inclusive, but not those that berate the protaganist, it broke the fourth wall multiple times which to me is the highest sin of fiction. It's a shame because I would love to recommend this game otherwise however I wouldn't to a friend.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Read Only Memories is a point and click adventure game, and that's great, and it excels at that. The basic plot is this robot, named Turing, has his creator, Hayden, abducted in front of his eyes and in turn, goes to you, the main character, who's a journalist who was close friends with Hayden, and Turing states that you were the one mostly likely to assist Turing. People are saying it's another Snatcher, and I can see why people call it that, in my opinion, it's best to call the game it's own being rather than a Snatcher clone. The game also contains a lot of SJW themes, and personally I didn't think they weren't too heavy, but rather just noticeable at certain points. The game claims it's "A New Cyberpunk Adventure", and while it does have characters with cyberpunk backgrounds/themes, it's a stretch to call it a cyberpunk game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
Personally, I just can't get into the way the story is presented. If you really like the endless cutscenes in Super Nintendo RPG's, you might feel differently.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Product received for free
Hey cool! A Cyberpunk story game... oh it's filled with SJW cancer... *throws it in the trash bin*
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
234 of 332 people (70%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
unfortunately, many of the reviews written here give off the wrong impression of read only memories. in fact, they say more about the gaming community than the game itself. ROM is by no means some kind of ham-fisted "tumblr" "sjw" nightmare. what they're trying to say is: "this game is diverse and asked for my pronouns and that made me uncomfortable."

ROM is an obvious love letter to all things cyberpunk, especially blade runner, hideo kojima's underappreciated snatcher, and ghost in the shell. though some unavoidable parallels are drawn between current social issues and those featured in the game, they are hardly ROM's central focus, and the questions it asks are no more offensive than any other cyberpunk work (such as the three i mentioned previously). the writing and characters are consistently entertaining and charming (i love turing so much). the artwork and overall aesthetic is gorgeous, stylish, and detailed. the music is incredibly catchy and groovy and will stick in your head for a while after playing. as far as gameplay goes, if you're a fan of adventure games in the style of snatcher, or maybe even ace attorney, you should enjoy ROM. it can feel a bit linear at times, though i know there are a few different endings that depend on your choices throughout the game, but the linearity never really bothered me.

i don't really have many criticisms. ROM can be pretty wordy at times (conversations occasionally carry on longer than necessary, as well as individual pieces of dialogue) and there are some questionable design choices here and there (such as the out-of-place japanese text on some buildings and billboards, which may be there as a reference to its influences). i think my biggest complaint is that the game's length and pacing discourage replay value, which makes achieving multiple endings kind of a chore.

i thoroughly enjoyed it, however. ROM's gameplay and style may not appeal to everyone, but i highly recommend it if what you've seen/heard so far seems like it's up your alley. it's very well-made and clearly had a ton of work put into it, and without a doubt i consider it one of the best games of 2015.
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54 of 64 people (84%) found this review helpful
21 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Although a few sections do their damndest to waste your time without really adding anything, and the fact that there are barely puzzles to solve, Good presentation, music, intrigue and sense of humour help buoy what is basically a more progressive, bright and approachable snatcher.

At $20.00 CDN, I would not recommend this title, however. as It's basically a six hour visual novel. Thankfully, this is steam, and likely the only reason you're on this page is because there's a sale.
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310 of 468 people (66%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2015
Read Only Memories was interesting enough for me to finish it, and the inclusiveness of its setting gave me a lot to think about. However, playing it is wading through passive-aggressive, condescending murk and it's not an experience I would recommend to other people.

I feel that the story of this game would be better served by being setting it up as a visual novel with Turing the robot as the explicit protagonist rather than the point-and-click adventures of their bumbling sidekick. You are very much Turing's sidekick. Turing drives the story and it's Turing's journey that the game is ultimately about. Your role is to piously "witness the world’s first sapient robot learning to grow and live," absorb info dumps, serve as a punching bag for constant anger and threats, and to provide comic relief by talking to inanimate objects. I found it tedious.

If you don't want to play quite so reverently, there are a lot of dialog options where you can be a jerk for no reason, but really that just gives the game ammunition to treat you even more like a total schmuck so I didn't bother.

Also, prepare for glitchy, poorly explained puzzles that pop up out of nowhere, keep you from saving when they appear, and may not affect the story at all or may downgrade your ending if you mess them up.

If you want a game that explores meaningful choice, I would recommend Life Is Strange.
If you want pixel art and an awesome story with awesome characters, I would recommend Undertale.
If you want an interesting experience where you are not the protagonist, I would recommend The Beginner's Guide.
If you want a cyberpunk game, I hear that Shadowrun: Dragonfall is pretty good.
If you want the most inclusive setting, then and only then I would recommend this game.
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92 of 131 people (70%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Preachy, condescending, and incredibly narrowminded.

While there's some interesting music and art, any enjoyment of Read Only Memories is completely snuffed out by some of the most insulting writing I've ever seen in a videogame. The player character serves only as a dog to be yanked along on a leash by your insufferable robot companion, and gleefully kicked by any of the NPCs who haven't reminded you how superior they are within the last five seconds. Your constant ally in the game treats you like a petulant child from your first encounter, and relishes every opportunity to express their disappointment in you as a player for daring to explore the dialogue tree or challenge a given idea. From the outside it may sound funny or like a purposeful stylistic decision, but from a gameplay perspective it's genuinely frustrating. Even the flavor text you get from examining the objects in the world drips with disdain for the player.

After several chapters of having my character dragged through the mud from every possible direction, I didn't want to play anymore. The premise is somewhat fascinating, but there's nothing within this package that's not extremely derivative. This game is what happens when a writer is more interested in forcing their ideas down your throat than crafting a compelling, enjoyable narrative. I strongly suggest avoiding this game and looking for another adventure.
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