Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER Review — Memory, Identity, and Intrigue

A fascinating journey through minds and memories that beckons curiosity.

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is a simple and intuitive experience that brings a fresh outlook to the genre.

Pros

  • Interesting Story And Characters.
  • Engaging Puzzle Segments.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Graphics.
  • Stable Performance.

Cons

  • Stereotypical Dialogue.
  • Meaningless Dialogue Options.
  • Extremely Barebones Gameplay.

The point-and-click genre has always been a niche in the gaming industry, primarily because it’s one of the few categories that prioritizes immersion over interaction. Although there’s not much room for variety, the most recognizable games in this genre either add Oscar-worthy storytelling or highly enjoyable puzzle elements to keep your attention and regularly pique your interest.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: MidBoss
  • Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games
  • Release Date: May 16, 2024
  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch
  • Game Length: 5 hours
  • Time Played: 8+ hours
  • Editors Note: We thoroughly tested Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER on PC, putting roughly 8 hours into its Story Mode.

With Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER, you get both the latter and the former, but with noticeable shortcomings. However, if you expect and look past those flaws, you’ll find a game that’s unique, gripping, and, in a subtle way, thought-provoking. 

Story And Setting

NEURODIVER es88
Introducing the protagonist: ES88 (Image by eXputer)

The story is clearly Neurodiver’s highlight, set in a futuristic world with psionic powers and revolutionary technology. You start off as Luna Cruz de la Vega, also known as ES88, a 23-year-old girl who’s gifted with psychological abilities, making her an Esper. She works for MINERVA, an industry-leading company that specializes in training Espers to gather information.

Unlike the other Espers, ES88’s bonded to a Neurodiver, an organic lifeform that enhances an Esper’s abilities, making Luna one of a kind. One of her most interesting abilities, however, is to read another person’s memories, reliving past moments and even restoring them if that person has forgotten them.

The story is clearly Neurodiver’s highlight, set in a futuristic world with psionic powers and revolutionary technology.

Throughout the story, you meet different characters and dive into their memories to uncover secrets; all the while, you’re progressing your relationship with GATE, one of the forerunners at MINERVA. However, you soon learn about a mysterious rogue Esper that’s barging into and disrupting others’ memories, so you must track them down before it gets critical.

A Fun Premise Entangled With Generic Dialogue

NEURODIVER GATE
GATE, a prominent character in the story (Image by eXputer)

The narrative itself is pretty fun and intriguing, with several plot twists that lure you in and make the experience worthwhile. Even the characters, soundtrack, and voice-acting are spot-on, adding to the immersion thanks to its diverse cast. Unfortunately, it’s held back by generic, even obnoxious, dialogue and writing.

Most of the jokes the characters try to make never land, and the cheesy one-liners, although playful and intended to be a parody, make the scene way too cringe to handle. Even when the game tries to be serious, the writing doesn’t really help in building the tension I hoped it would.

Despite its flaws in delivering some sassy dialogue, Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER still accomplishes the goal of building a creative narrative that keeps you hooked until the end.

Despite its flaws in delivering some sassy dialogue, Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER still accomplishes the goal of building a creative narrative that keeps you hooked until the end. Almost every element in the story never gets repetitive and the characters themselves are filled with personality.

Gameplay

NEURODIVER Jegi
Uncovering a clue (Image by eXputer)

As a point-and-click puzzle-solving game, most of Neurodiver’s core gameplay loop is going through dialogue, exploring the 2D environment, grabbing different clues, and piecing them together. It’s more like an interactive visual novel, and while these clue-hunting segments are fairly simple, they don’t get too tedious or boring.

Whenever you dive into someone’s memories to help regain them, you’ll often come across broken memory fragments. To repair them, you need to find the appropriate clues hidden in the nearby environment and plant them in the fragment’s location. Once you repair the fragments, they reveal the actual part of the missing memory.

As a point-and-click puzzle-solving game, most of Neurodiver’s core gameplay loop is going through dialogue, exploring the 2D environment, grabbing different clues, and piecing them together.

Besides this, you have an inventory management system that keeps track of all your clues, as well as a Quest Log tab that displays your ongoing tasks. The latter specifically is extremely helpful because it also hints at where you need to go, effectively removing the biggest nuisance of point-and-click games—vague objectives and aimless wandering.

Minimalistic Yet Uninvasive

NEURODIVER Memory Fragments
Fixing a broken Memory Fragment (Image by eXputer)

As you’d guess, the gameplay isn’t Neurodiver’s main focus, and it takes a major backseat throughout your playthrough. Fortunately, though, it never gets intrusive and serves as a nice add-on that encourages you to be proactive. The game’s intuitive nature is something to be appreciated, and I respect its minimalistic aspect.

One thing that I was disappointed by, however, was the dialogue options and how they felt absolutely meaningful. Like any story-driven game, you must often choose between different dialogue options to progress through the narrative.

One thing that I was disappointed by, however, was the dialogue options and how they felt absolutely meaningful.

Unfortunately, the options in Neurodiver don’t affect anything plot-wise, so even blindly selecting a choice leads to the same result, which is usually underwhelming. I would’ve liked it if our dialogue choices had any weight because it would have created some much-needed tension in those moments. Besides this minor gripe, though, there’s nothing much else to complain about since there’s not much to discuss in this section as a whole.

Visuals And Performance

NEURODIVER graphics
The vibrant and pixelated visuals of NEURODIVER (Image by eXputer)

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER delivers a punchy art style packed with vibrance, aesthetics, and a character-filled vibe. The game incorporates pixelated graphics that are neither too demanding nor too plain, yet they’re so colorful and funky that they make every environment stand out. 

Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that this style isn’t particularly for everyone, but I believe it can definitely grow on you as you keep playing. It’s an acquired taste, but it suits the game’s setting and direction and feels resoundingly close to a retro-style ’90s game.

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER delivers a punchy art style packed with vibrance, aesthetics, and a character-filled vibe.

Thankfully, with a game of this style, you’ll hardly see any performance complaints. The system requirements are so low that you can easily run this title on low-end hardware and still enjoy a smooth experience. While playing Neurodiver on a GTX 1660Ti Mobile and an i7-10750H, I easily touched 60+ FPS and never encountered any visual bugs, glitches, or long loading times.

Verdict

NEURODIVER
Verdict (Image by eXputer)

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is a simple and intuitive experience that brings a fresh outlook to the genre. It features a gripping story with multi-faceted characters and dynamic relationships that deepen as you go along. The puzzle-solving elements, although brief and simple, offer some much-needed interactivity while giving the game a chance to showcase its minute environmental details.

Of course, NEURODIVER is more of a slice-of-life adventure, so there’s nothing groundbreaking to expect, but that’s not the intention. The title wants to gently lure you into its world, and if you have the patience and curiosity, the payoff is certainly worth it. Just be wary of the obvious flaws and you’ll have a soothing time when uncovering the mysteries.

This has been my review of Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other recently published reviews:

This is box title
Get This Game
If you love story-driven games that push diversity, creativity, and vibrant visuals.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re not a fan of point-and-click games.
Buy/Wait For Sale/Don't Buy
If you prefer an immersive narrative over an addictive gameplay, I certainly recommend buying this game.
Alternative Games
  • Thimbleweed Park
  • Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars
  • Life is Strange
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series
  • The Wolf Among Us
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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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