Isolationist Nightclub Simulator by Edwin Montgomery and Myshkin Entertainment releases today on PC! The game is designed as a casual walking simulator whereby a mysterious plague has shut down life on Earth and you have entered the simulation from the safety of your bunker. I could do with some of this right now, lets get it on!
Isolationist Nightclub Simulator – The Escape You Are Looking For?
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So what comes to mind when you think of a nightclub? For me, it is a mixture of awesome lighting, people, drinks, dancing and of course some amazing music to while the time away.
There is no real game to play as such in Isolationist Nightclub Simulator, it has been created as an immersive casual escape, funded by Australia’s Creative Victoria’s Sustaining Creative Workers grant.
On first impressions the nightclub that you enter has a very cyberpunk feel to it featuring hazy neon lighting, a large dancefloor and flame-lit balconies. There is no real direction, it is a case of having a wander about and seeing what you can interact with. On the stage you can control the lighting by turning on and off levers that enable various laser patterns to be cast across the huge space as well as bringing to life a virtual crowd of people that dance to the music.
There are a number of tech interfaces that let you put together your own nightclub tune by selecting pre-built patterns from a host of electronic melodies, bassy undertones and drumming beats. There is certainly a lot of variety in what you can create through turning on and off buttons!
Corridors lead off from the main dance area and take you to some really diverse locations such as a garden and desert as well as a mini arcade, grand hall and an art gallery. I must say that some of the locations were a little odd and did not really fit in with the idea of a nightclub. The desert and garden areas are in effect large rectangular spaces filled with a few artefacts and little to no interaction other than some signs telling you that you are not really outside. All a bit trippy in honesty.
Walking to the art gallery sent me into a corridor with a layer of water below my feet before entering the well-lit space. Here you are prompted to email the devs pictures for them to upload for others to see. A nice idea should it take off.
Similarly, throughout the building, there are computer stations that allow you to write a message that can be sent off to then randomly appear as toilet graffiti or scrawl on the back of a drink coaster. Once more the idea is that the world fills up with other player’s quotes.
The mini arcade was probably the best of the areas to explore purely because you could at least interact with some of the machines. The games such as a take on “whack-a-mole” and “shoot the hoop” are pretty basic however the physics are not too bad and let you while away a few more minutes.
A nightclub wouldn’t be a nightclub without drinks and thankfully you can find these dotted around the place, the VIP lounge is a good place. Each drink that you consume serves to basically apply a filter to the screen, altering your vision into a bizarre mixture of colours with an almost psychedelic feel to it. Luckily there are cups of coffee to reset your vision back to normal once you have had enough.
There are certainly a few things to see and do in Isolationist Nightclub Simulator.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics are not too terrible in the game and I have to say that for me the lighting probably stood out as the best feature. The choice of neon lighting gave it a futuristic feeling within the nightclub and the ambiences set within the gallery and grand hall were perfect for each area.
One of the downfalls though is the two outside areas. As you wander along corridors to reach them you experience glitchy graphics such as leaves swaying through walls and trees that you can walk through. In the desert there is a random monolith type structure with a staircase, it all feels a little surreal and out of place with the main nightclub setting.
The audio in Isolationist Nightclub Simulator is probably the best feature about it to be honest, with the ability to turn on and off the pre-made loops allowing you to create a slightly personal feel to the dancefloor.
It takes around half an hour to walk around all the locations and interact with everything, other than messing around with the nightclub music and lights as well as interacting with the games and drinks there isn’t much else to do. Once the gallery begins to fill up then there will be a bit more to see.
Isolationist Nightclub Simulator feels more like somebody had a bunch of ideas and threw them up all over the place. While I appreciate that this game? has been created using a grant and has funded someone’s time to be creative, for me it just feels like a bit of a mishmash. What seems to have started as a nightclub evolved into much more but does not feel to serve a connected purpose.
Being labelled a “nightclub simulator” maybe some more interaction on the music side would have been great such as maybe mixing tracks, keeping the virtual crowd happy, etc. There is no real goal here and although perhaps you may like to have a casual stroll around and chill out on a bar stool in the VIP lounge by yourself, it feels to me more like a tech demo from somebody learning and playing about with various artefacts in Unity.
Isolationist Nightclub Simulator gets a Thumb Culture Bronze award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.