State of Mind

State of Mind Review

A reality-altering sci-fi mystery

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing a Switch on

State of Mind is also available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

ESRB Mature rating

It takes a lot for story-driven games to stand out in today's market so charge your drone and experience the futuristic world of 2048.

State of Mind screenshot 1
I wish every doctor's office was as welcoming as this!

State of Mind begins as you awake as the sarcastic but determined Richard who's in a medical facility after having survived a terrible car accident. With only robots around to answer your questions about your family and what exactly happened, the beginning of State of Mind sure sets an interesting backdrop. You actually play as two characters: Richard and Adam. Richard is a derisive dude who is worried about what happened to his wife and son after returning home from the accident only to find his wife left him a bot to keep him company and no word of where she went. By trade, Richard is a journalist who is renowned for his technophobic opinions in the ultra-modern world of 2048. On the other side, you have Adam; a simple family man with a striking resemblance to Richard yet his family is very much alive and well besides his son's mysterious illness. Adam's optimism doesn't last long, however, especially after Richard makes contact with him to reveal a shocking revelation partway through the story.

State of Mind's graphics are unlike anything I've seen in a game. It looks like the developers went back to the good old days of the 32-bit era and embraced the polygonal style in all its glory. The scenery is beautiful and you can see a ton of effort in the many locations that you visit. I quite enjoyed watching the effect of polygonal fish in a pool with triangle ripples. The colours and lighting bring the world to life. Richard's scenes are quite dark and primarily take place at night with rain dribbling down the glass walls of his high-rise condo. Adam's scenes are vibrant and pristine complete with odd robotic voice messages that are meant to brighten your day (or creep you out if you're put off by how sterile everything is). The character models share the same style with elongated bodies and lengthy arms. It works for the most part but there are occasions when the lighting doesn't quite work and they come off looking demonic.

State of Mind screenshot 2
I bet this is what the inside of Columbo's mind looks like

Being set in 2048, you might expect there to be some interesting-looking technological advancements and you'd be right. Flying cars are an option although most take AI-controlled cabs or a tram that glides through the sky while weaving between skyscrapers. One thing I found neat was how there were never any stairs to climb; only ramps. It's subtle yet it made an impression. Less subtle are the hundreds of drones that constantly buzz around delivering packages or spying on you and tracking your movement. All of the police are robots equipped with machine guns and every call displays a hologram in front of you including a call to emergency services that is also answered by a robot. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere in State of Mind and the great amount of detail in its ultra-modern world.

I'm happy to say that State of Mind goes above and beyond the average adventure game when it comes to gameplay. For most of it, you walk around and press a button to interact with things then deduce what to do next. However, it switches things up later as you'll find yourself planning routes around security cameras, navigating complicated hallways with rooms that change, and piloting drones through mazes to spy on people or pick objects up. You also get to play as more than just the two characters which adds variety and takes the spotlight away from them every now and then to see how others are coping with what's happening in the story.

State of Mind screenshot 3
I've had enough of trade embargoes for a lifetime; let's eat!

In terms of challenging puzzles, State of Mind doesn't really deliver. I never got stuck with what to do next because it would always be a phone call or a short walk away. There also isn't much in the way of combining objects to unlock the next part of the story. I only experienced this once throughout the entire game. Die-hard adventure fans might be disappointed but if you're more interested in the story and graphics (like I was) then you'll likely be satisfied with the gameplay mechanics that I previously mentioned.

Anyway, Richard is a guy who's very difficult to root for considering how curt he is with everyone in his life. You also experience different events that happened in his past that help tie together his relationships with the characters you meet including ones that might make it even harder to like the dude. I was rooting more for his son than anything as he's a 10 year old boy who has no idea what's going on and doesn't make much of an appearance until about halfway through the plot. Adam appears quite straight-forward and dull but there's something to be admired in how unassuming he is. Watching the characters interact and seeing how the world around them is changing is quite engaging. You get to make some decisions throughout the campaign but I went back and changed my mind about a couple of them and it had very little impact on what happened next so it's certainly nothing along the lines of Detroit: Become Human.

State of Mind screenshot 4
I've never heard of Spacebots Revenge but I know that Blackguards is pretty cool...

State of Mind tells a captivating story of two men who find themselves wrapped up in a plot that touches on questioning life itself. Adventure game fans will delight in the fascinating futuristic story and its unique visuals and immersive setting complete the package.

  • + Stand-out visuals bring beautiful settings to life with fantastic atmosphere and lighting
  • + Engaging and thought-provoking story
  • + Decent variety of gameplay
  • - Character models can look really funky in certain lighting
  • - Doesn't require much noodle-scratching
7.8 out of 10
Gameplay video for State of Mind 6:08
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