Developer Accidental Queens, creators of A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone, have a track record for making narrative focused adventure games within the framework of technology like smartphones and chat clients. Their newest game does not stray from what they’re known for, but it is still an exciting project with a much bigger scope.
Alt-Frequencies is an audio focused experience that tells its story through radio stations.The hosts for these radio stations serve as the game’s characters, each of them having distinct personalities and motivations. Players control a radio dial in a world that is stuck in a time loop, that resets every few minutes. Equipped with the ability to record conversations those hosts talk and then transmit them to other stations. You can manipulate conversations and information to progress the game’s story.
What your character’s motivations are and what that story exactly is, did not become clear in my demo. What is clear is that the time loop, how it affects the people of this world and the origins of it, will be a central part of the game’s narrative.
The concept of Alt-Frequencies is certainly an evolution of what Accidental Queens has done and what some of their contemporaries, like Emily Is Away, have done. Having performances bring to life conversations that were only in text before and seeing how the game’s narrative can branch out is exciting on paper.
I do have concerns that the inherent repetitive nature of the game’s design – relisting to radio loops, discovering which conversation clips and which radio stations to send them to – can become frustrating. Still, the possibilities here and Accidental Queen’s history have me really looking forward to Alt-Frequencies’ full release this May. Alt-Frequencies is made with mobile gaming in mind, but it will also get a PC release.