- System: Steam
- Developer: Affable Games
- Publisher: Affable Games
- Release Date: 2019
- Genre: Simulator
Infiltrate Humanity by Struggling to Talk! There are all kinds of simulator games nowadays; farming, semi truck driving, prison building, and even bee simulators. Becoming ever odder and intriguing, we discovered an interesting speaking simulator at E3! You may be thinking “speaking? That can’t be too hard…” And you’d be wrong. We gave Speaking Simulator a spin at IndiCade at E3 and tried to remember everything we learned in linguistics class to infiltrate humanity without raising suspicion.
About Speaking Simulator
In Speaking Simulator, you play a newly created customizable humanoid robot ordered to infiltrate humanity with the goal of human domination. Should be easy enough if you can just string a few—hilariously awkward—words together without raising suspicion from the fleshy ones. Between the oddly worded phrases the robot uses to try to fit in and the side-effects of robot anxiety, Affable games, keeps Speaking Simulator funny but also quite challenging—it’s amazing everything that goes into speaking without even thinking about it!
Speaking Simulator begins with customizing your robot. You can pick gender, hair, and skin color, as well as a few variations of face types. We’re not sure if there will be more variety added in the final version. Once your robot is built, you learn how to maneuver the verbal production attachment. It is not easy.
In a split screen, you can see your robot head-on on the right and a cross-section view of the mouth and tongue. The jaw is controlled by dragging the robot’s chin up and down with the mouse and the lips can be puckered and relaxed or stretched by dragging left (in) or right (out). The tongue sits inside the mouth and is controlled by the left joystick/d-pad. There are buttons you must press to create certain sounds just like you do in real life, one at the back of the palate (for Ks, Gs...), one right behind the front teeth (for Ts, Rs…), and one below the tongue (for when no tongue is needed to make a sound. There are arrows and lights marking what you should move and how. Got it? Sure? Good. Now it’s onto the first mission: going on a date!
Once on the date, you must control your robot to communicate without looking too suspicious by moving the tongue, jaw, and mouth in the right way and in the right order. We found ourselves mouthing every hilarious sentence slowly to figure out if the lips and jaw went first or the tongue.
The whole point of the game is to properly communicate without anyone suspecting you are a robot—despite the ridiculous “I’m definitely human, trust me” phrases that we love. Making too many mistakes like stuttering or stumbling on words will make your conversation partner suspicious and once the suspicion bar is full, it’s game over. But making mistakes also causes the robot to get anxious and to break down, causing its head to swell, eyes to pop out, and other cartoonish robot reactions. Being too careless with the tongue implement can also break some teeth off if you’re not careful! The more these things happen, the more suspicious others become, but if you get your composure back, the humans pretty much let it go and you can continue your plan to take over the world. If just handling the speaking alone wasn’t enough of a challenge, the suspicion meter really puts the pressure on.
Awkwardly Hilarious Humor
The developers at Affable Games made sure to keep the content fresh and entertaining with the most comical awkward-undercover-robot phrases like “How many units of currency are required to purchase one ethanol beverage?”. Which combined with the absurdly contorted face and the sparks coming out of it reminds me of one of Invader Zim’s failed experiments at trying to fit in with humans and just being more obvious. We only got to play a few phrases in the game but we’d love to see and attempt more! It’s definitely this writer’s type of humor. And even Jack Black seemed to enjoy it!
Besides being funny and challenging, Speaking Simulator is an educational and humbling experience. Despite the comedy, the level of difficulty of the game is purposefully there to show how complicated the mechanics of speaking really are. It makes it easier to understand people with speech impediments, autism, or other issues that prevent them from being able to maneuver our complicated speech implement with ease. So, brush up on your liguistics—it really does help!—and get ready to try your speaking skills later this year! Are you a simulator fan? A linguistics nut that must have this game? Tell us in the comments! Thanks for reading and check out our other E3 impressions!