Buddy Simulator 1984 is a very interesting game. It simulates an old computer with a MS DOS like operating system that you interface with via a command prompt. On it is a piece of software named the buddy simulator that simulates being your best friend.
As you start interacting with the buddy simulator, it asks you questions from time to time and uses those answers to change the operating system and software to reflect those answers. For example, the buddy asks you what your favorite color is and occasionally it will change the color of the text to that color. You start out playing simple games like guess the number, hangman, and rock paper scissors. After running out of games to play, the buddy comes up with an idea to create a more interesting game for you but it needs system level access to do so.
This sounds like the start of error horror movie but to progress the game you have no choice but to. After you reboot the pc, you find a new game where you can go on an adventure with the buddy. It starts off as a simple text adventure game reminiscent of MUDs. This part was fairly interesting and definitely had some questionable and quite unsettling events take place.
After progressing a bit, the game turns into a 2D adventure game. You go on quests to help out seemingly friendly inhabitants in a nearby village. You can be quite certain that things will take a dark turn somewhere. I’ll stop writing here to prevent any spoilers for this preview because I think it is definitely a game worth checking out.
Overall, Buddy Simulator 1984 is a very interesting game. It skirts with horror but doesn’t resort to cheap tricks like jump scares and an unsettling sound track. Instead, it reveals small tidbits that could be innocent but also are quite questionable and unsettling. It creates a sense of unease and you are always questioning the true motives and character of the buddy. It brings up interesting thoughts on the nature of trust and your perception of others. The game wasn’t what I expected it to be and it definitely took me by surprise.