FREEQ Review

By , on May 9, 2013

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • A great concept executed well.
  • The way the story is presented in small pieces, not in linear time creates intrigue, leading the player along.


  • Not really anything to the gameplay besides a couple of choices.
  • Voice acting fluctuates between good and passable.


Freeq is an audio adventure, where by listening to small snippets of conversations, you piece together a larger narrative over the course of the game. It's intriguing and well executed, but obviously is only going to appeal to a certain audience.

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Radio drama is making a comeback. Before television, people used to listen to serialised programming on their wireless, tuning into tales of mystery, intrigue, drama, and action. Games like Freeq show that the medium is still as engaging as ever, but perhaps that's also due to the interactivity. See, not only content with telling you a story of apocalypse and time travel, Freeq has you making choices to influence the outcome of this future that has yet to be written.

Freeqing is a technology that allows you to listen in on broadcasts from the near future. You can hear radio, but most importantly you can listen in on phone conversations. Not only that, but when you key in on a frequency, you can choose who to connect that person to, hearing a conversation from a different point in time, filling in a different part of the story, and even changing the outcome of the events you are following.

The basic plot is that after a cataclysmic event, the inhabitants of a small island believe they might be the only survivors on the planet. The main players are Vincent and James (the former creates the freeqing technology, the latter who runs for mayor of the island and wins), and Amy who helps run the local newspaper and finds herself in an affair with James. Themes run deep with politics, love, betrayal, obsession, and redemption playing factor in the events that unfold... but any more information would be telling. The game plays out in acts, and each act can jump forward and backward in time, but you never really feel too lost in what's going on. Part of the reason is the writing and sound design. For the most part, all the roles are acted superbly and the static and ambient noise helps sell the whole ordeal. Now since this is an audio adventure, there's really not much to speak of in the way of visuals aside from the frequency screen and the wave forms as you're listening in on a conversation, but this does help to sell the idea that you're hijacking airwaves from a not too distant future.

Adventure game fans and those who love a good story will feel right at home here. The audio only gameplay is quite novel, and the narrative and execution of the experience is top notch. Those looking for flashy visuals or more gameplay than just deciding who's going to talk to whom, you're probably not going to have much fun with this. We here at Appspy certainly wouldn't mind more games of this style.


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