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Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver

Developer: MidBoss
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Switch, PC, Xbox Series X/S (Reviewed)
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $14.99 USD – Available Here


The point-and-click adventure genre his one that still sees plenty of love in the indie scene and no where was that more evident back when 2064: Read Only Memories arrived on consoles in 2017 as this retro-styled game set in a cyberpunk future not too far removed from our own made fans eager to see what MidBoss would do next. Well, after enough delays that the developer themselves joked about it in their release date trailer, skipping through the multiple year long delays their next entry underwent, the next game has finally arrived in the form of Read Only Memories: Neurodiver. While these numerous delays from the initial 2020 release window would usually be cause for concern, has it turned out that the wait for Read Only Memories: Neurodiver has been worth it?


Set six years after the event of the first game but still a perfect starting point for those new to the franchise, Read Only Memories: Neurodiver places players into the shoes of Luna Cruz de la Vega, a young but highly skilled Esper that has the ability to read the minds of others. Due to her circumstances and a result of her becoming an Esper, she works for the Minerva company under the name ES88. The company was created to develop and monitor Esper abilities including the creation of the first ever man-made Esper, a cuttle-fish like creature called the Neurodiver. When paired with the Neurodiver, ES88’s skills become incredibly powerful, allowing her to dive into the minds and memories of those she is in contact with, potentially helping fix any psychological traumas they may suffer from, PTSD, or even psychic attacks from others.

While ES88’s work at Minvera has been mostly mundane, her largest case will put her up against a dangerous and incredibly powerful Esper capable of entering and living within the minds of its victims by the name of Golden Butterfly. The reasons for Golden’s attacks are unknown but ES88’s mission is to track them down all while helping rescue the memories and minds of those affected by Golden’s abilities. Together, with her bodyguard/awkward-crush GATE, a cyborg capable of throwing a car with ease, the two must find the truth beyond Golden’s abilities all while meeting numerous allies, both new and familiar for returning players as they continue their investigation and learn far more than they ever expected.

For the most part, MidBoss has successfully crafted a new entry in the franchise that both makes newcomers to Read Only Memories: Neurodiver feel welcome as well as providing plenty of little easter eggs and unique interactions with the returning cast as well, as well as some nods to various signature moments from the first game. This includes a number of characters that make their return as ES88 continues her investigation, often diving into one of the minds and memories of a familiar character as often as she does a brand new one. It also must be said that, although the choices are far more limiting in how the story plays out outside of a few key choices, players will be in for quite a treat whenever they select one of ES88’s responses because the character writing here is top notch.

Luna, or ES88, is an adorable dork who may have lost most of her memories when her Esper powers awoken and she was taken in by Minerva but between her love of magical girl anime, not-so-subtle crush and awkward interactions with GATE, and her countless wonderful facial expressions as she interacts and reacts to the cast and the events that unfold around her make her easily the best part of the whole game’s writing. Of course, other characters are written just as wonderfully, though we do wish that some of the characters would stick around a bit more or have more to say once their “story focused” section was completed.

Instead most character interactions and even interactions with the environment only happen as the story progresses with only a little variation here and there. This means even if players go and investigate a certain halloween bowl a few chapters down the line, ES88 will still get annoyed that everyone ate the chocolate ones. In fact, perhaps the greatest weakness in Read Only Memories: Neurodiver’s storyline is that there just doesn’t feel like there is enough of it. While this is something of a good problem to have, as players will be eager to see more of ES88, her allies, and the Neo San Francisco town she helps protect, the fact that the game is only roughly five hours long depending on how much players want to investigate the world, meaning it feels just a bit too short with only the small variations in choices and one major branching change at the end. This can leave fans wanting much more, especially compared to the first game’s run time and ending variations.


Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a point and click adventure game with a mix of visual novel elements thrown in. ES88 will be assigned a case and while players do have some freedom to explore and interact with the world, as mentioned before, many of the interactables and characters they’ve talked with before will still have the same descriptions later on, limiting variability. As players navigate around the world they’ll eventually always be brought to the exact location they need to be to interact with the person in need of their help. Various dialogue choices can be made when talking to characters but, again, outside of a few key choices, most of these are for flavor rather than progress. 

The real meat of the game comes whenever ES88 uses her Neurodiver to dive into the minds of their target. Here they will, usually with the person’s own consciousness listening in, take direct control of the target as they live through their memory and try to figure out just what is wrong. This is where the puzzle solving element comes into play as players will need to travel around and investigate the area in a “pixel hunting” style to locate various clues that can then be used to “Repair” damaged sections of memory that are usually represented as glitched out, transfigured, or even combined memory segments. The solutions to these puzzles are rather simple most of the time, with there only being a couple of slightly challenging ones and this generally only happens if players are actually missing a clue rather than not being able to figure it out. These more limited puzzles, of which this is the only kind, can be a bit disappointing for those looking for more of a challenge but most will find the solutions and clues to be quite fitting when the memories are repaired.

Now, one thing that is a bit troublesome with Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is the cursor. While the game likely controls perfectly fine on the PC, playing the game on Xbox Series X as we are means that players will need to control the cursor with the analog stick or  D-Pad during choices. This isn’t too much of an issue when players get used to it, but it would be lovely if MidBoss included some type of cursor sensitivity setting in the menu, as the default setting that players cannot change at the moment is quite fast, making targeting smaller items in the environment a challenge. It is also worth noting that throughout our time with the game while we didn’t experience any bugs or glitches, we did come across a few misspellings and grammatical errors here and there which is a bit surprising as these usually only appear in translated visual novels, not ones created in English.

Audio & Visuals

Playing through Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a delight as MidBoss has paid extra attention to make sure that their retro-styled pixel game is as gorgeous as possible and it shows. The cyberpunk future blending into the more modern real world makes for a wonderful aesthetic and, thanks to the game being set in the future where Espers and technology have advanced greatly, the team was able to take full advantage of robotic designs, cyborgs, mixed-breed characters, and even the purple ES88. This allows the team to be as creative as they want and it really offers plenty of variety throughout every chapter.

Another major bonus in Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is the fact that the entire game is voice acted. Everything from the Neurodiver’s “blurping” sounds and other clients to all of ES88’s dialogue as she talks with her co-workers, clients, and even to herself. Her voice actress, Daisy Guevara, really nailed the role here and combined with the wonderful animations, ES88’s personality shines through whether she’s being incredibly awkward, standing strong, or gushing over a retro anime. The soundtrack also features a wonderful collection of retro style tracks that fit the cyberpunk setting of the game incredibly well.


Read Only Memories: Neurodiver may have taken longer than expected and may dial down the puzzle mechanics as well, but what MidBoss has delivered here is a highly entertaining story within a setting that they’ve expertly crafted. With gorgeous visuals, impressive voice work, and plenty of humor mixed in, the biggest negative is that Read Only Memories: Neurodiver feels like it has so much more to offer by the time the credits roll as well as the lack of cursor sensitivity. 

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Read Only Memories: Neurodiver dials down the puzzles but dials up the graphics and charm by  making ES88 a wonderful lead in an engrossing storyline that feels far too short for its own good.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Read Only Memories: Neurodiver </I> dials down the puzzles but dials up the graphics and charm by  making ES88 a wonderful lead in an engrossing storyline that feels far too short for its own good.Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review