A Post Net Neutrality Simulator
gameplay 90 / story 99 / graphics 89 / sound 90
Itch.io gems is a series of review for upcoming indie games available on the Itch.io marketplace. All games are free unless stated otherwise and are downloadable right now.
Packets, Please! is a short simulator where you play as a Cosmocast employee post net neutrality. Your job is to throttle, boost or disconnect the internet of customers depending on what package they have but as each day progresses promotions and restrictions come into place.
The whole game is a piss take of the recent net neutrality repeal and is packed with references. The most obvious is Cosmocast which is clearly mock of Comcast. Another one is an appearance from President Donny Dumps who has a striking resemblance to a familiar character.
There’s also another reference to the recent South American riots where you have to disconnect all users from that country in order to avoid getting caught up in the conflict. I love the fake websites like 2Chains (4chan), Birbsite (Twitter) and TWatch (Twitch). Dial-up connection sounds and the intense music puts pressure on the player to finish the orders although there is never a timer involved.
So as the days go on more and more rules are added to the book. If users have signed up in the last 30 days they are boosted even if they are exceeding the bandwidth limit. The game lasts for 7 days (which is roughly around 100 customers) and after that, the rules are simplified again and the game goes on without a story although this is set to change according to a devlog.
Packets, Please! has been an enjoyable experience for me and I can’t wait to see it develop into a fully fledged game. If you love Papers, Please! then you’ll undoubtedly love this game.
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